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The Ford Mustang is, of course, one of the most iconic cars in American history. However, as gas prices continue to rise and supply chain issues continue to cause production delays, fewer Mustangs are rolling out to customers. Ford released its sales figures for the first quarter of 2022. Unfortunately, the drop in sales of the iconic pony car is pretty substantial.

Despite the sales drop, the Mustang still edged out its competition by a hair.

A 2016 Ford Mustang seen at the 2017 Washington Auto Show
2016 Ford Mustang | Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

According to Motor1, Ford sold a total of 13,986 Mustang models through the first three months of 2022. This reflects a 19 percent decrease in sales relative to the first quarter of 2021. In 2021, the Q1 sales figure for Mustangs was 17,274. It’s worth noting that this figure does not include the Mustang Mach-E EV, either.

However, despite selling over 4,000 fewer models than last year, the Mustang still retains its place as the king of American muscle. The Mustang’s primary competitors, the Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro, show even fewer Q1 sales.

The Challenger sold only 11,124 examples throughout the first quarter of 2021. Though not far behind the Mustang’s sales, this is a 26 percent drop compared to last year.

Additionally, the Camaro is firmly in last place compared to the Mustang and Challenger. Chevrolet only sold 6,710 Camaros throughout the first quarter, placing it firmly behind the Mustang.

It isn’t just Mustangs, though. Ford reports that its overall sales are down over 16 percent compared to the first quarter of 2021.

Why are Mustang sales down?

Vaugn Gittin Jr drifting a mustang around a track
2018 Ford Mustang RTR entered and driven by Vaughan Gittin Jr. at Goodwood. | Michael Cole/Corbis via Getty Images

Primarily, it’s safe to assume the most significant reason that Mustang sales are down is their lack of availability. With effectively all new cars facing production delays and issues regarding the microchip shortage, dealerships are sitting with plenty of empty spots around the country. Selling a car is already hard enough, but selling the idea of one is even more challenging. It’s safe to assume that a large portion of the sales drop comes from the inability of customers to test drive a car and take it home that day.

Of course, the state of fuel prices can’t be overlooked. With gas prices continuing to rise to all-time highs, many Americans in the market for a new car are focusing on fuel economy. So, a V8-powered sports car is not high on the list on this front. At one point, Ford sold more Mustang Mach-E EVs than standard Mustangs, which seems to tell the tale. Driving a brand new car with an EPA combined fuel economy rating of 18 mpg just doesn’t make much sense right now. Despite the ability of Ecoboost models and their highway ratings over 30 miles per gallon, it seems car shoppers are looking elsewhere.


R.I.P. Ford Mustang, the Dodge Challenger Has Taken Over, but for How Long?

This situation will likely only fuel the fire with rumors of the electrification of the Mustang. However, Motor1 reports that spy shots of the next-generation Mustang seem to confirm it will still have a V8 under the hood. At least, for now. There’s always the potential for Ford to adopt a hybridized V8 engine, much like Lamborghini is doing with its iconic V12. However, as sad as it is, it seems we may have to accept that the V8 Mustang is on borrowed time.