Camaro Vs. Mustang June Update: Camaro Crumbles, Mustang Mopes

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

After TTAC delved into the details of the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro’s gradual decline last month, General Motors reported the worst sales month for the Camaro since November 2014.

June 2016 sales of the Chevrolet Camaro fell to a 19-month low. With only 4,969 sales — a huge number by the standards of most sporting cars but a 40-percent drop compared with the Camaro’s five-year June average — U.S. Camaro volume fell below 5,000 units for just the second time in the last 18 months.

Newly launched this past winter, the latest Camaro’s sales have fallen well below the totals achieved by the six-year-old fifth-gen Camaro in its final — and worst — year on the market. In the first-half of 2015, GM reported 42,593 U.S. sales of the Camaro, a 9-percent year-over-year drop. Yet one year later, the new Camaro is down 14 percent to 36,834 units, a drop of 5,759 sales.

GM says that retail consumer demand for the Camaro isn’t falling, but rather it’s increasing. GM’s desire to chop Camaro fleet sales in half, we reported in June, was married to a 13-percent increase in retail demand in the first five months of 2016.

Ford, on the other hand, which sees less harm in providing daily rental fleets with iconic pony cars, sold nearly twice as many Mustangs in June as Chevrolet sold Camaros.

But even the far more common Mustang was down compared with the same period one year ago. June 2016 Mustang volume dropped 17 percent to 9,776 sales. Year-to-date, compared with its first full year in sixth-gen form, U.S. Mustang volume is down by 5,325 sales.

The Mustang wasn’t the only Detroit coupe to outperform the Camaro in June. Like the Camaro and Mustang, Dodge sold fewer Challengers in June 2016 than in June 2015. Challenger sales slid by a fifth to 5,479 units.

GM, of course, does have in its quiver another surprisingly high-volume sports car. Chevrolet Corvette sales are falling in 2016, not an unexpected turn of events given the massive figures achieved by the two-seater last year. But GM nevertheless added 2,483 Corvette sales to the Camaro’s tally in June; 14,668 in the first-half.

No high-end sports car sells anywhere near as often as the Corvette in the United States. A bundle of European sports cars – 4C, TT, Z4, F-Type, SLK, Boxster, Cayman – combined for fewer than 10,000 U.S. sales through the first six months of 2016. Porsche sold 5,026 911s. Dodge sold 298 Vipers.

[Images: GM, Ford]

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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  • LBJs Love Child LBJs Love Child on Jul 10, 2016

    Might I suggest one very possible reason (or at least a strongly contributing factor) in the 6th Gen Camaro's lackluster sales? One that is directly related to the 5th Gen's sales success? The 5th Gen Camaro met a pent-up market demand for Camaros following the six-year absence from the market place. Success! The 6th Gen met a saturated/satiated market, with many Camaro faithful upside down on their 60/72-month loans, and no really compelling need to trade-up for a car that looks similar and costs a lot more. Stumble.

    • Bd2 Bd2 on Jul 11, 2016

      Has more to do with the switch to the Alpha platform which made the rear seats near useless and severely limited trunk space as well.

  • Wodehouse Wodehouse on Jul 11, 2016

    The Alpha platform curse. CTS, ATS, and, Camaro. High acclaim from the journalists, critics, and, fist-bumping, hotshoes, but, a near zero to the actual car buying public. It generates great numbers and spirited driving feel, but, it doesn't work well for everyday human existence: passenger room, visibility, cargo space. Who is in charge of Camaro Marketing? Does Camaro marketing exist outside of enthusiast rags? Styling and design are wrong. Just wrong, as in 2013 Malibu wrong. Not ugly or bad, just wrong. Inside and out. Why is the Camaro's touch screen aimed at my navel? Was the gauge package a last minute design? Is it all new? The automotive enthusiast press notice, but, does the buying public? It's a new coupe in market gone crossover mad.

    • TMA1 TMA1 on Jul 11, 2016

      Funny you mention the gauge package. One more overstimulating feature of the chaotic Camaro interior. The car I test drove had 3, I say again, three speedometers! The digital circular electronic gauge, the digital numerical electronic gauge, and the HUD. It's absolutely ridiculous. Less is more, GM.

  • 28-Cars-Later "The unions" need to not be the UAW and maybe there's a shot. Maybe.
  • 2manyvettes I had a Cougar of similar vintage that I bought from my late mother in law. It did not suffer the issues mentioned in this article, but being a Minnesota car it did have some weird issues, like a rusted brake line.(!) I do not remember the mileage of the vehicle, but it left my driveway when the transmission started making unwelcome noises. I traded it for a much newer Ford Fusion that served my daughter well until she finished college.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Couple of questions: 1) who will be the service partner for these when Rivian goes Tits Up? 2) What happens with software/operating system support when Rivia goes Tits Up? 3) What happens to the lease when Rivian goes Tits up?
  • Richard I loved these cars, I was blessed to own three. My first a red beauty 86. My second was an 87, 2+2, with digital everything. My third an 87, it had been ridden pretty hard when I got it but it served me well for several years. The first two I loved so much. Unfortunately they had fuel injection issue causing them to basically burst into flames. My son was with me at 10 years old when first one went up. I'm holding no grudges. Nissan gave me 1600$ for first one after jumping thru hoops for 3 years. I didn't bother trying with the second. Just wondering if anyone else had similar experience. I still love those cars.
  • TheEndlessEnigma A '95 in Iowa, I'm thinking significant frame and underbody rust issues.
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