The Dodge Charger somehow still manages to sell well despite an older design and slowing car sales.
Everyone keeps talking about how the sedan is dead and SUVs and trucks are the future, but the Dodge Charger somehow stands out as a car that still manages to sell well in the current automotive environment.
The Charger is one of the best-selling large cars on the market. In fact, according to Good Car Bad Car sales data (which comes directly from the automakers), it was the best-selling large car in the American market in 2018.
Dodge sold 80,226 models in 2018. That’s down from 2017, but still a very respectable number. It’s also a heck of a lot of cars for a design that hasn’t had a major refresh since 2011. Much of the car’s design dates back even further than that; all the way back to the LX platform that originated in 2005.
It’s a Tested Design That People Like
If the Charger is so old, then why does it sell? It sells because its a design that’s tested. Rear-wheel drive large sedans have been around for decades. It’s a familiar design that people know and understand.
The design is also a bit of an anomaly. In the age of front-wheel drive turbocharged four-cylinder cars, the Dodge Charger stands out as a big car, with big engines, that’s sporty and practical all at once.
The name also helps. People know and remember the Charger name and the muscle car that the name comes from. While the modern Charger is a far cry from the classic two-door muscle car icon, it’s still a performance machine, especially with a V8 under the hood.
Dodge Keeps Things Interesting
The Charger may be old, but Dodge hasn’t let it languish. The company has put a lot of effort into the Charger over the years, adding things like AWD, Hellcat models, and keeping the styling and technology up to date.
This is something Dodge is good at doing. They get a good design and keep building upon it and getting the most out of that design before moving on. It’s something other automakers could learn from.
If you look at the company’s other products, it’s more of the same. The Durango and Challenger are both aging very gracefully and keeping pace in terms of sales. Dodge continues to update them and make them better, too.
It Won’t Last Forever
The real question is, how much longer can Dodge keep it up? There were rumors that the next Dodge Charger and Challenger would switch over to the platform that underpins the Alfa Romeo Giulia, but that turned out to be false.
Motor Authority reported that the next Dodge Charger will continue to use an updated variation of the current platform. The rumors point to 2021 being the year it will debut.
That would mean Dodge will get a couple more years out of the current car, and then continue on with a new generation that’s not wildly different.
The first month of 2019 turned out to be a good one for sales of the Charger. It saw a slight uptick in the number of cars sold, according to Good Car Bad Car. This suggests people still want more of the current one, so Dodge might as well take their time.
However, with sedan sales waning, and even the defiant Charger showing signs of sales slowing last year, it will be interesting to see how much longer Dodge will keep the car going. Personally, I hope it never leaves the market. There are far too few front-engine, rear-wheel drive sedans on the market, especially ones you can get with a V8.