According to the guys over at GM Authority, sales of the sixth-generation Camaro hit a new low in January 2018 after moving just 2,867 units. This represents a precipitous 20 percent drop year-to-date in sales of GM’s pony car. It also comes as somewhat of a shock as sales for the car segment as a whole have been pretty solid, though perhaps it’s slightly less shocking when you consider what time of the year it is.
Sales of performance-oriented vehicles always experience a dip in sales during the colder months of the year, and a corresponding boost when it starts warming up. However, 2018 continues a dangerous trend as the sixth-gen’s numbers continue to free fall. In January 2017, Camaro sales declined a whopping 34 percent over the previous period in 2016. This is somewhat to be expected as 2016 was the first year of the car’s sixth generation, but it still represents an ominous pattern for the Camaro.
The Camaro wasn’t the only vehicle to slide this month though. The Mustang experienced a decrease of 6.2 percent moving just 4,732 vehicles. An interesting trend for Ford as well since the refresh of the Mustang just recently started delivering back in October. The Challenger, on the other hand, saw a slight uptick of .35 percent, selling 3,405 units. But no matter how you look at it, the Camaro was at the bottom of the pile this last month, which is never a good place to be.
Several factors may be to blame, the largest being decreased incentives. Compared to this time last year, GM’s incentives to move Camaros off dealer lots were substantially less generous. This, combined with what many consider to be an already hefty price tag, seem to have delivered a one-two punch to Camaro sales. The incentives, compared to the previous year, are as follows:
2018 model year:
$500 cash allowance on the LT Coupe
1.9 percent APR for 60 months for LT Coupe
$500 cash allowance on LT Convertible
$1.9 percent APR for 60 months for LT Convertible
2017 model year:
$2,017 cash allowance offer on coupe models
3.9 percent APR for 60 months + $2,017 bonus cash on coupe models
$2,017 cash allowance offer on convertible models
$3.9 percent APR for 60 months + $2,017 bonus cash on convertible models
In addition to less appealing incentives, it could be inferred that prospective buyers are waiting to see what the 2019 model year refresh will bring.
We mentioned last week that the 2019 facelift will bring a 7-speed manual with it, but it could bring other improvements such as increased power levels, redesigned front and rear fascias, and the possibility of a dual-fuel system for the LT1. Could the redesign be stifling numbers? Or is it simply the fact that people just aren’t buying Camaros right now? We pray that it’s the former, as we’d hate to see a recurrence of the travesty of 2002.
Regardless of whether the market is simply contracting, or Camaro sales are declining, it’s not a statistic we like to see. All is not lost though. GM is experiencing one of its most successful periods ever and sales are likely to rebound. Don’t despair just yet, although it couldn’t hurt to go buy a new Camaro right now, right?