How many new Mustangs are there? How many Camaros or Challengers? We show you who’s winning the new vehicle registration race for late model muscle cars in 2016.
We wanted to see which car had the most total new vehicle registrations, as well as the biggest increase or decrease for the first half of 2016 vs. 2015. Racers, start your big data engines!
We pulled data from the Vehicles in Operation (VIO) database to see new registrations for the three American modern-day muscle cars: Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger. We pitted these cars head-to-head to see who would win this latest installment of the Big Data Shootout.
First place: Here’s how many new Ford Mustangs are in operation
In first place was the 2016 Ford Mustang, beating the second place 2016 Camaro by nearly two-to-one in total new registrations.
Not only does the Mustang lead the two other Big Data Shootout contestants with total new vehicle registrations for the first half of the year, there’s a healthy double digit increase for the Mustang from last year, too, thanks to the popularity of the new sixth generation “S550” Mustang platform.
2016 also marks the second year in a row that new Mustang registrations solidly beat the Camaro.
This sixth generation 2016 Mustang comes with 4, 6 or 8 cylinder engine options, two of which are V8 engines. But the 5.0L “Coyote” V8 and 5.2L “Voodoo” engines don’t account for the majority of engines in this muscle car. The popularity of the 4 cylinder 2.3L EcoBoost turbocharged engine has pushed total V8 Mustangs down to less than half of total new vehicles in operation (VIO).
New Mustang owner demographics
In addition to knowing how many Mustangs there are, we also looked at Mustang owner demographics. Mustang owners lead in an interesting category, with 25% of new Mustang owners having an 800 or better FICO credit score. That percentage was the best of the three vehicles. That also aligns with average household income of Mustang owners, nearly $85,000, which also was the best of the three. About 70% of Mustang owners are male, 30% female.
Second place: new Camaro registrations
In second place was the 2016 Chevy Camaro, barely beating the third place Dodge Challenger. Total new registrations seem to be slipping, with a single digit decrease from last year.
As a percentage, V8 engines in Camaros have dropped steadily since 2010 when the fifth generation Camaro was originally introduced. In the 2010 model year, V8 engines accounted for over half of new Camaros registered.
Today, that number has dropped steadily to under 25% of total Camaros for the 2016 model year.
Demographics of new Camaro owners
New 2016 Camaro owners came in second place for credit score, too, with 21% of owners having an 800 or better estimated credit score, just below the 25% mark of Mustang owners. Camaro owners also came in second for average household income. Gender is similar to the 2016 Mustang, too, with about 69% of 2016 Camaro owners male, 31% female.
Third place: new Dodge Challenger Vehicles in Operation (VIO)
In third place was the 2016 Dodge Challenger, in a close race for second. New Challenger vehicles in operation for the first half of 2016 were neck and neck with the Camaro. The Challenger also remains nearly flat in year over year growth, despite the exciting Challenger SRT Hellcat with a supercharged 6.2L Hemi engine putting out 707 hp and 650 lb·ft of torque.
The Hellcat, if it ever goes slow enough for you to see, accounts for about 10% of all new Challengers registered in 2016.
Demographics of new Challenger owners
New Challenger owners came in third place for credit score, with 18% of owners having a credit score of 800 or higher. Gender is significantly different than the Mustang and Camaro, with three quarters of Challenger owners being male.