Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: March 2014

Toyota-camry

The final month of winter continued to be a challenging one for many automakers. Poor weather through large swaths of the country dampened sales in many regions buried under snow and ice. March capped off a weak sales quarter, which saw inventories swell and incentive spending boosted to lure customers into showrooms. The past month proved that signs of spring are finally upon us, and for some automakers the thaw came early to dealers across the U.S., especially those selling trucks and luxury cars.

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: February 2014

In fact, trucks led much of the sales gains for March, with especially strong performances from Ram, Ford and Toyota. The Ram brand had its best month for pickup sales in a decade, and the brand as a whole posted a 29 percent gain year-over-year in March versus March 2013. Ford's F-Series was up as well, jumping 5.1 percent for the month, while Toyota's Tundra posted its best sales month since August 2008. The Chevrolet Silverado saw a 6.8 percent gain, while the GMC Sierra sales were up by 22 percent.

Luxury brands did quite well too, with nearly every brand reporting higher sales for March — some of them significantly higher. By percentage gain, Lincoln actually led the field with a 31 percent boost thanks to improved sales of the MKZ — but March's volume of less than 9,000 vehicles for the whole brand still makes Lincoln a fringe player. Lexus saw sales climb 23 percent; BMW was up 19 percent, and even Porsche saw a 9 percent improvement compared with March 2013. Acura saw a gain of nearly 15 percent, driven by the redesigned MDX, which itself was up more than 80 percent from March 2013. Only Cadillac saw a decline; SRX and CTS gains weren't enough to overcome significant drops in the ATS, XTS and Escalade sales.

The popular midsize sedan class saw a mixed performance compared to February's lackluster sales. Leading the way again is the Toyota Camry with an 11.4 percent climb to just less than 42,000 cars over March 2013's numbers. The Camry reclaimed the best-selling title for March from the Nissan Altima. The Altima saw a minor 4.9 percent drop to stay in second place in the midsize sedan category, but Ford's Fusion had its best sales month ever, up 8.8 percent to nearly 33,000 cars for the month. The Honda Accord saw a sales decline of 7 percent to just less than 34,000 cars, nearly tying the Fusion. But that improvement in Fusion sales may have come at the expense of other Ford cars, with sales of the Focus, Fiesta and Taurus lagging.

General Motors' recall woes and congressional hearings didn't seem to dampen March sales, with the company posting a 4.1 percent overall gain for the month. Sales of the company's Chevrolet cars didn't seem to be appreciably affected either, with the Malibu, Cruze, Sonic and Spark all posting gains. The Corvette was especially popular with a 230 percent jump, despite the harsh winter conditions in much of the country. With attention on the GM recalls only getting stronger, we'll see how GM fares in April.

Here are March's top 10 best-sellers:

March-14-sales

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

Comments 

Elliott

It would be nice to see this list change every once and while. You can pretty much predict what 10 vehicles are going to be on this list. I wonder how high gas has to get before people give up on trucks because those are not work trucks people are buying, those trucks are daily drivers.

attgig

or go to top 20. agreed, the cars in top 10 pretty much never change... just the order shifts here and there.

Steve

RAM in the number 2 spot and Chevy in 3rd. Has this ever happened before? This is GM's bread and butter, so this looks pretty serious. As a GM owner, is another emergency refresh in the works? I would think so.

Kyle W

Before I read the comments I was about to say: "Boring. Same cars again." But it looks like I've been beat to it. I bet I can predict what the 'best selling cars of 2014' list is going to be.

J

Steve,

Look at how much cash is Chrysler piling on the hood of the Ram vs GM on the Silverado...

cjm

That #2 spot has been held by Chevrolet trucks for every month for 30+ years up until now. This could be the most significant change to the list we've seen in a very long time.

According to what I read the Ram last beat Silverado in 1999. Top 10 is sort of interesting, but doesnt really tell you much about how the automakers do month to month. Honda was only major automaker to post a decline compared to 2013 but you cant tell that by looking at the list above. It is interesting that Accord has a legit shot of falling to #3 or #4 in the segment this year. I don't know the last time it's been anything but #1 or #2. Shows how hard it is to compete with Nissan, ford and Toyota when you don't sell to rental agencies.

As for recall, they apply to cars already sold and there isn't much evidence that recalls have much impact on sales of NEW vehicles. I don't think Toyota ever really suffered when it was in the midst of recalling 10M vehicles a few years ago. Recalls are so common now that customers don't really see them as a sign that a particular company can't be trusted. We are bombarded with recall news every week for one car or another.

Phil

One reason for the slower sales for the Chevy Silverado is the lower incentives offered by GM.

There was an article in the Detroit News today elaborating on Ford and Chrysler offering significant incentives.

Story behind the story is RAM offered the biggest discounts so that'll affect sales as well as bottom line. See if that keeps up.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-01/chrysler-s-ram-and-jeep-sales-lead-to-48th-straight-monthly-gain.html?cmpid=yhoo

Vik

Elliott- data to backup your "daily driver" vs. work truck comment, or just something you pulled out of your a**? Thanks in advance for any data you can provide.

Phil Bickel

Elliot my friend, it's tough to build a house or run oil rigs with Mazda 6's. Trucks are the back-bone of the US Economy, and as for the Camry being the number one sedan for 12 years running the car critics can kiss my grits, It's the best built longest lasting car in America, and in twenty years those same Camrys will be on a boat to LaHore Pakistan to become taxis.

Phil Bickel

Phil-- The Dodge Ram put a hurting on the Silverado because it looks and feel like a better truck, plus it earned truck of the year, two years running. I sell Toyotas and I'm impressed with their truck, I would just be concerned about durability, they have a history of not going the distance.

Phil Bickel

ShethJ--The Accord #1, when? Maybe for a single month, but it's never held the number one spot for a quarter or a year, at least in the last 12 years. The Camry has been number one for twelve years running, and 15 of the last 16 years. The car writers all love the Accord, but the buyers love them Camrys. If you want to banter about fleet sales, realize, that those rental cars all end up in a driveway at one point or another.

Phil Bickel

The real story to me is how strong the Altima continues to be. They are forcing Toyota to get aggressive on incentives to match or at least get close to their OTD prices.

All of the current pickups are good trucks, but Ram has most aggressive incentives and its paying off in terms of taking marketshare from GM and Ford. F-150 sales barely increased last month so Ram was far and away the best of the 3 in terms of % increase.

I said the Accord has been in the top two spots for a long, long time. I do realize it hasn't been #1 for a while but you can bet Honda would argue thats because they dont play the fleet game. I'm not saying fleet sales are bad, but when it comes to American cars people have long criticized using fleet sales as a significant % of the business.

Vik

Eliot- that's what I thought. Thanks.

MJ

I'm surprised that a much smaller company like Honda is destroying General Motors in this top ten best selling car list. GM should be embarrassed not to have 1 single car on the list. Probably because they always have the worst quality.

Rich

Ram just released their diesel V6 in the 1500 that is rated at 28mpg on the highway and has a 9,200lb tow capacity. This may have something to do with the sales surge.

the Ram diesel hasnt even reached customers yet. They just started taking dealer orders recently.

GM sold almost twice as many vehicles as Honda. Honda trails even Chrysler by a significant margin in monthly sales. Honda derives a huge portion of its sales from 3 models- and those 3 are sometimes on the top 10 list although civic didnt make it this time.

Wow! A great list of top cars for 2014. Ford is a surprize winner in this list.

MJ

ShethJ you have very poor reading comprehension skills as I clearly stated I was referring to this Top Ten Best Selling cars. Honda deominates GM as they build lousy cars. That's why most of them are rental cars.

curtis savoy

gm truck sales when u include gmc -are a bit more than posted---??? they just showed the silverado and not the gmc

Elliott

Vik- First of all you spelled my name wrong, so there's that. Second, I live in Michigan. Lots of people drives trucks here. I know people who drive trucks and most of them do not use their truck to carry lumber that will then be used to build something. They drive them every day because they like how they look. Finally, I do not need data to make a comment on this blog. I can say what I want as long as my language is appropriate.

J pope

It's all about Price. The dodge is just so much cheaper. You for what you get I've been a dealer for 25 yrs at the auctions Chevy trucks always bring more even more than Fords

B. Davis

I was one of the 42,532 people who bought a new 2014 RAM truck this past March. Chrysler please take note... there was only one real reason I bought the RAM 2500 4x4: the Cummins turbo diesel engine. After two disappointing Powerstroke F250's I was ready for a change and, after driving it home from the dealer, I new that it was the right decision. With the six-speed manual tranny I got 21.5 MPG and it is one of the quietest diesels around. As a general contractor who does some very heavy towing, I am looking forward to testing the best in class HP and torque-- very happy so far.

J. Bedder

Everywhere I go I see parking lots filled with more SUVs and crossovers than any other type vehicle. America has a love affair with these vehicles and sales are high. So how come none are on the list?

Awesome! The Ford-F series really had a great turn over during 2013 due to their incredible creativity!!

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