Arriving at Chevrolet dealerships nationwide last year, the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro was expected to steal the sales crown away from the also-new Ford Mustang. But through the first eight months of 2016, Mustang sales outpaced the fresher Camaro. The Truth About Cars reports that in the first half of 2016, Camaro sales were down some 14 percent compared to 2015, which just happens to be the worst sales year for the new Camaro since its reintroduction in 2009.
Some will blame GM’s lack of fanfare for the 50th anniversary, especially compared with Ford’s almost cult-like celebration of the Mustang. Others will point to styling that is almost indistinguishable from the model it replaces. There’s also the Mustang’s increasing availability overseas, giving it access to a fresh and eager customer base.
Regardless of whether you believe any or all of these reasons for slow Camaro sales, GM’s potent muscle car seems to be finding its feet with buyers, moving 6,277 units and beating out the Mustang by 843 vehicles, giving GM the sales edge for the second consecutive month. The Camaro’s clear October victory follows a slimmer win in September, where GM beat Ford by just 148 vehicles.
The boost in Camaro sales comes as GM offers deep incentives to move vehicles off of dealership lots, following a nearly four-month inventory glut and offering up to $4,700 off select models. Meanwhile, Mustang sales have crashed hard, as many people who wanted one of the new models has it, and Ford is dropping heavy incentives on the pony car.
Even so, Ford has sold more than 32,000 more Mustangs than GM has sold Camaros so far this year, with the Mustang all but guaranteed to cross 100,000 sales by the end of the year. GM’s generous incentives have given the Camaro a sales edge for now, but how long will the automaker keep putting cash on the hood?