By on June 13, 2011

OK boys and girls, we’re working on our last month of the first half of 2011… and it’s time for a gut-check. Here are the studs of the light-duty vehicle sales world, the top 25 total volume sellers in the US through May. But remember, we have no fleet sales breakouts by model (data donations accepted at our contact form)… so this isn’t necessarily a measure of the cars that are selling best with private consumers. Still, it’s an interesting list of cars, with a surprise for everyone (RAV4 barely beating Prius, for starters). We hope you enjoy it.

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63 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: The Top 25 Best-Selling Nameplates Through May...”


  • avatar
    Rob

    What?!?!? Where’s the Volt?

  • avatar
    HoldenSSVSE

    Strictly back of the envelope math. Given the Honda Accord and Civic have had a fleet sales rate of about 4% for both, the Corolla about 13% and the Camry 17% – some back of the envelope rough math says the Accord is the number one selling car at retail, followed closely by the Civic.

    I can’t find a “recent” fleet sales number for the Altima but I swear it was high in 2010 – 20%+??? I know Avis has a crap load of ‘em.

    Cruze is a whisker away from breaking into the top ten – that’s impressive. For Explorer cracks the top 25 despite weak reviews, complaints, and a thumbs down from the Brain Slug Planet – sorry, sorry, Consumer Reports. Overall looks like a list of “usual suspects,” beyond the Explorer; susprised Focus sales are that low on the chart (ya I know, the new one just got here but still, would have expected more iron sold) and surprised at the strength of the Jetta.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      I’m also surprised to see Jetta where it is. I’m wondering if “Boy did I get a VW for cheap!” will turn into “Boy did I get a cheap VW!”. So far it looks like the move down market was a smart move, but it’s still early.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Most of the new Jettas I’m seeing are the 2.0 powered strippers. I think many of them are rentals. Didn’t True Delta’s price comparison reveal that comparably equipped Jettas are more expensive than the old higher cost version? I guess it doesn’t matter if badge leasers are sticking to the new poverty model.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The majority of the Explorer reviews have been fairly positive. Even the Consumer Reports write-up that didn’t earn a recommended rating still left the impression that overall they liked the vehicle. The MotorTrend hatchet job with a pre-production build sample was really the only one that trashed it. The Explorer isn’t perfect, but it does a lot of things right, and the large CUV segment is booming as Americans are downsizing from their full size SUVs to save on fuel costs, but don’t want to give up the space or road presence that large vehicles provide.

      Focus was supply limited for a while with the model transition. I’m not sure how it will look overall this year- so far sales have been brisk, but the demographic of buyer has certainly changed. It used to be that the Focus was the car we would put credit criminals in because of the low price and big rebates to help out LTV ratios and eat up negative equity. Now, with virtually no incentives and a considerably higher MSRP, which granted is matched by a much improved car all the way around, the buyers are considerably more affluent and well researched. It’s become a destination car, one people want to buy because they like it, not just because it’s what they can afford/get-approved-on.

      • 0 avatar
        jimmyy

        Fords have way too many problems. I think Consumer Reports and JDPowers will be giving Ford quality the big downgrade soon. I would avoid Ford. Too many quality complaints on the web. The MyFord computer breaks. Transmission problems.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        The JD Power numbers might drop, we’ll see when the survey comes out, but the models that are doing well in CR will continue to do well. MyFord Touch had a rocky launch, but the latest releases have been very stable, and the word I’m hearing is that there is a major software overhaul in the works right now that will likely launch late fall this year, and should be fully backwards compatible with previously sold units.

        The transmission issues for the most part have either been very isolated (Mustang manuals), easily fixed (Fiesta ground wire), or already fixed as a matter of production and fixed for the majority of effected customers (early 2010 Fusion and 2011 Fiesta transmission firmware).

        Type in ‘*insert any vehicle model here* problems’ into Google and you’ll get a bevy of hits from disgruntled owners. There no more a reason to avoid a Ford than a Toyota or Honda: cars are complex, occasionally things break, just try to stay away from models that have a history of numerous and varied issues. So far with the new Ford vehicles, the issues all come down to buggy software, whether it’s the transmission firmware or the MyFord Touch system, thankfuly, those are easily fixed problems and don’t point to potential long term issues or engineering shortfalls in the vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Jimmy, what is the source of your statement that Fords have too many problems? It isn’t commonly known is it? Prove it to me that you have a legit source for this, that you just aren’t making something up because you don’t like Ford.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        MikeAR,

        There was a story here that Ford is trying some ploy to get out in front of what are going to be horrible JD Power initial quality survey results. The fresh new models have bad-old-day style big-3 new model problems and I’ve also been hearing reports about F150 airbags going off for no particularly good reason. Stay tuned in coming weeks for the 2011 JD Power reports. If you know how to search TTAC, you can probably find the story here from the past two weeks.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        CJ –

        The airbag issue is from a previous bodystyle, and from everything I’ve read it is limited to ’04 – ’06 models. There is no airbag design flaw in the current F-150.

        The issues are also hardly in the style of ‘old Detroit’. Most of the problems are minor, easily fixed, and the model with the most common issue, the Fiesta, isn’t on the top 25 list. The way the JD Power survey reports results the MyFord Touch glitches will probably be the biggest factor, so while it may be trying to get ahead of a story, it’s still the truth.

        I doubt the overall results will be horrible. Ford may drop a few places, but if you’ll remember, Toyota plunged in the JD Power survey after the SUA issue, but now that’s a distant memory for most people.

      • 0 avatar

        The fact that Toyota “plunged” in JD Power survey tells us everything we need to know about reliability of JD Power numbers. They are measuring the public mood, not vehicle quality.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        I do remember that article. I’m inclined to give Ford a pass though until I see some firm numbers. But the problems mentioned, especially Sync, MyTouch whatever they call itgo a long way toward proving my thesis that cars have become much too complex, depending on electronics when they are by nature unreliable. I want a simple car that doesn’t have all that stuff. Just wait, that sort of problem will rotate through all the manufacturers, for the most part it isn’t ready for prime time and is becoming more complex and less reliable.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        jimmyy, I have heard the same about Ford recently. One of the brands my brothers sell is Ford and they have experienced an uptick in warranty work. Could it just be more picky customers?

        The brands to go to these days clearly is Hyundai in sedans and Ford trucks that continue to smoke the competition. I bet Hyundai could sell a lot more sedans if they had them but there is a shortage. Silverado may come in at second place in sales but they offer only dinosaur tech with their pushrod engines and are way overdue for a facelift and some new engines.

        It’s clear from the chart that only 10 of the 25 best sellers are a domestic brand. While not surprising, that indicates that more Americans still choose to buy the foreign brands instead of the domestic brands, in spite of all the bail outs, hand outs, nationalization, special accounting privileges, preferential tax accommodations and DOE-retooling loans. That’s not a good sign.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Maybe more models on the import side, but total vehicle sales:

        1,216,000 (rounded) Domestic

        1,173,000 (rounded) Import

        The import number is also a mix of Japanese, Korean, and German. So, even when taking into account some differences in fleet mixes, it’s clear that the preferred nationality of vehicles overall of US buyers is American.

        Of course, the truck sales have a ton to do with that, and if you pull those out the figures change. The cars are moving up the charts though. No one ever said Detroit was going to topple Toyota or Honda overnight. Trends are what matter here, and more and more people are buying D3 passenger cars.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Nullo, I remember the days when the domestics were the only game in town so toppling Toyota, et al, overnight makes me LOL. Not too long ago the imports were just itching to get a toe hold in America to sell their little cars and the VW Bug was a niche car with a big fan base.

        Things would be different if we didn’t have the choices in new vehicles we currently have in America. Although I bought domestics for most of my life, I can see that the innovations brought here by the foreigners have dramatically improved the offerings from the domestics. Even so, the market share of the domestics has dwindled to where GM and Chrysler went bust, and Ford was pretty shaky.

        Back in 2008, my brothers seriously toyed with the idea of dropping Ford from their line-up. I urged them not to because Ford had a lot of potential with Mulally on board, and as long as they didn’t take any overt bail out money like GM and Chrysler did, the public would perceive them to have a slim chance of making it on their own and favor them. The rest is history.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I never heard a thing about exploding airbags in Ford F150 trucks until the last few months. Seems like it could be a wear and age issue, in which case the ones made in the past five years should be just as bad as the previous ones. That is the case unless Ford found the problem and fixed it without telling three million of their customers that they were driving potential death traps without telling them… No thanks! I don’t want to be found on road, dead.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        CJ –

        There was a pretty public recall not long ago of the ’04 – ’06 models for the airbag issue. It started off smaller, but after more investigation Ford discovered more trucks could be at risk and recalled a larger chunk to be safe.

        After the Firestone fiasco and the potential for fires from cruise control modules I’m sure Ford didn’t want to take chances with another safety issue. While the bodystyle didn’t change for the ’06 model, there were a moderate number of minor refreshes that the truck underwent, so it’s likely that the design of the airbag system was changed to accommodate some of the new electronics offerings, and the new part was probably just not effected by the issue that caused the recall on earlier trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      The supply of the Japanese cars is very limited. People I know are waiting to purchase a new car until the Japanese have more vehicles. I doubt fleets are buying Japanese cars now. The prices are at sticker.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Pacific Honda(San Diego) wants $3,050 over list for 2012 Civics. Based on 15 minutes on their lot, I think they’re getting it too.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        “People I know are waiting to purchase a new car until the Japanese have more vehicles.”

        Given how well-made the newest Hyundais are, that’s pretty silly. Hyundai has solid competitors in every mainstream segment that the Japanese are in, save minivans and pickups.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Hyundais are still lacking in areas like shifter feel, steering precision, control quality, and other subjective measures of quality and driving pleasure. People who’ve bought a few new cars know that a warranty isn’t as reassuring as having owned multiple cars that make it out of their warranty periods without any issues at all. Besides, Hyundai’s warranty is a powertrain warranty. Typically the stuff that breaks after 5 years in a good cars is peripheral stuff like solenoids, switches, and electric motors that wouldn’t be covered by Hyundai anyway. You come to expect a Toyota or Honda engine to work for 100,000 miles, with or without a warranty. A Hyundai may be appealing to you, but there are plenty of good reasons for buying something else. Especially if it is something you already have a history with where it met or exceeded all of your expectations. The people I know who bought Hyundais or Kias in the past three years already wish they’d bought something else.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        “The supply of the Japanese cars is very limited. People I know are waiting to purchase a new car until the Japanese have more vehicles.”

        - Hmmm, then how do you explain $139 lease deals on the Camry and $119 lease deals on the Altima?
        ___________

        “Hyundais are still lacking in areas like shifter feel, steering precision, control quality, and other subjective measures of quality and driving pleasure.

        You come to expect a Toyota or Honda engine to work for 100,000 miles, with or without a warranty.”

        - Yeah, like Toyotas are known for “steering precision” or quality control nowadays and the 6 spd AT on Hyundais is one of the smoothest shifting automatic trannies out there.

        And let’s just simply overlook the fact that the Sonata and Elantra have won comparisons than the Camry, Corolla, Accord or Civic.

        Nevermind Honda and Toyota having been hit with class action lawsuits for prematurely failing transmissions and engine sludge not so long ago.

        Not saying Hyundais are perfect or the best, but that’s quite the biased picture you are propagating.

        And oh, btw, many long-time Honda owners have gotten fed-up with the “dumbed-down” Honda models and are defecting to Kia for a “fun ride.”

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        It is a biased picture based on dozens of ownership experiences. If friends I recommended Hyundais and Kias in recent years had been happier with them, I’d be more open minded. Now, I just speak from experience. Denying youself a Honda or Toyota is folly, but it is your folly and I love to see inadequacy punished. It isn’t like you buying a crummy car causes another 4.5 businesses a day to leave California, like with ignorant voting behavior. Citations and Tauruses won comparison tests too.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        “Hyundais are still lacking in areas like shifter feel, steering precision, control quality, and other subjective measures of quality and driving pleasure.”

        That describes pretty much any mainstream Honda or Toyota product. Have you driven a Corolla or a current-gen Civic recently? They’re pretty boring and uninspiring to drive.

        And I guess the 100k miles some relatives got out of a 1st gen Santa Fe that were virtually trouble free can’t dislodge your massive Toyhonda bias. Your loss, I guess. I’d happily buy an Elantra if I needed a new compact sedan.

      • 0 avatar
        Ducky

        SamP, this is just my personal opinion but as long as Hyundai continues to make use of a torsion beam rear suspension in the Elantra, I’ll be looking elsewhere for my fix. I live in an area full of potholes, and I’d gladly give up things like heated seats for something that simulates an actual suspension. The Japanese brands are ultimately uninspiring (at least in this stage of the game), but the Korean cars are borderline terrible in the dynamics department, both for ride and handling. That doesn’t just apply to the Elantra either, because when I rented a Sonata I thought that it wasn’t as smooth riding or as composed in corners as the Camry, nevermind the Accord- Hyundai would do well to increase chassis rigidity in this area and employ better dampers.

        Beyond that, things like real world fuel economy reported by magazines and consumers have shown that the Elantra is lagging compared to the rest of the class, despite the EPA ratings. So while the car offers a lot in standard features and styling (if that’s your thing, it’s very subjective), I’d be hesitant to buy one for daily commuting needs. Your needs may differ.

        And whoever said that Honda owners are defecting to KIA for a fun ride has me gobsmacked. What, the Forte Coupe and the Soul? Are you serious? Hyundai and Kia have both improved immensely, finally competitive with everyone else, but sometimes I feel like they are being praised and hyped more than they should be. It’s like Hyundai was a near high-school dropout who finally got average grades, yet people are treating him like he’s Valedictorian.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        this is just my personal opinion but as long as Hyundai continues to make use of a torsion beam rear suspension in the Elantra, I’ll be looking elsewhere for my fix. I live in an area full of potholes, and I’d gladly give up things like heated seats for something that simulates an actual suspension

        In a front-drive car that’s not getting track time, a fully independent rear suspension (and rear disc brakes) are highly overrated. The Corolla has a torsion beam and rides well enough**, as does the Eco-trim Cruze, and the MkIV and NCS Jettas ride and handle brilliantly. I’m pretty sure the Caravan and Sienna are torsion-beam as well, and don’t suffer for it. Comparatively, the fully-independent suspension in the Mazda3 and Civic are rather a bit harsher.

        If the Elantra rides badly, that says more about suspension tuning than the design, which saves space and money and weighs much less.

        ** the Matrix is terrible, though.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        “It is a biased picture based on dozens of ownership experiences. If friends I recommended Hyundais and Kias in recent years had been happier with them, I’d be more open minded.”

        *****

        And we all know how RELIABLE anecdotal stories are.

        The fact of the matter is that Hyundai has one of the HIGHEST (in one study, the highest) owner loyalty rates in the industry.

        You don’t get that with having too many dissatisfied owners.

      • 0 avatar
        Ducky

        psarhjinian, either you have a more well cushioned bum, or I am either more sensitive or have a more delicate sense of equilibrium. Regardless, the Elantra’s suspension really is that bad. It’s not even the crashing over potholes (again, better chassis rigidity and damping would help), it’s the side to side sway that never seems to end that gets you.

        I’m curious about your assessment of rear suspensions being overrated in front wheel drive cars. Driver confidence is easily quashed by a misbehaving rear, and if you find your car skittering unsettled when you’re making a left turn at only 60 km/h, you really don’t think a properly independent rear suspension makes all the difference? It doesn’t matter which end of the car is doing the driving when you’re in the middle of the corner and things get rough.

        BD2- I’m curious about the owner loyalty rates. I’d think that most Hyundai converts are recent, so therefore they are loyal owners as they haven’t really bought Hyundai’s before- and I certainly don’t think Hyundai owners are as loyal as Ford and Chevy truck owners.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      One quick glance at the chart and bam! No matter what, high gasoline prices, low prices, retail, fleet, whatever, the F150 rules the US. People in the US buy trucks year after year, while some folks think that this is bad, I see it as pragmatic. I’ve wondered about what kind of vehicle I would drive if I could only drive one, pickup trucks are close to the top of the list.

      You may not like Fords but you have to give them respect for hitting the sweet spot in the market year after year.

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        There’s a reason Ford stays at the top of light truck sales and it isn’t luck. They do a much better job of reading the market and putting the effort into improving and updating their trucks a whole lot sooner than GM or Chrysler. Swapping out the standard 4.6L V8 for the 3.7L V6 (with higher horsepower and better fuel economy) has easily kept the F150 ahead of GM’s long-in-the-tooth Silverado and the quality-challenged Dodge Ram.

        Frankly, if not for fleet sales, I wonder if the Silverado would even make the list.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        We have tons of Silverados and Sierras traded in, so I get plenty of opportunities to drive GM trucks, and overall they are very solid vehicles. I’ve driven ten year old GM trucks with over 100,000 miles that still felt as tight and smooth as a brand new one (of course, I’ve also driven two year old Silverados that felt like they were going to fall apart before I reached the trade lot, so, maybe it just comes down to how well someone takes care of their car). There are certainly areas where Ford has a design advantage over GM, and I agree that Ford is more proactive about listening to and watching the truck market to innovate new features that a lot of buyers want (tailgate steps, integrated trailer brake controllers, box side-steps, standard trailer sway control, etc) but I’d say the GM trucks come in a close second in overall build quality and design to the F-Series.

        GM does have a baffling powertrain strategy sometimes. The 4.3 liter V6 is a lump. It’s maddening that GM still uses it and at the same time killed off the awesome Atlas I6 that could have easily been made to fit into a fullsize truck engine bay. In fact, the Atlas I6 could have replaced both the 4.3 V6 and the 4.8 V8 pretty easily.

  • avatar
    areaman

    Only a single Chrysler product on the list. Ouch.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I wonder if badge engineering is having an effect. Is it possible that the Caravan/Town&Country combined would have made the list? It probably wouldn’t be enough to help the Avenger/200 or Charger/300. the Durango/Grand Cherokee probably won’t sell in large numbers either.

  • avatar
    snabster

    Really says something about DC that I don’t know a single person who has bought one of these (top 25) in the past year. Plenty of A5s, BMWs (x6, 5 series), and new A4s around.

    What I do see a lot of is the new Jetta, and the Ford Fiesta. Personally, the Jetta looks ok when peeking in. The Fiesta is cute, fun, looks great, and my girlfriend would dump me in a heartbeat if I showed up in one. I just hope I can get one as a rental.

    Also the Sonata and Elentras seem relatively popular. What I don’t see is a lot of genesis, which I thought would be a lot more popular.

    Seen a few of the cruzes driving around. I want to like that car, but it just isn’t doing it.

    I’ve love to find a map to see where used BMWs are being bought. They seem like Honda accords around here.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      DC is a funky place. You have some of the nations wealthiest neighborhoods right next to some of the worst ghettos, and it’s one of those places where very few of the people there are originally from there. When I lived in the mid-atlantic I avoided DC for the most part, but I had friends in Glen Burnie and Gaithersburg, so I was around the greater Baltimore/DC area often enough.

      Aside from the ubiquitous domestic sedans with government plates I do recall a lot of German iron roaming the streets. I guess it makes sense to a degree, if your employer pays based on cost of living in one of the most expensive areas in the country things that are basically the same price everywhere, like cars, become a lot more affordable. I’d also guess that there is probably a higher concentration of lawyers in DC than in any other area of the country, and if they can afford to practice in DC, they’re probably getting paid pretty well and have a certain image obsession that drives them to the German luxury brands.

      As far as the Genesis goes, Hyundai reports sales of the Genesis coupe and sedan together, and combined they seem to account for around 1,500 to 2,500 per month. I’ve personally seen more Genesis sedans on the road, but where I live now big sedans are in general more popular that sporty coupes.

      • 0 avatar
        jimmyy

        Fords have so many fleet sales that the executives try to hide the number. It is embarassing. I would never want a car that is the top rental car.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Prove that Ford is trying to hide fleet sales. Prove that Ford has more fleet sales than GM. Don’t just spout some crap and run and hide, prove what you are saying and maybe you’ll be taken seriously.

        I bet you drive an Impala. Surely you can’t find one of those in a fleet.

      • 0 avatar
        jimmyy

        I saw the light. Only Japanese cars in my driveway.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        Jimmy said it. It must be true.

      • 0 avatar
        HoldenSSVSE

        jimmmy doesn’t want any fleet queens but lies to himself about that Camry sitting in his driveway; which was tickling 20% fleet sales status right before the Japanese earthquake.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        MikeAR – I think TTAC reported last month that Ford is running at around 30-33% fleet and GM around 26-27% (all from memory). Both well above some of the imports.

        It is interesting to see the Jetta do so well – so much for all the criticism (some warranted). The market will speak.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The Genesis sedan is more popular than the coupe, and you’re likely to see more Genesis sedans (well, at least in the warmer weather regions) than the Lexus GS or Infiniti M.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        I saw my first new Infiniti M ‘in the wild’ a couple days ago (well, maybe just the first I noticed) and it’s a good looking car. We don’t get a lot of Infiniti trades (certainly a lot less than we do Lexus or Acura, although that could also just be a factor of the relative popularity of the brands in sales) but I do look forward to when one of the new Ms shows up on the used car lot.

        The odd thing about the Genesis sedans I’ve been seeing is most of them have had all traces of Hyundai badging removed from them. I sat beside one in traffic the other day and I couldn’t find a single Hyundai emblem. I don’t know if it’s something the dealer is doing or the owners, but since most of them appear to have the pseudo-Bentley/Chrysler wings in place of all of the slanted H’s I’m guessing it’s a dealer thing.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        @Nullo: that’s the Korean “Genesis” logo. By default, the front of the car doesn’t have a Hyundai badge, but the rear badge is dealer-optional.

        Asian cars use sub-brand logos as much or more than the corporate logo in their home market. You used to see this in Japanese products sold North America and Europe: I had a Corolla with the flower-crown “C”.

        It’s down to the way different cultures are marketed to. From what I recall, Japanese and Korean are relate to the product (“Trinitron, Corolla, Playstation”) whereas North Americans and Europeans value the brand (“Apple, Nike, Ford”)

  • avatar
    threeer

    Jimmyy…yikes…did Ford drown your fish? How about factual statement versus highly subjective opinion?

    And as for the chart…after trucks, I guess that mainstream sedans still rule the roost. For all the talk of “boring and uninspired” the Camry and Corolla are still top-selling cars.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/ford-quality-is-job-one-again/

      Ford’s (lack of) quality should be in the news in coming weeks. At least the news that isn’t in the bag for unions…

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        There’s a huge difference between some first year model (or first year major revision) glitches and low quality product. Intel’s motherboard chipset for the ‘Sandy Bridge’ family of processors had a design flaw that resulted in degraded performance and eventual failure of certain devices over the SATA bus. A revision was released, customers with bad parts had motherboards replaced, and the Intel solution is still the best performing highest quality processor/chipset combination on the market for home computing.

        Might Ford get a bit of egg on their face from overlooking some details in the middle of a new model blitz? Yes. Are any of these issues unrepairable, indicative of an overall lower quality product, or reason to avoid buying a Ford? No.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        CJinSD, any problems with the domestic brands are being suppressed for fear that negative press will affect sales of the bailed out companies, and those, like Ford, that are hocked up to their Blue Oval. There is a concerted effort now, more so than at any time in the past, to keep the buyer of the domestic brands happy campers.

        So I think we will not hear much from anyone about continuing problems of any kind with the domestic brands. Negative press about the domestic auto makers is like cutting off your nose to spite your face! We need them to do well, at any cost, so we can recoup some of our tax payer bucks we bailed them out with, or “lent” them to retool…

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        NulloModo,

        While I agree that Ford has launched a lot of new product, and some glitches are to be expected, the key question is how quickly Ford works to correct the problem.

        In the bad old days, problems were routinely ignored, or faulty parts were replaced with equally faulty parts that got the car through the warranty period, and when said part failed, the customer was told, “Tough luck, the car is out of warranty.”

        The fragile head gaskets in the 3.8 V-6 and faulty automatic transmissions in Taurus/Sable and Windstar went on for YEARS, were quite widespread, and Ford ignored them for as long as possible.

        I want Ford to succeed, and I really like the new product, but Ford needs to work EXTRA hard to ensure that these glitches are completely corrected. It also needs to intensify its quality improvement efforts.

        Another problem was that Ford (and the rest of Detroit) slacked off on efforts to improve quality as soon as sales improved and red ink changed to black. That simply cannot happen this time.

        If transmissions start grenading in Fiestas at 70,000 miles, or head gaskets start blowing in Fusions at 80,000 miles, the company is toast. It has run out of second chances.

    • 0 avatar

      For all the talk about quality, I’m driving a bailoutmobile and it’s fiiiiine. TrueDelta numbers are just 2 times worse than an equivalent Toyota’s. Now the durability may be an issue, and it chugs gas like a Russian does vodka, but the quality really is not that much of an issue.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        For most vehicles now quality isn’t really that much of an issue. There are some cars that are better than others and there are lemons but for the most part they’re pretty good compared to cars in the past.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    There are a lot of obvious things in this chart (F-150 #1 again, still … yawn) and a few surprises.

    The Altima outsold the Accord. Not too long ago, Nissan was further back in the pack in this segment.

    The Fusion remains right in the thick of things with the market leaders in its segment. Fusion has got real staying power in this segment.

    I really have to wonder how many of those Impalas are being sold to retail buyers. That design is well past its sell by date these days.

    VW’s Jetta strategy seems to be working. It has been a long time since a VW showed up this high up on the charts.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      It will be interesting to see how VW is faring five years from now…will all of these new customers be pleased enough to buy another one, or will bad word-of-mouth seriously hurt the brand?

      As for the Impala – my wife is from a small rural community in western Pennsylvania. When we visited there last month, the local Chevrolet dealer was running ads in the newspaper touting $24,000 Impalas for $17,000.

      I would imagine that this dealer sells quite a few of them to older, more conservative customers who aren’t concerned about driving the “latest and greatest.”

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I recall reading that 75% of Impala sales were fleet. So on an approximate 200,000 units a year 50000 are going to retail. Surprisingly high – at least it is getting engine and transmission upgrades for 2012.

  • avatar
    outback_ute

    It would be interesting to see the bottom 25 selling “mass-market” nameplates if the data is available. Ie not Lambos & Lotuses, but cars that people just aren’t buying.

  • avatar
    obruni

    i would guess that the bottom 25 would be mostly Suzuki and Mitsubishi nameplates, plus a couple of Mazdas and the Dodge Dakota.

  • avatar
    obbop

    “Boy did I get a VW for cheap!” will turn into “Boy did I get a cheap VW!”

    Yah’ know, that one sentence conveys a lot.

    Humor, a declaration, a general comment and, even if not intended, a verbal “jab” at those buying or owning a Jetta.

    Impressive.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    If I had to buy a car today, It would be a nice, red Impala, hands-down. My “gut” feeling on cars that I would actually consider are: Malibu, Fusion, Taurus, 200, 300.

    What type of “enthusiast” does that make me? Really doesn’t make any difference what you buy if it meets your needs, as long as you feel passionate about it.

  • avatar
    jj99

    My firm employs some smart Indians with advanced degrees. They buy Corollas. Why? Because they tell me that Corolla is one of the few small cars that does not break when driven on the poor roads in third world countries. They tell me most other vehicles can not stand up to those road conditions.

    Makes me think this is why Corollas last 300K miles on US roads. Makes me wonder if any of the other small cars on this list can survive third world conditions. If not, then Corolla is the best small car available from this list. Anyone know about Civic on third world roads?

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      What makes a car “best” really depends on what you want or need. I have a Mazda that is a much more interesting car than a Corolla, and while it may not stand up to Indian dirt roads it manages well enough where I do drive it, and it’s been reliable for the last 3 years I’ve owned it. At the same time it’s fun to drive and practical with a hatchback bodystyle no Corolla offers. For my tastes and needs, the Mazda is a better car than the Corolla.

    • 0 avatar
      SP

      I assume that the engineers in question are not, currently, driving their Corollas on poor roads in a third world country. That suggests that they are making an emotional, not rational purchase.

      The Corolla appears to be getting worse with each generation. I base this, not on off-roading experience, but subjective evaluation of the on-road experience here in the USA.

      The last one I drove, a brand-new 2009, was so unpolished in its steering, brake, and throttle inputs, that it makes me quite certain that all available corners were cut.

      I am guessing that off-road durability was one of the hardest-cut corners, since most new car buyers don’t need it.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Who is buying all these F150s? And pickups in general? I though the housing market was still in the tank and gas prices just keep going up. I was in traffic next to an F150 4×4 Ecoboost and thing was HUGE on the stock wheels. Do contractors and lawn maintenance crews buy a new truck every month? I just don’t see how Ford (or Chevy/GMC) find that many buyers for an truck. Accord and Camry sales make sense as that kind of vehicle is perfect for your average person.

    I’d love to see the bottom 25 as well… since my Volvo C30 is way down there. They sell like 300 a month total, compared to Toyota who sells three times as many Camrys per day! When we bought our C30 off the used market there were a grand total of 3 examples with a manual transmission in all of Florida!


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