By on October 5, 2016

Camaro Cash on hood

The narrow victory scored by the Chevrolet Camaro in America’s pony car sales race in September 2016 was the result of General Motors finally pricing the Camaro in line with the Ford Mustang.

But General Motors still has more than four months of Camaro supply as dealers approach a much slower buying season for sports cars in general; as the auto industry at large shows signs of a gradual and modest slowdown.

Year-over-year, U.S. sales of the Chevrolet Camaro jumped 25 percent in September 2016. Compared with August, month-to-month volume rose 17 percent. To produce such gains, GM had to triple the average price cut on Camaros. 

Heading into September, Automotive News said General Motors had a 139-day supply of Camaros, or roughly 30,000 units. One month later, Cars.com shows that GM still has 30,000 Camaros in stock, as the 6,577 sales reported were apparently replaced by approximately 6,500 more Camaros. The market has 1.4 million cars in inventory, which equals 61 days of supply.

2016 Chevrolet Camaro in Utah

Heading into September, FCA had a 90-day supply of Challengers, about 18,000 cars, and sold 5,698 Challengers. After Ford possessed 71 days of Mustang supply at the beginning of September (or 23,000 cars), Mustang sales plunged 32 percent to 6,429 units during the month of September.

That Mustang sales dive came as Ford decreased the average incentive per Mustang from $3,000 in August to $2,700 in September.

GM, meanwhile, tripled the incentive spend on Camaros from roughly $1,100 per Camaro in August — evidently not enough to overcome the car’s built-in demerits — to $3,300 in September.

Asked about the Camaro’s incentives and inventory, GM spokesperson Jim Cain (no relation) told TTAC this morning, “The Camaro is a great car. It’s light years ahead of the Mustang on so many levels, starting with performance and technology.”

Getting closer to the heart of the matter, Cain says, “If you bought one at the end of the 2016 model year, you got a great deal.”

As it turns out, offering “a great deal,” also known as positioning the previously overpriced Camaro more directly in line with its direct competition, resulted in slightly superior sales for the Chevrolet in September.

GM/Costco Holiday Sales Event

And GM isn’t done with deal-making. Beginning October 1 and extending through January 3, 2017, a GM Holiday Sales Event in conjunction with Costco will net members supplier pricing atop “most currently available GM incentives,” plus either $300 or $700 Costco cash cards depending on membership level. The deals are available on 2016 and 2017 models and are clearly necessary if GM is to clear out excessive inventory of Cascadas, Encores, CTSs, Camaros, Corvettes, and full-size pickups.

Sans incentives, the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro had a base price $1,650 higher than the 2016 Mustang. For model year 2017, the Camaro’s base price is $1,780 higher than the Mustang’s.

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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