You don't need to be the newest to outsell the competition. You just need the muscle.
No one alive faces quite so many jokes about their old age as Dodge's two- and four-door muscle cars, the Charger and Challenger. Those digs aren't without merit, mind you; the Dodge Charger has been around in more-or-less its current form since 2005, and the Challenger since 2008, putting both cars at between one-and-a-half to two times the age most cars reach by the time they're reengineered.
Yet it's not Chevrolet, which last launched an all-new Camaro in 2015, nor even Ford with its slightly-older pony car, that will have the last laugh. That's because the Dodge Charger and Challenger just had a banner month in September 2020, setting a new record for total September sales.
"If you look inside the numbers at true retail sales to real customers and not to rental car agencies, Charger and Challenger had the best September they've ever had in the history of the cars," Tim Kuniskis, FCA's Head of Passenger Cars, told Muscle Cars & Trucks recently.
That's remarkable not only because of the two cars' respective ages, but because the world is still reeling from the economic chilling effects of the global pandemic. Granted, part of the boost in sales could be explained by pent-up demand; as automakers and their suppliers were forced to shutter factories early on after the start of the US outbreak, many customers who might have bought new Chargers and Challengers then were made to wait.
It's impressive nonetheless, and even more impressive when you looks at specifically which models within the lineup had a banner month. September "was also the best Hellcat month in like three years, and the best Scat Pack month in the history of the nameplate," Kuniskis says.
Some of the Hellcat's success can be explained by a month-long Labor Day deal offered by Fiat Chrysler, which extended zero-percent financing offers for up to 72 months to the Charger SRT Hellcat and Challenger SRT Hellcat. But any way you slice it, the Charger and Challenger are the cars to beat in the American muscle segment - still, after all these years.