The Dodge Challenger outsold both the Mustang and the Camaro last month.
While many retro-inspired cars named after iconic nameplates have had fleeting success over the last few decades, few have been as remarkably popular as the third-generation Dodge Challenger. The all-American muscle car has been on sale since 2008 but is still selling in strong numbers – despite only receiving some very minor cosmetic changes. According to Automotive News, the Challenger outsold its arch rivals in the muscle car world, the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, last month. But why is the Dodge Challenger still so popular after being on the market for ten years?
FCA realized long ago that the Challenger’s timeless looks, frequent color changes, new special editions, and horsepower upgrades contribute to the car’s winning formula. Its Mercedes-derived underpinnings and usable back seat only add to its appeal. At this point in a model’s lifecycle you would expect sales to have declined, but the Challenger could potentially end the year with an all-time sales record thanks to the buzz surrounding the Demon and the new Redeye.
To date, Dodge has sold nearly 520,000 Challengers in the US since the third-generation model came out in 2008.
When the Challenger returned in 2008 its retro-inspired styling was extremely popular, but the call-backs to the old model were even more obvious when the 2015 facelift model rolled out, which featured a new grille evoking the design of the 1971 model.
Other automakers have also tried to capitalize on nostalgia, but with mixed results. Ford, for example, sold 64,377 units of the modernized Thunderbird in the US between 2001 and 2005, while BMW only shipped 2,382 Z8s in America.