Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: January 2014

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Automakers didn't quite experience a Denver Broncos-sized shellacking in January, but it was rough sledding for many. January is typically a weak sales month — and the weather, which brought a polar vortex to the Midwest and freezing temperatures to the Gulf Coast, kept even more shoppers at home.

January 2014's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

Eight of the top 10 best-sellers saw sales slide, and the results booted the Honda CR-V off the list, while the Toyota Corolla returned after a one-month hiatus.

Two of the biggest losers — the Honda Accord and Chevrolet Silverado — both pulled in a monster sales month in January 2013, but the Camry's descent has more weight. Even as Toyota turned up the spigot on purchase incentives versus year-ago levels, shoppers gave the automaker's best-seller the cold shoulder. Some may have gravitated toward competitors like the Nissan Altima (up 4.9 percent), while others may have ditched the family sedan altogether. From the Chevrolet Malibu to the Hyundai Sonata, a number of popular nameplates saw January sales slide.

The weather iced things further. Sales statements from GM, Ford, Toyota, Hyundai and Chrysler all referenced January's wintry conditions. John Felice, Ford's vice president of U.S. sales, service and marketing, said "difficult weather in [Ford's] largest sales regions" drove sales down 7.1 percent. GM blamed its 11.9 percent sales drop on "extreme winter weather in the South, Midwest and Northeast this January [that] further depressed GM and industry sales." Honda's John Mendel, executive vice president of U.S. sales, simply called it "foul."

Chrysler, which tacked on an 8 percent increase in sales, had the most entertaining riff: "The bad weather only seemed to affect our competitors' stores as we had a great January," sales chief Reid Bigland said. Truck shoppers drove up Ram sales 22.5 percent, closing the gap with the No. 2 best-selling pickup truck, the Chevrolet Silverado, to just 3,855 sales. A year ago, some 15,000 sales separated the two.

Weather notwithstanding, shoppers did take to Nissan, whose January sales gained 11.8 percent. Credit the redesigned Rogue sales, which ballooned 54.5 percent to 13,831 cars in January. That helped drive sales for small SUVs like the CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Chevrolet Equinox and Ford Escape up a combined 9.8 percent.

Have car shoppers reaped more discounts? Dealer and automaker incentives saw a big jump in January, reaching 15.4 percent of average MSRPs through the first half of the month, according to CNW Marketing Research. That's up from 14 percent in January 2013, and it's the highest discount proportion since early 2012. That doesn't mean cars are getting any cheaper, though: Rising MSRPs drove the average shopper to spend $32,884 on a new car in early January, up $721 from a year ago.

Here are January's top 10 sellers.

Sales-final

Comments 

Bowrider

KM,
Don't forget that negative symbol (-) in front of Camry's monthly sales, indicating a decline.

JR

Now why would Camry sales get a negative sign? The monthly sales figure shows how many were sold for January and not the difference from the previous year. Otherwise it would not be in the best sellers list now would it?

Bowrider

I was referring to the monthly percentage change from 01/13. It initially did not have the negative sign.

Bowrider,
Sorry about that it was red but we missed the negative sign. It's been fixed.

Tom

With or without the negative sign indicating a decline in sales, the Camry is still the best-selling sedan.

We own four of them, each from a different year, each bought new, each passed down to a kid when Mom got a new one.

Bowrider

That's awesomely boring Tom.

K

Tom,

Thanks for sharing. Said no one ever...

Phil

All you Camry haters just keep hatin, 15 years of dominance speaks for itself!

Kyle W

ew camry. Stop buying them people.

Jason

I work at the toyota plant in georegtown. I have no worries that the camry will keep selling. It has since the 15 years I've worked here and it will keep selling. Why? Because it's the best car you can get. My wife has one and so do I. Getting 2 new ones this April.

k

it is not the best car you can get. period. just people are to dumb to look around. look at tom. camry owners are too closed minded. stop buying camrys

Kyle W

Camry was a great car, yes, I will admit that. Even today, it still isn't a bad choice. However, the competition has caught up and the Camry is merely sub-par. As of recently, I heave heard more people complaining about their Toyotas than any other manufacturer. My hands-on experience with the latest Toyota products has also opened my eyes to how much they have cheapened their quality. They were king for a while, but just not anymore. Also, if you look at the 2013 sales, 20% of Camrys go to fleet sales, whereas 1% of Accord sales go to fleets. Therefore, more consumers purchased a Honda Accord than a Camry, which suggests that the Accord is on top now, and rightfully so.

James

Maybe Camry owners just have a good ownership experience, and maybe that's why they keep buying them again and again.

I don't own a Camry but year after year, Camry remains the best selling midsize sedan.

Maybe the buyers know something all you Camry haters don't.

Kyle W

James,

Maybe it's because they don't know anything at all. Perhaps they are just incredibly boring people who don't like to think outside the box?

The Camry is a very safe choice, but since 20% of their sales go to fleets, (whereas Honda nearly refuses to sell to fleets out of concern for their resale value) more consumers are purchasing Accords than Camrys.

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