Dodge Challenger Suffers Slumping Sales Despite Update

Dodge Challenger Suffers Slumping Sales Despite Update

Chrysler’s Dodge Challenger muscle car is in trouble. Slumping sales have shown that consumers are not satisfied with the Challenger and would rather choose a Mustang or Camaro.

Chrysler has recently poured a significant amount of money into the 2011 model. The front and rear suspensions have been revamped and re-engineered to improve handling and ride quality. Furthermore, the new standard 3.6-liter V6 was implemented providing a 55-hp boost over the much criticized 3.5-liter V6.

You would think these changes would boost sales. Think again. Sales are only up by 15% over the bleak year-ago period. That may sound pretty good, but May sales actually dropped 11 percent.

Sadly, the Challenger is averaging just 3,355 cars sales per month, shocking figures for a car that just went through a redesign. So far this year, Dodge sold 16,777 Challengers. Compare that to Chevy moving 40,275 Camaros and Ford selling 30,206 Mustangs.

GALLERY: 2011 Dodge Challenger


[Source: Automotive News]

Click here to read AutoGude’s 2011 Dodge Challenger Review

  • John Rogers

    Sales are only up 15% DOOM-DOOM! Why not get serious and find out WHY sales in May were down.

  • what a hack job!

    What maters to Chrysler is how many 300/Charger/Challenger are selling since they all come down the same line. And despite your efforts to pick and choose sales by month, if sales are UP 15% even with a slow month of only 11% increase, isn’t that in-fact still a sales increase of 15%? How many businesses right now would KILL for a 15% increase?

    Must be looking for click-bate…

  • Vojt Barys

    Cost has a lot to do with the lack of sales, Camaro and Mustangs are less expensive and offer a wider variety. I’m sure Dodge can justify the cost of the Challengers, but they need to introduce more variety into the selection of Challengers, Camaro has the ZL1 and Mustang has the Shelby, etc.

  • Jared

    Hey, Harry Lay

    Did they make you spin a bad story , or where you just in a bad mood and decided to take it out on the Challenger? (I’ll hold my for all the personal insults I’d hurl your way about your pathetic brand of yellow jounalism)

    Actually I take it back:

    Hmm… All journalism students should have to read your article. This textbook story spin: Making a story about a 15% sales increase negative

    This article is equal to spinning bad story about beautiful weather:

    “Forecasters are predicting bright sunshine, clear skies, low humidity with temps in the 70s for the rest of the week. Many fear that all the sunshine could cause a rise in skin cancer in ten to twenty years. Some analyists say the beautiful weather could also put the area at risk for drought like conditions if this pattern continues for the next six months.”

    Harry, seriously… I mean, is it that you really want the Challenger to just go away? That’s what this has to be about….

  • USponycar

    “Slumping sales have shown that consumers are not satisfied with the Challenger and would rather choose a Mustang or Camaro.”
    I don’t think so. I bought an R/T Classic in 2010 and I’m picking up my 392 SRT tomorrow. I just sold my ’06 vert GT and there’s no comparison!
    The Challenger’s in a different league and I’m glad they’re not everywhere you look. Sales are down due to paint shortages from the situation in Japan and the fact these cars aren’t a dime a dozen.

  • D.Williford

    Actually Dodge Challenger sales continue at a relatively consistent pace while sales of Mustang are down over 30%. A short-term variation in sales is no indication that consumers are not satisfied with the Challenger, which is one of the most beautiful and comfortable high-performance cars anywhere. The Mustang and Camaro are cheaper and offer convertibles but any Challenger owner will tell you their car evokes frequent compliments and is a joy to drive even on extended trips.

  • Greg

    Calling the 2011 Challenger a “redesign” is using that word in it’s loosest definition. Other than replacing the 6-cyl engine, and revamping the suspension, there is nothing “redesigned” about the Challenger since it’s introduction. It will be interesting to see what the next generation looks like, but the 2011 is not a “redesigned” Challenger.

  • luke

    I just traded in my 2008 srt8 and bought the 2011 srt8 392, my only complaint was I had to wait 3three months to get it. Let me say this for the record, it was worth the wait! Im glad they didnt redesign the outside, I cant think of what they would do to improve it. This car by far is the coolest retro muscle money can buy. So anyone who is thinking of buying one dont listen to the bean counters, because if everyone could afford to own one,then that would be just plain boring.

  • Dave

    I just traded my ’07 Shelby Mustang in on a 392 Challenger. The Challenger is a great car and much more refined than the Mustang. The Shelby Mustang might be faster but the Challenger beats it in every other way.

  • Bob

    Dear Jared-
    His point is: Even though sales are up 15%, that is not a huge rise given the remodelling of the car and the expected increase that was projected for the Challenger. Also, as Harry points out, the sales figures cannot even be compared to the high number of Cameros or Mustangs being sold. Therefore, consumers are chosing the latter cars over the Challenger.

    For the rest of you- I’m glad you are all enjoying your Challengers, but a few opinions does not make a majority.

  • Colonel Puff

    Dear Bob

    You just said the following, “Even though sales are up 15%, that is not a huge rise given the remodelling (sic) of the car..”

    The car was not remodeled, redesigned, refreshed, etc. It received two new engines and a retuned suspension.

    Your statement above regarding sales performance based on the cars “remodelling” is incorrect – just as Harry Lay’s statement is incorrect.

  • what a hack job!


    Does either Camaro or Mustang share its assembly line with two other cars/body types? No? Then why does it make sense to compare sales? Chrysler sells as many as it can make; end of story.

  • sixpackdan

    Bottom line. The challenger (i lov) is to FREAKIN expensive.

  • Andy

    They’re disappointed about a 15% increase, because they expected more with the redesigned car. I’ve got news for everyone. The redesign is almost indistinguishable from the last model year. There’s not even a headlight/taillight change here. They flipped the bumper and put on an easier to manufacture door handle. I know there were a few changes to options and a few things that weren’t standard are now standard, but overall, even for a mid-run update, there wasn’t much change to the chally. And that’s fine with me. I’m still hoping to pick one up just as soon as I’m financially able to. The resale value on them is staying really high. Of course the ’08s are collector’s items, but even the ’09s are still selling for right at, or just below, the MSRP sticker price for a new one. The only used R/T I’ve found under new car dealer cost had a major accident on the carfax. They’re doing just fine. Sure I could go for some more options on colors and engines, but I wouldn’t go off and buy a camaro or mustang because “I want a green one”.

  • Joe

    There is nothing wrong with the Challenger. The changes to the SE with dual exhaust and the Pentastar were great starters. The problem is not everyone can afford an R/T or SRT to get the colors they want. Very easy Bob Giles, make the colors and striping available across the board. The Camaro has great sales because of that one reason alone. How many times I see bright colors on another vehicle and wish the base Challenger had it. One other thing – I take exception to the extra pricing for red. Otherwise, the exterior and interior offerings give great value.

  • Rob

    This may be one of the dumbest articles I’ve read in a very long time! Autoguide obviously doesnt do much research. The Brampton Assembly Plant that builds the Challenger also builds the Charger and the 300. The Charger and the 300 have been redesigned but the Challenger has not. Some of the new options have been added to the Challenger but that certainly doesnt make it a “re-vamp”. Chrysler’s biggest concern right now is building enough Chargers and 300’s to supply every dealership in the world therefore the production of the Challenger has been limited. The fact that sales have actually increased by 15% seems to me like a great achievement considering this is the end of the fourth year of this body style.

  • Ed

    Look at the total numbers of cars built as well not just sold. There are by far less Challengers produced. There are Mustangs and Camaros all over car lots, but very few Challengers. I see at least a dozen Mustangs/Camaros for each Challenger I see. I just purchased a 392, waited over 4 months from order to reciept. Test drove the other 2, not even close in comparison.

  • Rob

    I think Harry should write another article about how wrong he was when he published this one. What an idiot! I’ve worked in the auto industry for quite some time and for this guy to put out this much crap in one article is unbelievable. Furthermore Harry should have to respond to the criticism and the real facts brought up in the comments above. Before this article I had never heard of Autoguide and I will make sure I never read an article by Harry or anyone else from Autoguide again.

  • John

    I agree with some of the comments, I feel that the author of the article obviously is in love with the Ford and Chebby. The only complaint I would have on the Challenger is that it is a little too long and heavy. I do wish I could have one now but I will have to enjoy my older muscle cars(1963 Fury and 1971 Duster).

  • Jay

    Challenger will never outsell the Camaro or Mustang so lets not hold that against Dodge. Remember the Challenger was late to the dance back in 1970 and few were sold compared to the other two mentioned. A lot of people who buy these cars do so because of their frame of reference. Most buyers remember their Dad, Uncle, and so on in a Mustang or Camaro and wanted one like that. The challenger droped out of site in 1975 and just recently reappeared as an 08. It has an uphill battle to get into the fabric of automotive lore. That being said. I would much rather own a challenger that a Stinger or Chevy, it more user friendly and has the ability to put two adults in the back seat comfortably, Try that with a Stang!

  • Robert In New Orleans

    The hot ticket will be the 2012 Chally SE with the new ZF 8-speed tranny.
    Speed and mileage.

    I have noticed alot of Camaros in used car lots, I think that after the new car novelty wears off, drivers then realize how small and cramped the new Camaro truely is.

  • joe

    make a rag top thats why i bought a stang i like challenger nothing bad to say . my freind has a 2010 purple car and he loves it.

  • Lance Mac. in Atlanta, GA

    I just bought a 2011 Dodge Challenger SE a couple of months ago, and I LOVE IT!!!!! The new 2011 Dodge Challenger SE with it’s revamped 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 now has 305 HP, and 268 ft/lbs of torque! Plenty of power for me in a daily driver! I love this car man! The Dodge Challenger might be behind in sales but that doesn’t mean that it is not a great car!!! We are in a hard economic period, and that makes it extra hard on all Muscle car sales……but, I’m telling you the Dodge Challenger with it’s awesome throwback true to the letter retro styling is like a dream come true! Acceleration on the new 2011 Dodge Challenger SE is zero to sixty in 6.3 seconds!!! 6.3 seconds now with the V-6 base engine in car weighing almost 2 tons!!!! To me that is very impressive!!!! Those numbers are great for the biggest, and heaviest of the big 3 American muscle cars in a V6 base model. The interior is great! New very much improved look and quality of materials, LED interior accent lighting and the dash lights up beautiful aqua blue/green color!. As for gas mileage I get around 17 MPG in the city (with my foot in it), and I got 33 MPG on a recent road trip, which is amazing for this big of a muscle car! The Dodge Challenger although bigger and thus heavier than it’s 2 contenders has more room (biggest trunk of “the 3” with fold down back seats!) and has a much smoother ride than the Mustang or Camaro in my opinion. I know that a sports car is not meant to be a luxury car in terms of ride quality, but the Dodge Challenger LOOKS THE BEST OF THE 3, 3, RIDES THE BEST OF THE 3 (smooth as silk man, not bumpy, and the steering in much more responsive than last year’s 2010 model!, the suspension is updated and much improved for better cornering too!, and although due to it’s weight maybe just a tad slower than the other 2, with a few mods, the Challengers will be well, Challenging the competition in Ford and Chevy!
    Just go test drive the New 2011 Challenger and compare it against the other 2, and I believe many of you will change camps as I did, and go with, ……well, “The Challenger”!!!

  • Mark

    That was a simply horrible article by Autoguide. Two improvements is not a redesign. And a 15% increase from a year ago with the economy in the tank is outstanding! The Camaro is simply an ugly car compared to what it used to be like in the 60s. The Mustang has dropping sales because eventually consumers catch up with FORDs. The Challenger (have test driven 3) is great in handling, in power, in great looks and reliability from Consumer Reports. I will take a Dodge over a Ford any day in the week. Challenger is here to stay!

  • John Harvey

    I know as a 07 Charger owner I’m looking at the Mustage 5.0. Not only did I have a boat load of problems with my Charger but the Dodge dealers here in South Fla treat you like a piece of crap. They can’t find/fix any problems. Can’t here or see no problem then they don’t have to fix problem. Even my sunroof is rusting after only 3 years and they claim its not in warr because its not a painted part. Dodge will learn what Ford already fiqured out but it will be to late for Dodge. They are goners. RIP DODGE !!

  • brian heneghan

    I have owned my 09 Challenger R/T for better than 2 and 1/2 years. This car has been great! If it was a woman, I’d marry it. Mopar lives !

  • Luiz Laba

    I like the article, as I am looking into trading my Mustang GT 5.0 to a Challenger 392 or a Shelby GT500 (600) in mid 2012.
    I drive my 5.0 daily and use the rear seat a lot, yes it is not as comfortable as SRTs but once you are in, it is great.
    Dodge SRTs are BEAUTIFUL, comfortable and a head turn but I am not too sure about Dodge and its market, which makes me a bit scared, like I was when I ordered on in 2009 and my order got cancelled because business was down!
    Make me understand why I should move from a STANG to a CHALLENGER.
    Safer ride,

  • Joe Farruggio

    If they want to boost sales they must offer all the colors to every model. If a person doesnt have the budget to get the SRT because he or she wants lime green, all they did was keep people from buying the car. Only the primary colors look good in the SE offering. The car deserves Miami Vice type colors. Charging 225 for this color and 995 for the red is an absolute turn off. Chrysler amended the V-6 because it was obvious it lacked power, now its time to match colors. If the people have the money they will buy the RT’s and SRT’s. Other than that next year is my turn. Also Toxic Orange is exactly that : Toxic – bring back the original Orange.

  • Brant

    Make a CONVERTIBLE!!!

  • Eric

    I don’t know folks, but everytime I go to a Dodge dealership they are lacking the R/T’s and SRT8’s!!!! And almost every salesman tells me is because there’s a lot of demand for the Challenger, and with 15% increase in sales, I believe it!! Somebody said cost is a factor too…Yes, the Challenger cost a little more than Camaro and Mustang but I rather pay more for an usable rear seat and that HEMI sound anytime!!! And besides, it has waaaaaayyyy better looks than the others. There’s a couple of things they still need to do, like lighten the car a few hundred lbs, but since they are are sharing the same chassis with the Charger and 300 is going to be hard to shave those pounds.

  • John

    What Brant said. MAKE A F*****G CONVERTIBLE.

  • Jethro


    I like Toxic Orange, I own a Toxic Orange Challenger and get thumbs up, waves and people saying how much they like the color. Ive enjoyed it as I rarely see a chally in my area and when I do they are always black, blue, white, never orange. I do agree bring back the original orange and offer all the colors through all models so everyone can have the color they want not just those with cash falling out of their pockets.

  • Beautiful1

    Maybe it has to do with the fact that the Challenger is a crap car.  I am the current owner of a 2011 Challenger R/T, hemi V-8, for 14 1/2 months.  I am currently having to pay for costly repairs related to a known defect, since I have exceeded the 36,000 mile warranty.   My car battery was completely drained due to the driver’s window going up and down by itself (with the engine on and off), which resulted in the car having to be towed to a dealer.  They did not have a loaner for me, so I had to rent a car from Enterprise that is “conveniently” in their parking lot.  My daily discount is $40, plus and additional $35 for full coverage on the rental.  The dealer charged $99 to do diagnostics, a new Mopar battery with a six year warranty for $180 installed (informed that the old one was faulty, really after a little over a year!), a rear right turn signal bulb replaced for $25, right and left door latches (known defect) replaced, bringing my total dealer charge to $780 and rental car fee to $220 for three days.  WTF…..I just finished paying my monthly $710 note and $199 insurance.  I won’t be buying another Chrysler/Dodge B.S. car and intend to trade for something else as soon as I can. 

  • Rob381547

    Its bull to let go of the challenger if it’s a real nice car and is the only classic looking car still being made today

  • OhCrush

    Disagree about the reliability…. my Chally hasn’t let me down, and none of the guys in the local Mopar Club have issues with theirs. We all love the way it looks and rides. And, it gets a lot of looks when just toolin’ around town.

  • Beautiful1

    You are right, the car is beautiful to look at, but owning it has been a nightmare for me.  I don’t think that having to tow my car to the dealer x1 and calling roadside service to have it jumped x 5 after the battery has gone completely dead, really constititues reliability.  Keep in mind that I purchased a brand new Mopar battery, 14 months after purchase.  Also, my window would roll itself down whenever it wanted to, especially when it rained, leaving the inside of the car wet.  I am a travel nurse, on the road most of the time, so being stranded is not a good feeling.  Not to mention that some places I have to go to are not in the safest places and my window was letting itself down for anybody in the hood to get inside. We can definitely agree to disagree. Every person is not having a great experience with the Dodge Challenger. Look on the internet. There are others who are having the same problem as myself and Dodge has issued a dealer bulletin for all of the problems I had.  Essentially, it is the luck of the draw when you purchase a Dodge, which should not be the case, considering how much it costs. You and the local Mopar Club just happened to get cars  that are not having problems, at least not yet.  After supposedly having all of the repairs that I mentioned previously fixed, I now have a driver’s side window, as of yesterday, that won’t roll down at all.  I stand by what I said before, Dodge makes crap cars.  

  • GuidoFL

    Sadly the Challenger is way to heavy compared to the hot selling Mustang !

  • Moparguy41

    Maybe they shouldn’t have encrypted the PCMs for 2011. No aftermarket tuning = lost sales to Camaro and Mustang. The ability to hot-rod and modify these cars is essential to the people who use them for what they were built for. Without that, the 2011+ Challengers serve no purpose other than to look nice. I own a 2010 Challenger R/T and I love it. I definitely won’t be trading it for a newer one unless they offer a tuning solution, and I know I’m not alone. A lot of people on the forums and in my club are pissed about that.

  • Doubter

    Sounds like a story to me. Who is your dealer? Let’s have a name.

  • Doubter

    What is the name of your dealership? What DATE was the $780 invoice you claim you had?

  • Rudedawg1

     After ordering, purchasing and still driving a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Freedom Edition 4×4 with a 4.7 H.O. engine and having excellent service we were, key word WERE, going to purchase a 2013 Challenger. When doing a little research I found too many forums regarding cylinder head failures of the Pentastar v6 and timing chains breaking on 5.7 hemi with mds & auto trans with no guaranty these issues have been fixed. It truly seems like a crap shoot to buy one and frankly I do not feel lucky so we will wait or look elsewhere. D*** I really wanted that jazz blue hemi rt and had cash in hand. Had a camaro-been there & done that and then there’s ford-sorry, no thank you–



  • Best looking car on the road!! I love mine. But they and pretty much all cars are drastically overpriced! If they want better sales…price them right

  • Dinod7

    Sorry to hear you have a bad car it happens every now and then and it’s not just Dodges, I have friends that had “lemons” and they have Fords, Toyotas, Hondas, GM products…it just happens. My 2009 RT has given me plenty of smiles and at 127k miles the water pump went out. Not bad in my book.

  • As the proud owner of a Hemi-Orange 2010 R/T model, I have not been let down one bit. I added the Mopar Performance Cat Back exhaust system, and the cold air intake, and average 27 mpg on the highway on my trips between Atlanta, and Savannah, Georgia. And with 400 horsepower on tap, why would I settle for a bleak looking econobox to save a couple mpg? To be more competitive in the marketplace that Camaro and Mustang are playing in, Dodge really needs to trim the fat. They price these cars right out of the range of the young enthusiasts reach! I mean, c’mon! $40k for a R/T model? And a dealer in Hinesville has a SRT8 with a sticker over $50k!! And they claim there is “NO MARKUP” in their price!! I have been a Mopar guy my whole life, but it is much cheaper to modify a Mustang thanks to tremendous aftermarket support, cheap and easy to get parts, and plenty of shops experienced working on the ‘Stangs. The Camaros LS series engine is phenomenal, and responds extremely well to modifications! The aftermarket is always coming out with new speed parts for them, and a stock SS model is scary quick, and sips the gas if you resist to drop the hammer all the time. But even though Mopar makes pretty serious cars (Viper, SRT8, 395hp Hemi Rams, etc), they won’t be able to capture the market unless they do what they did back in 1968 with the Plymouth Roadrunner and Dodge Super Bee. Introduce a bare bones, lighter weight model, without navigation, 20 speaker stereo systems, 200 pounds of sound deadener, etc. Add a big Hemi in a small lightweight package, and price it BELOW the SS Camaro, and even the GT Mustang, THEN, good friends, you will see people SWARMING to the dealerships to take one of these cars home. I refuse to pay more for a SRT8 than I paid for the house I live in. Dodge makes really great cars, but c’mon man! If you can accommodate the average Joe’s budget, the average Joe will surely take care of you. I hope the upcoming Barracuda model fulfills those needs! 

  • Fire 1

    Man, I couldn’t agree with you more. I also own a 2009 Hemi Orange R/T. And I love my car also. But they do need to adjust the price and weight.

  • Dave

    I currently have the the best car that I have ever owned. A 2010 hemi orange, Challenger R/T Classic. Added, cold air intake, cat back Mopar exhaust. Tons of power, great looks and great gas mileage. I sold my restored 63 and 65 Falcons to purchase this super car. Although I was a life long Ford man, the Mustang has never interested me. I am still a kid at (66).

  • Dwight

    I have a 2011 srt challenger. The car has been great. I love it. It’s two years old and still turning heads. There were a couple of recalls . The dealer had it in and out in a day. No charge. I just waited until the oil change was due and got it taken care of. I’m about 6′ tall and my head hits the roof of the Camaro, so it was out. The mustang did not feel comfortable and my feet kept wanting to hit into the door when I got in and out. Since I don’t like scuff marks on the door, it was out. The ride in the challenger for me is perfect. I rented a 6 cyl. version in Utah for a 10 day vacation and put over 4,000 miles on the car. I was comforable the entire time. I missed the power of my SRT but it got over 30mpg. The only problems I’ve had with my car is that it only has about 15,000 miles on it and the rear tires are about 60% gone. I also have a paved driveway that is about 100 yrds long and My wife complains about the black strikes. I wounder if those two problems are related.
    One thing I will have to take up with the dealer that did leave me a little upset. After my last oil change I noticed the max speed on my gps read 160mph. I’ve only had the car up to 135

  • Randy Lombard

    Problem is, car dealerships are BALLOONING the costs of these cars over suggested Manufacturer prices. I’ve found these cars sitting on the showroom floor for up to $58,000.00. That’s about $16,000 over the suggested retail. Even the used ones are overpriced. A used Dodge Charger of the same year as a used Challenger is $8,000 – $10,000 less. And why? A Charger is basically a 4-door Challenger. Dealerships trying to make a killing on a single sale. That’s what’s destroying this car.

  • ASB

    I love my 2011 challenger, but it just left me dead in the water yesterday d/t an alternator failure and battery problem. Price quote by dealer is almost $1200 for the work.