Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: September 2012


September was another strong month of car sales, making the automotive industry one of the sole bright spots of the economic recovery. With most major carmakers reporting, sales are up 13% year-over-year with 1.118 million vehicles sold, according to Automotive News. 

That gain is healthy, especially considering that the average vehicle transaction price has also increased to $32,243 as compared to August’s $32,181, according to CNW Marketing Research. Total incentives and discounts weren’t appreciably higher as compared with last month, either. In fact, the only major seller to see significant incentive increases for the month was the 2012-13 Ford Focus, which has up to $2,000 cash-back offers currently. The Focus was up an astounding 91.4% year-over-year, which made it the 12th best-selling vehicle for the month.

With few incentives, most of the changes we see in the sales landscape for September are likely attributable to available supply of the models. 

The automakers seeing the largest gains in September are the same ones that have exceeded the industry throughout 2012: Toyota (41.5%), Honda (30.9%) and Chrysler (11.5%).

Toyota and Honda's exceptional year-over-year showings is mostly a result of comparing healthy sales this September to those hurt by supply shortages from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that were still hampering the companies in September 2011. Toyota saw gains from mainstream models like Camry (+37.8%) and Prius (+103%) as well as new Lexus models like the redesigned ES (+80%), GS (+408%) and RX (+40.8%). Most of Honda's gains came from just two nameplates: the Accord (+56.6%) and Civic (+57%).

Chrysler remains the American comeback kid with a strong showing from the Ram pickup series; the Ram ascended from the bottom of the top 10 in August to middle of the pack in September, thanks to dealers trying to make way for the heavily revised 2013 models. The Dodge Grand Caravan (+32%), Dodge Avenger (+89%) and Jeep Grand Cherokee (+19%) also saw significant sales increases for September.

Ford (-0.1%), GM (1.5%) and Nissan (-1.1%) all saw marginal losses or gains in September; the three carmakers gained sales in 2011 due to the struggles of Honda and Toyota. Hyundai — another brand that saw its market share grow during that time — saw sales continue to climb at a healthy rate — 15.3% higher than September 2011.

Here are the top 10 sellers this month:


Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: August 2012
See New-Car Incentives Near You
More Automotive News



I still will never understand how does the Toyota Corolla/Matrix combo stays on this list every month.


There are thousands of people who want dependable, basic transporation that gets good MPG. They don't care if the vehicle is cutting edge, in fact, most of these types could care less about bluetooth and MP3 capability etc. They aren't carving corners either. The Corolla fits the bill. Many keep buying it because they have had one before and they did well with it. Resale is good too. It's obviously old school transportation but that is all many people want. Something simple to drive and own. It's not my cup of tea but can't argue that it's not a good car for the average commuter.

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well

poor CRV is languishing down the table ! Aaargh !!

As usually the Camry and the Accord in the podium, specially the Camry. With the current gas high prices I'm somewhat amazed of seeing the Silverado, F-150 and Dodge RAM on this list.

Phil Bickel

Martin, first of all, the Corolla is a nice looking car with quality material feel, fit and finish. I would imagine, you like a Jetta, Cruze, or God forbid the new Dart. Let me ask you what those cars will be worth in five years, when most people are done paying for them vs the Corolla that will still sell for $10K

The market speaks for itself, and it's telling people to buy Corollas.


The Corolla despite it's short comings in style (perception), transmission and mpgs it is still the leader in reliability, resale value and overall value. It has bluetooth, Entune, side airbags, stability control, power seat and auto climate control. It's no slouch.


Randy you're on da beam with what you wrote concerning the Corolla...


Corolla sells because its cheap, has a strong brand name and due to fleet sales. It has little to do with the car being desirable or better than anything else in the segment. A lot of people wont even check out anything but corolla (or maybe civic) before buying a compact. If you dont know what the competition offers you will settle for less.


So you're saying 23,000+ Corolla owners stupidly disregarded the competition last month? They bought some undesirable piece of sh*t just... because?



Any time a car, other than GM, has good sales it's always because of "fleet sales" or the people just don't know any better. That is sheth's standard comment and never with any facts to back it up. I see a ton of Cruzes at Avis....I guess those don't count as fleet sales. Unlike, many of the new high MPG cars, the Corolla has been hitting it's high MPG numbers or better for years even with a 4spd auto tranny. Along with the Civic.


Toyota has low fleet sales. You must be thinking of GM sheth. Anyway the Corolla is a nice car with a high resale value.


i see just as many Corollas as Cruzes at Avis/National/Hertz....they both sell alot to rental fleets

Max Reid

Among the cars, Prius is the 10th best selling car in Sep-2012.

DeBinder Dundett

We live in America and enjoy freedom of choice.

People are free to buy whatever they choose if they can afford it.

We should not criticize the choices people make when buying their vehicles.

They buy what they buy because it works for them.

The top ten best sellers reflect what Americans want. Everything else not in the top ten are just wannabees and hopefuls.


The reason the Cruze is on the list is due to fleet sales and it has no real domestic competition. The Ford Focus has a lousy new automatic transmission (actually an electronically controlled manual transmission) and people don't know yet about the Dart.


The Corolla has horrible fit and finish. It's on par with an entry level Chrysler product with its abundant use of plastic inside. Lance hit the nail on the head and Phil, likely a Corolla owner, thinks the market is telling people is buying Corollas. I personally wouldn't have a new Corolla for 10K. Of course that's just me. Including the Matrix doesn't hurt with inflating the sales numbers, but regardless, people are going to continue to buy them for their perceived reliability.


The Corolla is a sound, tight, non-rusting and quick handling faithful little friend. At 89k and 11 years it is reliable with no major repairs (idler pulley and bracket). In this rust zone a muffler bracket ($51 plus labor.

I still will never understand how does the Toyota Corolla/Matrix combo stays on this list every month.

Toyota has low fleet sales. You must be thinking of GM sheth. Anyway the Corolla is a nice car with a high resale value.


I will say that brand loyalty and that magazine Consumer Reports has a lot to do with why many women prefer imports over domestic cars. Because it sure isn't that just because their better built. My sister was astonished when she drove my 99 Buick Regal that had 185,000 miles on it compared to her 2000 Accord that had 156,000. My regals ride was much better, handling was better and was a better built car. But according to Consumer Reports, Accord was a better car.....Really??


Thank you for sharing. Your post worth of reading. Waiting for new posts. buyincoins

Amuse to read your post. Unbelievably source of huge knowledge.
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