Chevrolet Camaro Beats Ford Mustang in 2010 Sales

In the U.S. sports muscle car landscape, the Chevrolet Camaro now is the king of sales for 2010. For the first time since 1985, the Camaro has outsold its arch rival, the Ford Mustang.

A few years ago, automakers would be content to count their money and let hot-selling vehicles coast along with a few new paint colors. Not so in 2011, when the Camaro will get a convertible that features a 312-horsepower V-6 engine delivering 29-mpg highway and an SS, V-8 model producing 426 horsepower. Photo: Joebehr/Flickr

In the U.S. sports muscle car landscape, the Chevrolet Camaro now is the king of sales for 2010. For the first time since 1985, the Chevy Camaro has outsold its arch rival, the Ford Mustang.

While the clear leader was the Ford F-Series, which came away with 528,349 in total sales for 2010, it was interesting to see that the Chevrolet Camaro, which for 2010 was only available as a hard-top, managed to beat out the Ford Mustang Coupe and Convertible.

In fact, Chevrolet sold 7,655 more of its sporty coupes than the Blue Oval. General Motors moved 81,371 Camaros compared to 73,716 Mustangs. In any case, it’s a great day not just for muscle cars, but for America.

Both automakers have reasons to celebrate, however, because sales for each model are up year over year. Compared to 2009, Mustang sales climbed 10.6 percent and Camaro sales soared by 31.9 percent.

It’s worth noting that its just the accident of timing that the Chevy Camaro won the 2010 sales race, because it’s beaten the Mustang for much of its 2009 rollout as well.

Designed in Australia, built in Canada and styled in Detroit, the Camaro is the example of how GM Inc. needs to draw on its global resources. Its looks are polarizing; visibility compares unfavorably to an armored car and the trunk is more like an envelope, but it’s still one of the most fun vehicles at the price.

It wasn’t just the Camaro and Mustang that picked up new customers in 2010. The Dodge Challenger, handicapped with the largest chassis of the three, saw its sales rise by 42 percent to 36,791.

A few years ago, Ford, GM and Chrysler would be content to count their money and let hot-selling vehicles coast along with a few new paint colors.

But now the 2011 Chevy Camaro will get a convertible, a new Z28 edition and apparently an upgraded V6. Ford’s already talking about the changes on the 2012 Mustang, along with a never-ending parade of special editions.

The Challenger will also get the new V6 and hi-po, top-end versions. The bare-bones models of Camaro and Mustang will offer more power than their top-end models did a decade ago, and with better fuel efficiency.

For the first time in 25 years, the Mustang — such as this all-new 5.0-liter V-8 engine 2011 GT model, which uses advanced technology to deliver 412 horsepower and a best-in-class highway fuel economy of 26 mpg — is eating the dust of sales pacesetter Camaro. Photo: Pat Milliken Ford/Flickr

Ford’s full-year sales totaled 1.935 million, up 19 percent versus a year ago, marking the largest increase of any full-line manufacturer.

Ford’s December retail sales were the highest for any month since August 2009, up 17 percent versus a year ago. Total sales (including fleet deliveries) were 190,976, up 7 percent versus a year ago. The total sales result include a 40 percent reduction in deliveries to daily rental customers.

“With our balanced line of high-quality, fuel-efficient products, we have a solid foundation to deliver more sales and improved results in 2011,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service.

“The global economy is reaching a dynamic phase,” said Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, Ford’s chief economist. “Several indicators in key markets around the world suggest the potential for industry sales to continue to grow.”

General Motors dealers reported 223,932 total sales in December, a 16-percent increase from a year ago for the company’s four brands.

The gain was driven by solid retail sales which were 27 percent higher than a strong December a year ago. For the calendar year, total sales for GM’s four brands increased 21 percent to 2,202,927, while retail sales rose 16 percent for the year.

GM’s four brands sold 118,435 more vehicles this year than the company did with eight brands in 2009, and will gain total and retail market share for the year.

According to Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. sales operations, the company’s annual sales performance shows the strong focus of the new company.

“Our sales this year reflect the impact of GM’s new business model,” Johnson said. “The consistency of results that we achieved demonstrates the focus on our brands, dealers and customers, and how we compete aggressively for every sale, every day.” [via Auto Blog, MSN and MotorAuthority]

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