Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: January 2015

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Auto sales got off to a strong start in January as car shoppers piled into pickup trucks, SUVs and — less expectedly — small cars. With the largest seven automakers reporting figures, new-car sales are up 14.8 percent. The Detroit Three and Japan's three largest automakers all registered double-digit gains, while Hyundai-Kia, the lone laggard, gained just 2.2 percent.

Related: January's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

Most of the popular nameplates saw renewed popularity: With a new Ford F-150 in growing dealer supply (and landing among January's fastest-selling cars), the F-Series pickup truck gained 16.8 percent. The Chevrolet Silverado increased 24.8 percent. Compact-car shoppers pushed the Toyota Corolla, goosed by slightly more year-over-year incentives, up 20.2 percent. And the refreshed Honda CR-V — outside of pickup trucks, the best-selling nameplate in December 2014 — remains hot, ballooning 27.3 percent without incentives.

By Kelsey Mays | February 3, 2015 | Comments (8)

What Was the Best-Selling Car in 2014?

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With all major automakers reporting their figures, auto sales in 2014 are up about 6 percent over 2013 for a grand total of around 16.5 million cars. That would be the auto industry's best year since 2006 or 2005, depending on final totals for 2014 from smaller automakers.

Related: Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: December 2014

The Ford F-Series' 753,851 sales for the year put the truck atop the industry's new-car sales ladder for the umpteenth time, which should surprise no one. What's more interesting is the timing of it. The F-150 accounts for roughly two-thirds of F-Series sales in any given year, and F-Series sales slipped 1.3 percent in 2014. But that came with scant sales from the redesigned 2015 F-150 — meaning somewhere around 500,000 F-Series sales in 2014 were from the old F-150. It's a testament to the truck's popularity, as those shoppers didn't exactly come for the deals. For most months in 2014, year-over-year cash incentives on the F-Series stayed roughly equivalent to their year-before levels.

Helped by a strong construction market and sliding gas prices in the second half of 2014, full-size pickups had a strong year. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Ram pickup and GM's Chevrolet Silverado each saw double-digit sales gains, though shoppers found relatively more incentives on both trucks in 2014 versus 2013. We'll see how the new F-150 affects F-Series sales in 2015 and if FCA and GM ratchet up the deals to keep pace.

By Kelsey Mays | January 5, 2015 | Comments (4)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: December 2014

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If kids spent December piling into the loot from Santa, parents spent it piling into the trucks at their local dealership. Detroit's full-size pickups led the month's top sellers, followed in fourth place by Honda's popular SUV, the CR-V. It received a substantial update for 2015, and three months after it hit dealerships, demand is still strong. Despite no big incentives and comparatively little inventory — 34 days' supply in December versus 67 days a year ago, per Automotive News — shoppers lifted the CR-V past perennial midsize sedan favorites.

Related: December's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

It was a trend writ large among all SUVs. Excluding luxury models, small crossovers gained about 12 percent in December. Big three-row crossovers and full-size, truck-based SUVs piled on about 15 percent apiece. Falling fuel prices all month long helped: Between the final helping of Thanksgiving leftovers and the final chorus of "Auld Lang Syne," a gallon of regular gas dropped some 50 cents nationwide, according to AAA. As of Jan. 2, it averaged just $2.23 per gallon across the country — $1.09 cheaper than it was a year ago.

That bolstered pickup sales, but not for the truck you'd think. Ford's redesigned 2015 F-150 trickled into dealerships in December, but it's still in short supply, accounting for less than 10 percent of new F-150 inventory on Cars.com. F-Series sales ebbed (the F-150 accounts for about two-thirds of that), but pickup shoppers snapped up Ram and Chevrolet Silverado trucks. Both had sales gains of more than 30 percent, and neither one did that with big year-over-year incentives.

By Kelsey Mays | January 5, 2015 | Comments (0)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: November 2014

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The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded is 23 cents cheaper today than it was a month ago, according to AAA. It's a whopping 51 cents cheaper than it was a year ago. Slumping oil prices in November set energy analysts abuzz and consumers charging toward pickup trucks and SUVs.

Related: November's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

Shoppers snapped up the restyled Honda CR-V like it was the last slice of pumpkin pie. It was among the fastest-selling cars in November, and sales gained 37.7 percent to make Honda's crossover the most popular non-pickup for the month. That's a seismic shift in popularity for an SUV that didn't make the top 10 list as recently as February.

Indeed, small SUVs were in Rogue — er, vogue — all month long. The Jeep Cherokee, now heavily incentivized versus its just-introduced period in November 2013, gained 66.6 percent to become Fiat Chrysler Automobile's second most popular model behind the Ram pickup. With gains from major players like the CR-V, Nissan Rogue (up 43.7 percent) and Ford Escape (up 21.6 percent), compact SUVs tacked on more than 20 percent in year-over-year sales. That's despite most of the segment's major players having similar cash incentives compared to a year-ago.

By Kelsey Mays | December 2, 2014 | Comments (1)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: October 2014

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A rash of airbag recalls in October hasn't deterred car shoppers. Sales from seven largest automakers gained 5.8 percent in October, leading to an annualized rate that should top 16 million cars for the eighth month in a row. Among the top 10 sellers, two new compacts enter the list — the Toyota Corolla and the Chevrolet Cruze. The Ford Fusion and Toyota RAV4, despite sales increases, are off.

Related: October's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

Mammoth gains from its Jeep and Ram divisions lifted Fiat Chrysler Automobiles up 21.7 percent to lead the Big Seven in sales gains. The Ram pickup gained 33.5 percent despite no sizeable change in incentives over the year-ago month, and that was versus a pretty good October 2013. It's possible the pickup snatched a number of truck shoppers who didn't want to buy the outgoing Ford F-150. September's strong housing starts, which typically feed pickup sales, provided a boost, too. F-Series sales slipped as truck shoppers await the redesigned 2015 F-150, which arrives later this year, but the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra combined to gain 10.8 percent.

 Here are the top 10 best-selling cars in October:

By Kelsey Mays | November 3, 2014 | Comments (0)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: September 2014

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The kids went back to school, the leaves began to change colors and car shoppers in September sent new-car sales from the largest seven automakers up about 10 percent versus a depressed September 2013. That made for some significant reshuffling in the top 10 sellers. As Toyota Camry shoppers await the updated 2015 model, the Honda Accord spent its second month as America's best-selling sedan, and the Ford Escape broke in to the top 10 sellers for the first time since March 2014.

Related: What's the Most Worry-Free Car You Can Buy?

Honda, Chrysler, GM and Nissan led major automakers with double-digit sales gains. Ford sales fell 2.7 percent as the F-Series had its second straight month of declining sales ahead of the redesigned F-150 hitting dealerships. Pickup-truck shoppers apparently preferred the F-Series' competitors: Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and Ram pickup sales combined to gain 39.8 percent.

By Kelsey Mays | October 1, 2014 | Comments (5)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: August 2014

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The Honda Accord topped the Toyota Camry to become the nation's best-selling car in August. The Accord's sales surged 32.5 percent and signaled a return by shoppers to the tried-and-true family schleppers — midsize sedans — as kids headed back to school. Shoppers flocked toward popular models like the Accord, Ford Fusion (up 19.5 percent) and Hyundai Sonata (up 24.7 percent) as family-sedan nameplates gained 9.5 percent in overall sales. The Accord, in particular, had a few more incentives than a year ago, which is rare for Honda, and shoppers responded. It put the Accord above the Camry in monthly sales for the first time since December 2013.

Related: August's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

With sales from the largest seven automakers up 5.1 percent, industry projections suggest a sales pace not seen since mid-2006. Shoppers chose Chrysler (up 19.8 percent) and Nissan (up 11.5 percent) more than other automakers. GM, whose sales fell 1.2 percent on slow Buick and Cadillac sales, was the only automaker to see a drop. Whether this can be blamed on the automaker's recall crisis is hard to say, given GM has seen a sales uptick through much of the year.

By Kelsey Mays | September 3, 2014 | Comments (6)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: July 2014

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Today's sales figures continue to pave the road for a strong 2014. As the sales year steams into its second half, we've seen new optimism from analysts and automakers that expect total new-car sales this year to land close to where they were in the heyday years of the early 2000s.

Related: Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: June 2014

With the largest seven automakers reporting numbers so far today, industry sales increased 9 percent over July 2013. Honda was the odd one out (down 3.9 percent), but Hyundai-Kia, Toyota and recall-beset GM reported single-digit sales gains, while Chrysler, Ford, Nissan and Toyota reported double-digit gains. All of that is compared against a pretty good month a year ago for the industry, too.

Thanks to big gains from the Sentra and Versa, Nissan sales gained 11.4 percent. Small-car sales overall were mixed: Shoppers had more interest in the Ford Focus (up 5.7 percent) but not the recall-besieged Chevrolet Cruze (down 17.8 percent), the Honda Civic (down 7.3 percent) or the Hyundai Elantra (down 7.9 percent).

By Kelsey Mays | August 1, 2014 | Comments (4)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: June 2014

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The broken record continues. Another sales month, and all eyes are on GM. When the automaker's 2014 recall total long-jumped past the 20 million mark, we thought there was no way new-car sales could remain unaffected. Yes, we heard from industry experts that shoppers don't pay attention to recalls like they used to, and anyone who owns a Chevy Cobalt isn't in the market for a new car anyway. But given congressional testimonies and lawsuits galore, we expected shoppers to deal the General a sales defeat in June.

Related: 2014 American-Made Index

It didn't happen. GM sales increased 1 percent, beating out Ford and Honda, each down 5.8 percent. A sales stoppage in late June on the Chevrolet Cruze, which GM recalled shortly thereafter, contributed toward a 20.9 percent decline for the popular compact, as did lower inventory for the car. Still, GM's Buick and GMC divisions lifted overall sales for the automaker. And with half of 2014 now in the books, U.S. sales operations head Kurt McNeil said in a sales statement that GM saw its best half-year of retail sales (that's sales to individuals, as opposed to commercial fleets) since 2008.

By Kelsey Mays | July 1, 2014 | Comments (3)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: May 2014

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All signs point toward another strong month for the auto industry. Toyota gained 17 percent as shoppers bought nearly 50,000 Camry sedans, leapfrogging the Chevrolet Silverado to a No. 2 spot in May's best-sellers. Cash incentives on the Camry increased versus year-ago levels, which likely fueled some of the nameplate's 26.4 percent gain. But so did renewed interest in family sedans: The Ford Fusion (up 14.6 percent), Nissan Altima (up 12.9 percent) and Honda Accord (up 19.3 percent) drew more shoppers, too.

May's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

Nissan's 18.8 percent gain led the top seven automakers, while big increases from its Jeep and Ram divisions lifted Chrysler sales 16.7 percent. The Ram pickup truck gained 17.2 percent, the biggest percentage gain of any full-size pickup. Its rival Ford F-Series dropped 4.3 percent; no doubt shoppers are awaiting a new F-150 that hits dealerships at the end of this year.

Ford, Hyundai-Kia and Honda all gained less than 10 percent, falling below the seven largest automakers' 11.8 percent gain. Still, even the poorest performer (Ford) saw sales up 3 percent.

By Kelsey Mays | June 3, 2014 | Comments (3)

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