Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: October 2012

We reported Wednesday on Hurricane Sandy's impact to October car sales, with car shoppers across 13 states potentially delaying a purchase in the final week of the month while they assessed damage. One analyst noted that while some drivers would have to replace storm-damaged cars, others would end up keeping their clunkers because they had to spend money instead on damaged roofs or flooded basements. That wasn't the only impediment to auto sales: Rising MSRPs and lower discounts sent the average transaction price for a new car to $32,299 in October, according to CNW Marketing Research. That's $2,974 — 10.1%! — more than a year ago.

Did all of these factors stymie an automotive recovery 16 months in the making?

It appears so. Sales rose just 5.8% for the top seven automakers — the Detroit Three plus Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Hyundai/Kia — which represents the slowest growth in six months. Ford stayed flat. Nissan, noting that the storm-ravaged Northeast is its largest market, fell 3.2%. Hyundai dropped 4.1%.

Ford estimates Hurricane Sandy, which hit an area responsible for roughly 25% of U.S. auto sales, will knock 300,000 off October's annualized selling rate, Automotive News reports. GM projects a similar impact, spokesman Fred Ligouri said, but sales chief Kurt McNeil told CNBC that sales "tend to snap back quickly after a disaster like this."

There were some bright spots. Honda posted big numbers for the Civic versus an inventory-strapped October 2011, and Accord sales improved 25.5% as the redesigned 2013 sedan ramped up inventory. Indeed, more than three-fourths of Accords in national inventory are 2013s. Honda's best-seller fell short of the redesigned Toyota Camry — itself up 35.8% — by just 1,577 sales. Sales for Nissan's redesigned Altima picked up 12.8%, landing the car in third place among family sedans. Despite redesigned 2013 models in good supply, the Chevrolet Malibu (down 6%) and Ford Fusion (down 29.9%) faltered, however. Fusion shoppers have a glut of incentives — up to $3,250 — on the outgoing 2012 sedan but lower dealer inventory overall versus year-ago levels.

Despite a modest drop in its Jeep brand, Chrysler increased 10.2% on the strength of the Ram pickup truck, which saw its 30th consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases, and two minivans. Detroit's full-size pickups had a good month overall, with higher inventory for the Ram, Ford F-Series and GM's Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra moving the group up a combined 9.3%. Ford said the F-Series (up 7.6%) had its best October since 2004.

Here are October's 10 best-sellers:


How Hurricane Sandy Could Affect Auto Sales
Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: September 2012
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Holy cow Toyota could end up selling 400,000 Camry's.


This monthly article should be called best selling vehicles, not "best selling cars". So many trucks are bought commercially that it really skews the results. It would be interesting to actually see a list of just the ten best selling cars.


i would like to see the ten best selling vehicles without including fleet sales.


fleet sales and trucks are part of the market. What you folks are really asking for is a list that enhances the standing of your favorite Japanese automakers. Automakesr make more money n trucks than cars so it's kind of ridiculous to suggest that sales to trucks should somehow be downplayed- that's where the profits are for all automakers. How about a list that shows the top sellers along with their average discounts? I am curious as to how much the corolla and civic are being discounted to stay high on this list. Honda's overall incentive rate is higher than Fords and close to GM's, that is unprecedented as far as I know and I think the civic is a big reason for the spike in incentive spending.


You obviously aren't responsible for a P&L as your statement is silly. Incentives and discounts are irrelevant, it's the equity profit margin that tells all.



You yourself have said before the only reason the Corolla sells well is due to buyer stupidity. The only incentive I see for that car is 0% for 60 months on the outgoing 2012 models (in my area). How is that uncommon for ANY manufacturer? I mean, it's not anything compared to the $3,000+ GM is giving back on their 2012 trucks or anything.

When are going to understand the Corolla isn't a bad car just because you think it is?

What do you care about discounts anyway? You should concern yourself more on why GM profits were down around 14% for the third quarter. I guess being #2 on this sales chart just isn't enough.



My favorite company has the number 1 selling car. The Camry. It has already sold more units in 2012 than the silverado.


GM makes lousy cars and that's why they don't have one single segment sales leader. GM is effectively the rental car manufacturer of the world.


"I know it hurts to put up this chart. Nissan was barely affected by quake so their performance is a reflection of the improved competition and an aging lineup. ... Its very possible than civic and accord will be outsold by their counterparts at ford and chevy for first time in a long time."


"so its starting to look like the Accord really will drop from the #2 slot in the midsize segment for the long term. This is more than a tsunami related aberration."


"The results shown above reflect better vehicles from america and korea as well as better styling. Honda will regret the minor changes made to the civic in due time. The market is too competitive for people to settle on mediocrity, even if its branded a honda or toyota."


"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."


"It looks like Corolla may not be best selling compact in 2012 if things continue like this. Im sure its been many years since Corolla didnt hold down that #1 spot. People are finally realizing its not near class leading."


Say wh-a-a-t? lol


I dont know why they dont include the GMC Sierra with the Silverado. It would be really close to the F-150 sells. They should put GM truck sales instead.

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