Top 10 Best-Selling Cars of 2012


When the dust settles, 2012 will mark the third consecutive year of automotive sales gains, and the best sales year since 2007. (Remember back then? Here's a refresher.) Sales for the top seven automakers increased 12.9%, suggesting new-car sales will end in the mid-14 million range. That would be the third year in a row of sales gains, with totals up some 40% over a recession-ravaged 2008. It's the best sales year since 2007, but it still falls below sales totals through much of the 2000s.

Which cars fared best? The top sellers for 2012 include a lot of regulars, with six of the 10 cars redesigned for 2012 or 2013. The Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Cruze, both on this list a year ago, are gone; both had a relatively flat sales year.

Check out the list below.


Automakers and analysts are bullish on 2013. GM sales chief Kurt McNeil expects 15 to 15.5 million new-car sales; CNW Marketing Research says 16 million is possible "if all pieces fall into place." Of course, analysts also expected strong numbers in early 2011 — before natural disasters in Asia derailed production. So, knock on some dashboard wood, or fake woodgrain, and we'll see what 2013 brings.

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: December 2012
U.S. Auto Sales Propelled the Economy in 2012
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GM is so lame. The largest automobile company and not 1 single car on the list. Meanwhile Honda has 3!


Wow, look at the civic! Best selling car for 2mths in a row, and wears the best selling car crown of 2012 in the compact segment! Go Honda!

Best selling for 2 months that pretty amazing .Good job Honda.

Agent Mike

Once again GM, Ford, and Chrysler put down by Asian Car Makers.
Maybe GM should hire a few Honda Executives?


If you look at the numbers in prospective the Camry/Corolla are the real winners. The Accord has the Coupe and Crosstour variants in its numbers. The Civic has coupe and hybird models stuffed in for good measure. Camry stands alone. Corolla only has the nearly extinct Matrix.


Randy I totally agree. I know the Camry is (technically) a good car but I'm amazed at how well it continues to sell. Same can be said for the Corolla. On the other hand I can't believe the Malibu has done so poorly considering it recently had a major refresh.


Honda now breaks out the Crosstour as a separate model, so Accord sales include the coupe but not the Crosstour. Civic Hybrid sales, meanwhile, are very slight.

Kelsey M


@brad chevy is gm. guess you're not counting trucks, but they're what keep the big three in business.

Just like the american consumer loves their japanese cars, the american consumer loves their american trucks....

it's going to take something big to change that perception across the general public.


attgig you need to brush up on your reading comprehension as I clearly stated "not 1 single CAR on the list".


do people understand that these are not all the vehicles sold by these automakers? The rank in total sales is GM, Ford, Toyota, Chrysler, Honda, Nissan. You cannot look at a list of top 10 vehicles ONLY and then claim that the market is being dominated by Toyota and Honda. Come on folks, let's consider ALL the sales. If you put the sales of the nearly identical Sierra/Silverado together they would be way ahead of #3 camry and if you combine sales of nearly identical Equinox/Terrain the total would be on the list with about 316k units sold.



either way your sentiment makes no sense. The market consists of cars, CUVs and pickups and overall "lame" Gm sold a lot more vehicles than Honda. I'm pretty sure you aren't going to compare sales of Ridgeline to Silverado for obvious reasons.

The Franchise

Camry and Accord are both average cars, but they continue to sell based on reputation and a loyal owner base. Frankly, the Kia Optima is superior, but the brand is still working to change perceptions. Someday Honda and Toyota will have to stop coasting, but the sales numbers don't indicate that day isn't today.


So much for all the naysayers and critics that put down the 2012 Civic. Just goes to show that a car can get all negative reviews and still sell VERY WELL. Car buyers are looking for transportation--car reviewers have no clue.


you got point dude. well said and clearly explained.

he people do need their trucks XD

Not surprised Honda and Toyota are holding strong where they are. Those are popular makes and models and will continue to be with the price of gas. A little surprised by the Ford F-series. I don't think I would have guessed that.



Ever heard of incentives? They are the reason behind the civic's sales last month and for much of the year. I will remind you that several years back before there was so much competition in the compact market incentives on the Civic were rare. Honda has been running cheap leases and low APR promotions for a while and the activity picked up in the final months of the year in preparation for the updated car.


Total sales are one thing, marketshare is another. Camry and Accord have less midsize marketshare than they need 5-10 years ago due to increased competition from Ford, VW and the Koreans. 7 years ago Ford didn't even offer a legit midsize sedan and now the Fusion is in the top 4 in sales. Same is true in compact car market. Corolla and Civic are still leaders, but now there are several compacts moving 200k+ units a year. In years past the Japanese sedans were light years ahead of their domestic and Korean competitors in sales.


Nice Honda

Jack Ceveda

This list doesn't change much year-to-year, or even month-to-month.

What remains amazing is that the foreign brands like Toyota, Honda and Nissan, and the Korean brands like Hyundai and Kia, sell so exceedingly well in the US.

Every sale to these foreign owned companies, and that includes Chrysler, is one less in sales for Ford and GM. Ford and GM trucks will always sell well because Americans like large vehicles.

If the foreigners sold junk they would not sell. So that means then that the vast majority of individual buyers who choose to buy a foreign brand car must think that they are better than Ford products or GM products, many of which that are also made in Mexico and Canada.

The foreigners still hold a greater market share than do Ford and GM because in spite of all the money and effort expended by Ford, GM and the American taxpayers, the American auto manufacturers have not yet overcome their well-earned reputations that sent Americans scurrying to the foreign brands.

The foreign brands still offer greater value for the money although their quality has suffered since building them in the US, and their quality is currently no better than that of Ford or GM.


to the person commenting below me dissing GM for not having a single car on the list, the 2nd place car is a GM product.

Kyle W

Brad's statement ("GM is so lame. The largest automobile company and not 1 single car on the list. Meanwhile Honda has 3!") is incorrect if you're only counting "CARS". By your statement, you're suggesting that the CR-V is a car, which it isn't. Therefore, Honda only has two cars. And if you were to look at a top ten list of CARS trucks and no SUVs, than yes, GM would have more than 1 car on the list.

DeBinder Dundett

Trucks are America's best selling vehicles. OK! I can believe that.

But the four top selling sedans in America are Japanese brands!?

Only goes to show that Americans still cannot find the quality and value they seek in sedans from GM and Ford.

You'd think that with all the money the US taxpayers have thrown at the US auto industry in loans, grants and handouts like the bailout bucks and C4C, GM and Ford could have reverse-engineered the Camry, Accord and Altima, and incorporated all their best features in their own sedans.


Trolling for a response I see. Well here you go.

Kyle W

@DeBinder Dundett: I wouldn't go as far to say that Americans cannot find the quality and value they seek in sedans from GM and Ford. After all, the Ford Fusion was the 3rd best selling sedan for 2011. I just don't think that Americans are willing to give the domestic manufacturers a try anymore, despite the fact that they've improved dramatically. For example, late model Corollas have very poor customer satisfaction, but people are still buying them up because, well, it's a Toyota! And despite the fact that Toyota's are the most infamous for their recalls (sticky gas pedals, catching on fire, malfunctioning wipers), people are still buying them. It goes to show that no matter how crappy of a car you build, people will still buy them as long as you've built a strong reputation for your company.


Your vehicle is the second most expensive purchase the normal American make, so buy american! People complain about the economy while driving their brand new jap car...Go chevy! 5yr 100,000 power train warranty with roadside assistance they have confidence in their products!


"Your vehicle is the second most expensive purchase the normal American make, so buy american! People complain about the economy while driving their brand new jap car...Go chevy! 5yr 100,000 power train warranty with roadside assistance they have confidence in their products!"

I buy new cars and drive them for 15 years plus. A 5 year warranty on a GM vehicle means nothing to me as it won't cover the myriad inevitable problems that will occur with their poorly-engineered vehicles when the warranty wears out.

So... Brand new Civic or brand new Cobalt? It's an easy choice.


Well for car manufacturers its important to them to at least have a car on the top 10 best selling list for the year... BUT! Whats MORE important to them is total car sold in a year! Like GM or Volkswagen, they are the 2 current biggest car makers and you can't hardly see any of their cars on the list. ;)

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