The Dodge Challenger Beat the Ford Mustang in One Important Way in 2021

The folks at Dodge are starting 2022 with a big smile on their faces as the Challenger finally beat the Mustang in 2021. No, it wasn’t some epic battle to a checkered finish line, at least in a racing sense. Instead, it was a race of numbers as the Challenger handily outsold the Mustang for the first time to date.

How many Challengers did Dodge sell in 2021?

2022 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody, shown here in F8 Green with dual carbon stripes
2022 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody | Stellantis

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According to Stellantis, Dodge sold 54,314 Challengers last year, which is a 3% increase year-over-year compared to the 52,995 units it sold in 2020. On the other hand, Ford managed to sell 52,414 Mustangs last year, which was 14.2 percent less than 61,090 units sold the previous year. This is an impressive win for Dodge, not just because it gets bragging rights for beating the Blue Oval, but it did it amidst the ongoing chip shortage crisis.

Road and Track reported that Dodge’s Brampton Assembly plant in Canada was hit harder by the supply shortage than Ford Flat Rock Assembly, making the sales victory that much sweeter. However, Ford didn’t come in last place in the 2021 muscle-car sales race, Chevrolet did.

The Chevrolet Camaro came in last place for sales

A pair of 2022 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 muscle cars shot at sunset
The Camaro ZL1 | Chevrolet

While Ford gets to hang its head in defeat when it comes to 2021 Mustang sales, it can hold it a little higher than Chevrolet can. GM Authority reported that GM sold only 5,200 copies of the Camaro in Q3 of 2021, which is down from the 8,300 units it sold in Q3 of 2020. But what’s even worse is that in the entirety of 2021, GM only managed to sell 21,893 Camaros, which is a 25-percent decline compared to its 2020 sales. In that year, GM sold 29,775 units.

And while that figure is far less – almost half – of the number of Challengers and Mustangs sold in 2021, GM at least has the excuse for the Camaro’s poor sales performance last year. The Lansing Grand River Assembly, which is where Camaros are born, faced a few production hiccups thanks to the global chip shortage. Hopefully, the American automaker can make up for some sales this year.

What will the future hold for the muscle car race?

A red Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV.
A red Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV | David McNew via Getty Images

It’s clear that Dodge now holds the keys in the muscle car race when it comes to sales. Apparently, stuffing large 700-hp engines into everything actually helps win races in more than one way. However, as the electric-car future approaches, it will be interesting to see what happens with the three muscle cars in the future.

The Camaro will reportedly be discontinued in 2024, as will the Challenger and Charger nameplates. Although, they may not be completely coming to an end as both American automakers could possibly resurrect the nameplates as electrified models, just like Ford did with the Mustang Mach-E. In that case, the muscle car race will continue in a different and more interesting way. But for now, Dodge is ahead in the race by a pretty large margin.

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