Dodge Challenger and Charger, Chrysler 300 Defy Trends, Post Big Sales In 2018

With all the noise about the American sedan becoming an endangered species in the wake of Ford’s and GM’s controversial passenger car cuts, some models still carry on with business as usual.

Not only that; they even sell better now than they did when they launched more than ten years ago. We’re talking about the mechanically-related Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans as well as the Dodge Challenger coupe.

The Charger sold better last year than in 2011 and 2009, while its Chrysler-badged sibling convinced more buyers in 2018 than in 2009, 2010, or 2011. Remarkably, Dodge and Chrysler sold a total of 178,663 Chargers, Challengers and 300s during the last model year. About 115,000 of that total is made up of Charger and 300 sales combined, according to Road & Track.

This is a big surprise, as all three of them are old cars by the auto industry’s current standards – and the fact that two of them are big sedans goes against the tide as well. After all, weren’t sedans (especially big ones) supposed to be dead by now in the U.S. market? As for the Challenger, it shows the middle finger as well to industry experts, who find that today big coupes are even more irrelevant than sedans.

It looks like some Dodge and Chrysler buyers didn’t get the memo from U.S. automakers (including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) to shift from sedans to crossovers in order to help carmakers make more money in the process.

The big question is, obviously, how much longer the Charger, Challenger and Chrysler 300 will stick around. FCA would be crazy to stop making them as long as they are still popular. Rumor has it a major refresh is being planned, which would extend the platform’s life for at least another five years. Apparently, car experts can’t get everything right, and sometimes it pays off to swim against the current.

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  • Salih Ahzem

    I bet it’s mostly because a sizeable portion of 300 and Charger sales are for fleets. Full-size car for the price of a mid-size. Having said that, IMHO Dodge knows its customer base, offers “cool” paint options and big ol’ V8 option on a RWD chassis, again with a reasonable MSRP.

    • donald seymour

      Actually I’m betting on the fact that a lot of the actual customers are just regular people. Because I have seen an increase in my city with these cars.

      • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

        The Challenger, Charger, and 300 have some of the highest fleet ratios in their respective segments.

  • EyalN

    probebly people still want a big V8 and not a small turbo engine

  • Jason Panamera

    I am glad to hear that but I am also conscious of FCA being so unpredictable. : (

  • erly5

    The death knell of the sedan/saloon has been sounded prematurely if you ask me. Not everyone wants an SUV/Crossover. I understand their popularity and my wife is planning to change her 12 year old Toyota Verso for a C-HR this year, but for me a sedan/saloon will remain my preferred choice for the foreseeable future.

  • LJ

    People don’t want big, boring sedans. They still want big, good looking, fun to drive, powerful sedans.

    • alexxx

      I think you are into something…

      • Master Rod

        Of course he is. GM, and Ford have lost their touch. My first car was a used Corvair. It leaked more oil than the Exxon Valdez. Sold it for next to nothing, and bought a Plymouth Barracuda. I have stayed with Chrysler ever since.

  • Gene Mills

    It’s great to see some real rwd models still coming out of the motor city. It’s sad that GM and Ford have given up, not that they had much outside of their sports cars. Their front drivers are pretty mundane, no wonder they don’t sell well. As FCA has shown, people still love exciting cars if they’re available. The other 2 have lost touch.

  • Blade t

    Good to hear ..

  • Master Rod

    Whoa! Is that a right side drive model on the second picture of the Chrysler 300?

  • Merc1

    I mean when you can get thousands off people will reconsider a sedan and they are still nice cars too. They need to be redesigned. Once these go that will be it for the big American, RWD sedan. Hard to imagine. I mean there will be no large sedans at all from a non luxury U.S. brand after these go.

    M

  • eb110americana

    The US brands were foolish to jump all-in on the FWD bandwagon back in the 1980s. Even Ford tried to replace the Mustang with the Ford Probe–which thankfully failed. Cadillac has done the best at competing with German sport sedans, but people generally want the original, if sales are any indication. There is something to be said for an unabashedly American sedan (or large coupe)–and there is no reason that it cannot out-handle sport sedans from Germany, as long as it looks right.

    The pundits say how everyone wants crossovers, SUVs, and trucks. But I think that ultimately, Americans want something big, powerful, and roomy. Cars are subject to different standards than trucks, so you cannot offer a 6.2L V8 in a mainstream model anymore. This has driven customers into larger vehicles, which still offer V6 and V8 options, and have enough room to comfortably fit several car seats in the back.

    I’d like to see a few models like this from each auto maker–instead of some of the sub-compact, compact, midsize, full-size FWD cookie-cutter answers to an existing segment which we get today. If you make something special instead of just matching the competition, people will take notice, and it will be special to them too. If platforms this ancient can be sales successes, just imagine what could be done with some actual money behind it. Plant closings and model discontinuation should be a wake up call: If you want sales, you cannot phone it in anymore.

    • Afi Keita James

      and sadly all of the automobiles will be run by electric, sadly.

  • MarketAndChurch

    You can sell a lot of something and still sell it for a loss. The great thing about these cars is that because FCA is so broke, they haven’t been able to update these cars so they’re probably making a decent return on them. Unlike the other brands which need to sell a lot of cars to make back the money they spent updating them. They also have a classic, great design so that also helps.

    • Craig

      Hopefully FCA isn’t dumb enough to kill off these cars. With the 300 selling well and the Pacifica being well respected – all they need is another vehicle. Perhaps that rebadged Jeep is the answer.

      • Jason Panamera

        200 was also selling not bad and was killed

      • Big Black Duck

        Come on Craig…say it…Imperial…

        • Craig

          What a ridiculous thing to say. I’m certainly not obsessed with THAT car. To suggest otherwise is just foolishness. That said… FCA should take advantage of the fact that they basically OWN the full-sized American-car sedan market. [or soon will] A model above the 300 would very likely be a HUGE success. Something like a…… um….. Oh what the hell. IMPERIAL! IMPERIAL! IMPERIAL!

  • Matteo Tommasi

    Good exterior design, RWD, powerful engine, honest price. Why would someone turn his head off that?
    Still waiting to see the new Charger and Challenger on the Giorgio platform, though

  • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

    So all three combined sold less than the Ford Fusion – which is getting canned. So yeah, they’re dead in the water. What an absurd article.

    • Charlie Fortin

      Compare profitabiliy of the lines and you will probably see why the article celebrates.

      • Jay

        They’re made cheap and have been essentially the same cars for many years of course they turn profit.

        • Charlie Fortin

          Not at all. The Charger Challenger with the Hellcat, Demon and Redeye are among the highest margin American cars available. They sell for $60k+ The Escort is 1/3 that price and probably 1/6 the profit margin.

          • Jay

            You think those engines actually cost them that much to make? Their profits are huge on those models I doubt they even cost 5-10k more to produce over the base models

      • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

        There have been no financial figures released about the profit of each line.

    • europeon

      What an absurd comment.

      Since when is Ford Fusion competition, or even in the same class with 300 or Charger?

      • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

        Its a large sedan. Its not like we are comparing fiat 500’s to CHargers.

        • europeon

          Fusion is not a large sedan. Get your facts straight (or your eyes checked).

          • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

            Yeah It’s obviously a 3 dr hatchback. Moron.

          • europeon

            Are you really that stupid or are you just trolling?
            Fusion is a mid-size sedan.

          • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

            I think you’re the stupid one. Technically, Class wise yes, but it’s still a physically large family sedan. It isn’t inconceivable to think that someone looking for a decent spec Fusion or Malibu may consider a 300 or charger too. I’m talking about larger family sedans in general. Ie From “midsize” class upwards. I don’t know what part of that you didn’t understand.

            In Australia the Regal/Commodore is considered a large sedan and the camry is a mid size despite being almost exactly the same size. You’re getting bogged down in semantics and are ignorant of the bigger picture.

          • europeon

            Are you really that stupid or are you just trolling?

            Thank you for answering the question. You’re not a troll, you’re just incredibly stupid.

          • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

            Someone who TOTALLY missed the point calling someone else stupid.

            You quote yourself despite not even being able to spell your own username. Fkin idiot.

    • Bo Hanan

      For their segment they sold well. Now add the fact that Ford and GM are dropping sedans and the trio should do even better.

  • Kagan

    Cheap, with more classic design, more power and more analogue that is why.

    • Bo Hanan

      Well built and reliable too. They also they take the miles really well. I know someone with a minivan with the 3.5L engine. It has over 300K miles and you would never know it.

      • Kagan

        I have no idea about quality from sweden as they are not common here but I have recieved information that Chrysler has bad quality.

  • Noel

    FCA…it will be dumb to kill the 300, one of the most comfortable sedans on the road today. So let the 300, as well as the Challenger and Charger stay alive.
    Love the 300..they just have to do a better job selling those cars.

    • Craig

      An ‘even better’ job – as it turns out. They’re doing pretty good as it is. But I’d love to see far more advertising. I can’t remember the last time I saw a Chrysler 300 ad.

      • Noel

        Exactly…i can’t remember seeing one. People who ride in my car always ask what type of car and comment on how comfortable the ride is. I have made same point before on other sites relating to the 300.

  • Swagger

    Based on my observations, sales of these vehicles remain high, in part, due to the large volume purchased by rental companies.

    • Liam Paul

      ok I am not sure that is true but is the money from rental companies any less green or valuable ?

      • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

        Yes, it is.

        They sell the vehicle at a much lower cost, cutting into the profit margin. That combined with the fact that it hurts image and lowers resale value on the back end when fleet operators dump huge quantities of them on the used car market.

        Fleet sales are NOT a good thing for companies.

  • charlotteharry57

    And the year-end sales numbers PROVE that Gm and Ford are both smoking something. Their sedans (well, many of them) are ALSO alive and kicking. Ya gonna knock over 150K Fusion sales? Dumb arses…

    • AnEmptyStreet

      Only Ford can sell a million Fusion’s here in the last 4 years and go “Nope, this just isn’t working out. Moving on!”

    • Merc1

      Yeah I just don’t get it, then again I do. This is the argument I’ve had with domestic apologists all the time. Ford is poorly run and just plain inefficient if they can’t make a profit on a car that sells 200K units a year. That is the problem. SUVs and trucks have more profit built into them and Detroit just can’t figure out how to make a profit from a sedan, even one that sells hundreds of thousands of units a year. Mazda would KILL to sell as many 6s as Ford does Fusions and their profits would double or triple on the back of it. Domestics are choked to death by their own ineptness and stupid unions who could give a shit about the company’s health, long as they’re getting their money. It’s going to eventually spell the end of one of them (Ford, FCA, GM) IMO.

      M

  • Liam Paul

    FCA should had kept the Dodge Avenger around. It was selling great when they killed it

  • Bobby Lee

    177k for 3 models combined is not “big sales.”

    • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

      Especially considering the fleet ratio that they command.

    • david santiago

      you got to realize that the platform and tooling is completely payed off, so all 177k this year and for the past 4 years have been pure profit for FCA

  • Marc Gruben

    I read recently that Chrysler might be bringing a straight-six back into production. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a proper, modern American rear drive sedan with a modern, powerful straight six under the hood? I would HAVE to give that serious consideration.

    • Kagan

      Straigth six in near future looks not likely.

  • GooeyGUI

    I just made my first car purchase as an adult about a month ago. I’m in my mid 20’s, and just bought a 2012 Charger R/T with 40k miles on it. I get about 28 1/2mpg’s if I drive like grandma on the interstate, have a ton of power to have fun and tow a small car. I absolutely love Sedan’s, and we also just purchased a 2017 Fusion Hybrid as well and that thing is really roomy for the type of car.

    Please don’t get rid of Sedans, Crossovers are ugly to me imo..

    • Kagan

      Some japanese manufacturers believe sedan popularity will bounce back as new generations don’t want to be unsporty like their parent’s

  • psiqtas

    Regardless what experts and haters say, these cars are just…COOL! 😀

  • What_Tha

    So can we have the Magnum back then?

  • AnEmptyStreet

    These things are all over the Detroit area. I see at least 3 with 6.4l terrorizing the streets on a daily basis.

    Maybe terrorizing isn’t the right word, as I absolutely love the sound those engines make.

  • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

    So you are trash? How apt. Nice fake account too. Your mother should have swallowed.

  • Danny Boy

    See…..build sedans that the people want and they won’t stray to the SUV/CUV crap! Mind you, the underpinnings date back to the early 2000’s. I’ve always thought that if they would put better interiors in their cars, they could run things. The true unapologetic American Sedan! Just improve everything from bumper to bumper and see how far you can stretch it. Go Chrysler….

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