Aug 16, 2022 - Economy & Business

Muscle cars falling behind: Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger discontinued

Data: Edmunds; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Muscle cars are atrophying.

Driving the news: Stellantis — the automaker formerly known as Fiat Chrysler, which owns the Dodge, Jeep and Ram brands — announced it will discontinue the gas-powered Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger muscle cars.

By the numbers: Sales of muscle cars have been flagging for years, as Americans have gravitated from passenger cars toward larger SUVs and pickups.

  • Sales of the top four muscle cars fell 43% from their last-decade peak in 2015 to 206,096 in 2021, the lowest point for the segment since 2008, according to data compiled for Axios by car-research site Edmunds.

The big picture: Despite a sales decline, the Challenger and Charger have a devoted fan base. But automakers have little room left for gas-guzzling cars as they seek to please investors and regulators eager for more SUVs and electric vehicles.

But, but, but: Like other vehicles that have been discontinued and later revived — such as the dead-as-a-doornail Hummer SUV that GM revived as an electric SUV — the Challenger and Charger might have a future somewhere down the line.

  • "Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis has alluded to the possibility that the Charger and Challenger names could be used for future electrified vehicles, including a forthcoming electric muscle car in 2024," CNBC reported.
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