By on April 28, 2012

Now that nearly all of you know are familiar with the Top 100 best-selling cars in the world and the Top 318 best-selling models in Europe, what if we looked no further than the United States of America and go through the Top 265 best-selling models here over the First Quarter of this year…


So you’re bored with home already. But that’s ok because I have sales info for 159 additional countries for you to visit in my blog, all one by one. So don’t be shy and click away!

Now for those of you who are still interested, I will start by saying that no, the Honda Element is not the least selling car in the country, but just: with just 3 models sold in the last 3 months and down 99.8% year-on-year it ranks #261 out of 265 models accounted for…That would be because the model has been discontinued and is no longer produced.

Why did I focus on the Honda Element? Just because.

For more see below the jump.

Let’s be clear from the start: there were more than 265 models sold in the US over the first 3 months of 2012, but data for brands of supercars like Ferrari and Maserati are very hard to come across and haven’t been included. If you have any info on missing brands/models please comment on here.

The top of the US model rankings are a regular fixture at TTAC, so I will not dwell on it. Rather, I will spend some time focusing on the lesser known parts of the rankings. Let’s explore the darkness together and start beyond the Top 100…

…with the all-new Buick Verano making a first appearance in 138th place with 4,980 sales…

…the Mazda CX-5 at #148 with 3,986 units…

…and the Chevrolet Volt at #150 and 3,915 sales, up 224 percent on the same period in 2011.

Further down, let’s notice a few strong year-on-year progressions: the Audi A6 is up 87 percent to #155…

…the Nissan NV is up a huge 8916 percent to #172…

…the VW Touareg is up 62 percent to #179…

…the Smart fortwo is up 79 percent to #181…

…the Mercedes CLS is up 292 percent to #196…

…the Nissan Leaf is up 283 percent to #197…

…and BMW 6 Series up 566 percent to #198.

There are a few more newcomers in this ranking, including the Scion iQ at #177 with 2,523 sales…

…Range Rover Evoque at #183 with 2,180 units…

…Infiniti JX35 at #227 with 540 sales…

…and Chevrolet Caprice PPV at #235 and 368 units.

The Top 20 worst-selling cars in the USA Q1 2012

Pos Model 2012 /11
265 Honda FCX Clarity 1 new
264 Suzuki Forenza/Reno 1 0%
263 Lexus SC 2 -86%
262 Chevrolet Cobalt 3 -99%
261 Honda Element 3 -100%
260 Mercedes B Class 7 250%
259 Suzuki XL7 7 -70%
258 Chevrolet HHR 9 -100%
257 Lexus LFA 14 -18%
256 Dodge Viper 20 -76%
255 Ford Police Interceptor Utility 27 new
254 Ford Police Interceptor Sedan 28 new
253 Chevrolet Aveo 42 -99%
252 Volvo S40 50 -96%
251 Mazda RX-8 62 -69%
250 Cadillac STS 87 -94%
249 Acura RL 99 -81%
248 Porsche Boxster 101 -80%
247 Mitsubishi i-MiEV 136 new
246 Hyundai Azera 159 -69%
245 Acura ZDX 198 -63%

You can see the entire Top 265 best-selling models in the USA over Q1 2012 here.

Now even the American car market has no secrets for you!

The source of the data for this article is manufacturers and

Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.

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27 Comments on “Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Discover Some Of The Bottom 265 Best-Selling Models in the USA! Hint: The Honda Element Is Not Last…...”

  • avatar
    NTI 987

    I’m surprised at the figure for the Boxster. Must be because of the model year transition for the redesign.

  • avatar
    Ex Radio Operator

    Had an HHR as a rental while my car was being repaired. I have driven worse penalty boxes. Noisey engine and the wind noise from the top of the windshield very loud. Other than that wasn’t too bad. My car is on the list, but, it has been discontinued.

  • avatar

    An interesting list.

    A couple of months ago, I saw, perhaps 3 Scion IQ’s in one week, haven’t seen one since then.

    I was going to say why was the Mazda3 on the list of worst selling cars until I realized it was the CX5 (a new model) as the bodies look similar from the side profile.

    Not surprised the Mazda 3 is at 28, I see LOTS of them, especially the 5 door hatch around Seattle, even more so now that I drive its predecessor, the Protege5 (as I still see plenty of Proteges, mostly stock still plying the roads in good shape, nearly a decade later as rust isn’t an issue here).

    One thing, you forgot Fiat. I see them in Seattle quite frequently, nearly weekly these days.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Shame about the Element hate! I truly wished Honda had developed a 2nd generation, perhaps with better gas mileage.

    Great vehicle for hauling dogs, bikes, etc.

  • avatar

    Two comments: How old was the Forenza (or Reno) that was sold new? I hope the customer at least got a new battery … and since when, precisely, have Americans been able to get a B-Klasse? I thought that was for our Canadian friends only.

  • avatar

    It would be helpful if the chart was coded for discontinued models, as well as having a notation for new.

  • avatar

    Kind of stupid list. Cars that are barely out of course they haven’t sold many. Expensive cars of course they don’t sell a lot. You need to look at this with a grain of salt.

    • 0 avatar

      A bunch of discontinued models too, so those ones just reflect the remanants trickling off the lots. It would be nice to see this list with those cleared off. Or at least noted.

  • avatar
    Joe McKinney

    Interesting to see how the Minivans are doing.

    #27 Dodge Grand Caravan – 34,462 – up 23%
    #37 Chrysler Town & Country – 27,734 – up 16%
    #38 Honda Odyssey – 27,657 – up 2%
    #45 Toyota Sienna – 24,200 – down 5%
    #111 Ford Transit Connect – 7,432 – up 7%
    #136 Kia Sedona – 5,000 – up 17%
    #137 Nissan Quest – 4,986 – up 113%
    #149 Mazda5 – 3,941 – down 45%
    #182 Volkswagen Routan – 2,207 – down 19%

    The GC and T&C are both up from last year and continue to lead the segment.
    The Odyssey and Sienna have switched places in the rankings as they do from time to time.
    The fleet only Transit Connect continues to move at a steady pace.
    The Sedona is up by 17%, but is still and also-ran.
    The Quest is a new model which accounts for its 113% increase. It still finished behind the Sedona.
    The Mazda5 is off by almost 50% and trails the full-sized minivans.
    The Routan brings up the rear.

    • 0 avatar

      I have nothing to compare it to, however I had a rental kia sedona over the past week and found it to be a more than capable vehicle. The seats were some of the most comfortable I’ve come across, the acceleration and ride were powerful and smooth, if I were in the market for a minivan I would consider it. The biggest criticism I have is the monstrous dead pedal and not enough driver leg room, setting the seat all the way back put me too far from the steering wheel and dash controls and still didn’t give enough legroom, I am an average sized guy with average legs. I had the same issues with the kia soul when I had that for a rental.

  • avatar

    Suzuki Forenza/Reno? Wasn’t that last offered in 2008? Given how crappy it was, I’m not all that surprised, though…

    The Lexus SC and Chevy Cobalt haven’t been offered since 2010.

  • avatar

    Very disappointed Honda has failed to develop a new Element…I had a 2004 and bought a 2011 last year realizing they would not be available. No other car matches it for its versatility.
    A new Element would have been a great opportunity for Honda to introduce a diesel to the US.

  • avatar

    Wow, given it’s previous dominance, Ford definitely isn’t doing very well in its police vehicle business. But then back then it has one of the very few rear drive police vehicles, which is probably a big factor in its success. Now it has only FWD police offerings while its competitors offer RWD. Don’t they learn anything at all from their past?

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, I noticed even the Caprice PPV outsold Ford. Then again, it’ll be a number of years before all the CVs are converted to taxis…

      I was surprised there was no Charger police breakdown. I’d expect the RWD Pentastar V6 (with the Hemi badges) to sell well, once they get that brake problem fixed.

      • 0 avatar
        Joe McKinney

        The Caprice PPV has been on sale for close to a year now whereas the new Ford Interceptors have only recently begun deliveries. The numbers on this chart are not really a fair comparison. I do agree that these fwd/awd Fords are not likely to sell as well as the old rwd model.

        A would also like to see numbers for the Charger Pursuit and the Tahoe PPV. These two vehicles seem to be getting the lions share of police sales since the demise of the CVPI.

  • avatar

    Why the hell are the Cobalt, Azera and STS on this list? The Azera just came out and some of these cars are being phased out/replaced.

  • avatar

    I am surprised the Taurus sells so well compared to the 300, but, not surprised the Charger outsells both with ease.

  • avatar

    It’s a shame to see the element go. I had an ex with one and it was really an outstanding car, full of utility. With the bulletproof K24 in it and AWD it could go anywhere and do almost anything, and get decent mileage during it. I would get one if I were in the market for a new DD.

    I will say this chart needs to have caveats for new releases, and cancellations. The CX-5’s numbers are low, but it’s been out for how long? A month?

    Again on the mazda thing, I’m surprised at how high the 3 is given it’s polarizing looks, but mazda is still giving some of the best financial incentives of any marque right now. That’s what got my wife and I in the door 2 years ago, when they were doing 0% 5-year notes on their whole lineup during the carpocalypse, and we love our 3.

  • avatar

    A lot of surprising entries on that list – several models I figured would have been cleared out years ago.

  • avatar

    What rankings are the Bugatti Veyron? Can’t be selling all that many at $1 million a pop. The Lexus LF-A is in the list, so should other exotics like the Veyron, Pagani Zondas, Spykers, McLarens and stuff.

  • avatar

    Why is the Lexus SC and Chevy Cobalt on this list considering they haven’t been offered since 2010? Also some of these vehicles have been out all model year and some have just been introduced. This is fair how?

  • avatar

    NOT Surprised the opposite is true for where the ‘elite’s’ live-Sarasota FL. the Honda Element usually sits in the fourth or fifth garage bay as the Nanny’s &children’s transport, otherwise M-B ‘E’or ‘C’ CLASS series IS MOMMY’S ‘TAKE KID’S TO SCHOOL, but Porsche’s Pan-America is taking over Merc’s Mommy’s car domain. Yet M-B’s ‘S’ series are Gray-hairs choose to drive slow in left lane, along with Lexus SC’s & BMW’S 750i’s ALSO populate the left lanes going 20 to 30 MPH slower than posted. Today at Stickney Pointe & US 41, WE COUNTED in our daily game 2 Boxers- 2-911- 2-Panamerica 9-Bimmers – 11 M-B’s – 4 Masserati’s-2xFerarri’s- 1 Lambo- 8 Lexus & 7 Ford F-250/350’S & REST ASSORTED HONDA’s oh RED Mazda MX-5! Detail business on every corner like bars are found on every block in Chicago, peoplew/money have addiction to expansive large gas guzzlers, altho I do enjoy looking a ROLL’s & Bentley’s (we were surprised we usually have a few of those at this traffic lite but not today)! Maybe tomorrow when the A/C Cobra’s come out to play!

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