In the end, it wasn’t even close.
Three months after the Dodge Challenger blew the Ford Mustang away on the third quarter reports, the pony car pulled away for a commanding full-year win among American muscle cars.
Ford moved 17,124 in the fourth quarter to finish 2019 at 72,489, handily beating the Challenger’s final tally of 60,997.
Dodge sold 18,301 of the aging coupes – which originally debuted in 2008 – in the third quarter on the back of a “Power Dollars” promotion that offered $10 per horsepower in incentives ranging from $2,920 to $7,970, depending on the model, but followed that up with just 14,298 more deliveries through the end of the year.
The Chevrolet Camaro ended the year a distant third with 48,265 sales after a flat quarter, despite receiving an emergency styling update late in the year in an effort to improve its appeal.
However, all three of the two-doors were outsold by the Dodge Charger sedan, which the automaker bills as a four-door muscle car. The full-size family car shares a platform and many of its powertrain options with the Challenger, including a 707 hp Hellcat V8 that makes it the most powerful sedan in the world and helped propel it to 96,935 sales.
The Mustang received added attention with the arrival this fall of the $73,995 Shelby GT500, which is a low volume, but high profile model meant to put a halo over the entire lineup.
Overall Ford sales were down 3.5 percent for 2019 as it discontinued several cars and sales of its popular passenger models, the Explorer and Escape, both saw double-digit declines during the transition to all-new versions that entered production mid-year.