CHRISSIE THOMPSON

Camaro vs. Mustang: A real race is shaping up

Chrissie Thompson covers GM for Automotive News
I promise not to blog about Camaro vs. Mustang every month. But before we ramp up into our post-Fourth-of-July work schedules, allow me one more look back at last week's June sales results.

Camaro sales fell 19 percent from June 2009 for their first decline since the sports car resumed sales in April 2009. And Camaro's 7,540 U.S. sales lagged Mustang's 8,974 for the second-straight month, after Camaro won the sales war in the first 12 months of its existence. Just for the record, Detroit's other pony car, the Dodge Challenger, sold 3,086 in June.

Mustang appears to have gained ground since the 2011 model, with new V-6 and V-8 engines, came out in April.

Now for the caveats: Mustang got 30 percent of its June sales from the 2010 model. That's down from 43 percent in May, but Ford still has about 6,000 of the 2010s left to sell off.

Ford is continuing to incentivize the Mustang. For instance, a 2010 carries consumer cash of up to $2,500, as it did in May and June. The Camaro was incentive-free in May and June and continues that way in July. But its inventory shortage appears to be over for now: It added 2,400 units during June, beginning July with 18,100 units and a 60-day supply, compared with a 46-day supply on June 1.

And as for the Camaro sales loss, remember that June 2009 was Camaro's best sales month since its introduction, likely due to pent-up demand and a ramp up in supply.

Camaro still leads Mustang in total 2010 sales, 46,378 to 40,035. Does Camaro still have a chance to garner its first calendar-year sales win over Mustang since 1985? Keep watching. It's shaping up to be a close race.

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