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 (5)

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 (2)

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)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: April 2014

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As April sales trickled in this morning, all eyes were on GM. Would the automaker's recent ignition-switch recall — which affected some 2.6 million small cars, mostly from the 2000s, and reaped dozens of lawsuits and multiple investigations — drive new-car shoppers away from Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC dealerships?

April's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

Nope, not one bit. GM sales improved 6.9 percent in April versus a decent April 2013. Even the Chevrolet brand, whose erstwhile Cobalt and HHR headlined the recalls, gained 5.3 percent on the strength of the new Impala (up 27.2 percent) and redesigned full-size SUVs and pickup trucks, despite declines for popular cars like the Cruze, Malibu and Equinox. If faulty ignitions were part of the "old GM," as the automaker has emphasized, car shoppers evidently agreed.

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

Toyota and Ford Disagree (Again) Over Global Best-Seller Title

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The Toyota Corolla ended 2013 in ninth place on the U.S. sales ladder, eclipsed by a cadre of full-size Detroit pickup trucks and three popular family sedans — including Toyota's own Camry. But car shoppers across the world, where the streets aren't so Texas-sized, preferred the Corolla to every other car model in 2013.

$20,000 Compact Sedan Challenge

This is according to Toyota, citing registration data from analytics firm Polk. The automaker says the data, which captures 96 percent of new-car sales worldwide, indicated 1,098,524 Corolla registrations in 2013. That beat an April 9 proclamation by Ford that the Focus was 2013's global best-seller with 1,097,618 registrations. Ford, like Toyota, cited Polk data.
 
It would seem that Toyota won by a hair. But, as a certain former president might say, it depends how you define the terms.

By Kelsey Mays | April 23, 2014 | Comments (7)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: March 2014

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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.

By Aaron Bragman | April 1, 2014 | Comments (27)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: February 2014

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Winter dragged on in February and car sales for many automakers remained in hibernation, at least for the first half of the month. Shoppers shunned popular sedans like the Honda Accord (down 12.1 percent), Ford Fusion (down 14.3 percent), Toyota Camry (down 7.3 percent) and Hyundai Sonata (down 30.1 percent). They did buy more Chevrolet Malibus and Nissan Altimas, however, placing the Altima atop the car-only pile for February, a roost it last held in March 2013.

February's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

That wasn't the only changing of the guard. Shoppers gravitated toward the Chevrolet Cruze last month (up 21.7 percent versus a weak February 2013) but drifted from the Honda Civic (down 5 percent versus an also-weak February 2013); the Civic hasn't been absent from the top 10 best-sellers list since September 2012.

As we expected, snow-ready cars had their day. We reported Feb. 20 that sales for all-wheel-drive vehicles were up some 20 percent in the first part of the year. Indeed, shoppers preferred off-road brands: Land Rover gained 3 percent and Subaru climbed 24 percent. Jeep saw the highest gains, with sales up 47.4 percent. Shoppers bought more Jeep Cherokees, Grand Cherokees and Wranglers than 16 other nameplates across Fiat Chrysler's five U.S. brands. Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales, said February's harsh weather across most of the country "has been ideally suited" for the brand, which had the best February in its 73-year existence.

By Kelsey Mays | March 3, 2014 | Comments (11)

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.

By Kelsey Mays | February 3, 2014 | Comments (16)

January's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

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As automakers report their total January sales today, many point to the polar temperatures seen in much of the country as a reason for subpar results. While the totals may be down, there were still plenty of cars selling quickly — coincidentally enough, many with all-wheel drive.

Best-Selling Car News

Twelve of the 18 fastest-selling cars either come standard with all-wheel drive or have it widely available. Although Wall Street had a bad January, perhaps some 2013 bonus checks helped brands like Land Rover, which had the top two spots on the fastest-selling list. Mercedes-Benz's redesigned and nearly six-figure S550 also made the list.

By David Thomas | February 3, 2014 | Comments (0)

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