Charger and Challenger Models are Giving FCA Plenty of Cause to Celebrate
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has plenty of cause to celebrate, not only because Ram is gearing up to dethrone Chevrolet once and for all, but also because the Dodge Challenger is dominating the muscle car segment. Even though critics love to point out that the Dodge Challenger is over ten years old, it still managed to sell 18,031 units during the third quarter of 2019. That many units translate into a 21 percent increase when compared to the same time period in 2018. Even though long-established rivals like the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro have been redesigned since the Challenger launched in 2008, they’re both still trailing making the Challenger sales figures even more impressive.
Additionally, the Dodge Charger is also stealing sales from the Mustang and Camaro. “We actually see a lot of people coming in from Mustang and Camaro. It’s a sedan, but we see (two-door) muscle car buyers getting into it,” Dodge Charger marketing manager Ashton Munoz stated in an interview with Muscle Cars and Trucks. For the past seven years the Charger has sold over 80,000 units a year and it just had the best third-quarter sales in 13 years. The Charger is also the best-selling vehicle in the full-size sedan segment. “We like to theorize that you’ve had a muscle car your whole life, and you’re in that next stage (with a family), but you still want something fun. You can have it with the Dodge Charger,” Munoz added.
Many other automakers have attempted to compete with the Dodge Charger but have come up short. For example, Toyota recently launched the Avalon TRD performance-oriented sedan, but Munoz doesn’t find it as a threat to the Charger. “They’re trying, I get it, they maybe see what we’re doing and hoping to get a piece of that performance market, but when you look at their actual additions for performance, they only did an exhaust and tightened up the steering and suspension. And it’s still front-wheel-drive. We’re the only rear-wheel-drive car in that segment,” said Munoz.
One factor making the Charger so enduringly popular? Well, it’s got great value, with a broad range of trims that gives buyers plenty of features to choose from. For example, the Dodge Charger Scat Pack — a top-tier trim — offers buyers 500 horsepower with Brembo brakes and 20-inch wheels as standard and has a starting MSRP of $40,245 (plus destination fee). Munoz also added that Dodge doesn’t “see a lot of conquest from ‘normal’ full-size sedans. It’s (literally) the muscle cars and trucks, F-150, Silverado, yeah… Mustang, Camaro and F-150 are kind of the top three.”