The sales numbers from Stellantis are in for the fourth quarter and the full calendar year of 2022. Unlike many vehicles sold in the United States, the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger both saw sales growth compared to the year before.
Even as large, V8-powered vehicles vanish from the American landscape, the Mopar muscle cars posted a strong enough year to serve as the two bestselling rear-wheel-drive cars in the U.S.A. The Challenger beat both the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro in Q4 and through all of 2022, while the Charger was completely unrivaled in the large sedan segment.
Whether you want to call the Dodge Challenger, the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro muscle cars, pony cars, sporty 2-doors or some mix of different terms, the bottom line here is that the three compete in the same segment in the U.S. market. For decades, the Mustang and Camaro had taken turns leading the segment in sales. After leading the segment in annual sales for the first time ever in 2021, Dodge carried that momentum into 2022 and racked up back-to-back titles.
In the fourth quarter of 2022, Dodge sold 12,966 Challengers, up 27% compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. Strengthening an already-strong lead in the segment sales race over the Ford Mustang heading into the final few months of the year. As for the Mustang, it needed to have a big final quarter of the year and that didn’t happen, with the Ford pony car being 3% for the quarter.
The Camaro also posted a year-over-year decline in the fourth quarter of 2022. With only 5,475 units sold in October, November and December, the Camaro never came close to competing in the sales race in any way this year.
In fact, the Camaro has been a distant third in the race of three since 2018, as the 6th gen can pretty much flopped right out of the gate. Both Dodge and Ford saw a big sales boom when the then-new Mustang and Challenger were introduced for 2015, but the Camaro never saw that success with the latest generation.
As for the annual race, with a total of 55,060 units sold, the Dodge Challenger is once again the bestselling car in the segment which also consists of the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. At the same time, you can compare the numbers of literally any dedicated two-door vehicle sold in the U.S. today and none of them came close to the Challenger in sales through 2022 (and back in 2021).
Ford sold 47,566 Mustangs in 2022, trailing the Dodge by nearly 7,500 units, while the Camaro ended up with just 24,652 units sold last year. The good news for GM is that 2022 was actually a slight improvement for Camaro sales over 2021, so Chevrolet avoided posting historically low Camaro sales figures two years in a row.
Although the Challenger was only up 1% on the year, keep in mind that the car segment as a whole is rapidly decreasing and gas-hungry performance cars like the Challenger are nearly extinct. Even so, the Challenger still posted a year-over-year sales increase while Ford saw Mustang sales drop by more than 9%.
The Dodge Charger moved 80,074 units in 2022, up 2% from 2021, making it the bestselling rear-drive car in America and the bestselling large sedan in America. Of course, that title for the bestselling rear-drive car is only rivaled by the Challenger, some 25,000 units back.
There is literally no large sedan (or rear-drive sedan) sold in the United States that comes anywhere close to the Charger. Chevrolet and Ford no longer sell a large sedan and when they did most recently, those cars were boring front-wheel-drive appliances.
Really, the only rear-wheel-drive sedan from within the U.S. market that can be compared to the Dodge Charger is the Cadillac CT5, and GM sold 15,896 of those in 2022. Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus all offer popular sedans with rear-drive, but none of them come anywhere close to moving the volume of the Dodge Charger.
The fact that the Charger has continued to post relatively strong numbers as the unrivaled bestselling big sedan in the U.S. market really makes you wonder how Dodge would consider switching to a large two-door coupe for the next generation. Based on the concept cars shown thus far, the Charger could arrive with two doors (and battery power only) for 2024.
In the meantime, the current generation of the Dodge Challenger and Charger will look to both grab their respective segment sales title once more in 2023, before the current generations of these nameplates roar off into the sunset.