By on September 2, 2011

Well, you’ve seen a complete chart of sales by manufacturer and brand… now it’s time for some nameplate results. Here are your top-25 best-selling nameplates for August 2011. And yes, the Honda Civic barely made the list…

 

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51 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: The 25 Best-Selling Nameplates Of August...”


  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    The graph is exhibit #1 on the non-effectiveness of CAFE.

    • 0 avatar

      How so? If it’s the truck sales you’re referring to my guess is they are sold mostly to businesses, or you know, people who actually need a truck. The Grand Cherokee and Traverse are the closest things to a tradition oversized Mommy-mobile on that list.

      • 0 avatar
        SunnyvaleCA

        Compare to a chart 30 or 40 years ago. Or compare to a chart for other countries. If I recall, in the 60s and 70s, pickups made up some 20% of all light vehicle sales verses about 50% now. It’s not like the country has more farm and construction jobs now. Plus, what happened to small pickups? Does the average pickup owner really need a 2.5 ton vehicle with 300 HP and automatic?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        If I recall, in the 60s and 70s, pickups made up some 20% of all light vehicle sales verses about 50% now

        No, “light trucks” comprise about half of the US car market. But light trucks include minivans, full-sized vans, CUVs and SUVs.

        Large pickups are about 10% or so of the total vehicle market. The “light truck” category is dominated by SUVs/CUVs/MPVs, which includes compacts such as the Honda CR-V.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        carguy622, it depends on what part of the country you live in if most truck sales are to businesses. In my part of the country trucks are sold to businesses and individuals alike.

        Most people in rural areas own a truck. In many cases it is their sole method of transportation. The four-door versions of pickup trucks in all weight classes are the vehicle of choice for one-vehicle households who cannot afford two or more vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The graph is exhibit #1 on the non-effectiveness of CAFE.

      That’s partially true. But much of what the graph tells you is that pickup sales are dominated by just a few nameplates, while there are more competitors that move fairly high volumes in other segments.

    • 0 avatar
      alluster83

      Car sales are actually way up compared to truck sales.
      Units for the year compared to last:

      Regal(+26K) plus Malibu(+14K) up 40K Units
      Optima up 30K
      Fusion up 23K
      200 up 21K
      Sonata up 21K
      Altima up 18K
      —————-
      Passat down 9K
      Camry down 14K
      Accord down 31K
      —————————–
      Cruze up 80K (Versus Cobalt)
      Jetta up 45K
      Elantra up 32K
      Sentra up 18K
      Forte up 11K
      Focus up 7K
      —————-
      Corolla down 18K
      Civic down 26K
      —————
      Equinox(+42K) + Terrain (+22K) up 64K Units
      Escape (+39K) + Edge (+5K) up 44K
      Compass + Patriot up 30K
      Sportage up 20K
      Rogue up 17K
      CRV up 15K
      ———————————————–
      Santa Fe down 10K
      Rav4(-24K) plus Venza(-6K) down 30K
      ——————–
      Ram up 29K
      F Series up 23K
      Silverado up 17K
      Sierra up 14K
      ——————–
      Avalanche down 1K
      Titan down 2K
      Ridgeline down 6K
      Tundra down 8K

  • avatar

    With $4 gas I would have expected more smaller cars on that list, and fewer PU sales.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The mid-sized sedans on the list were sold in slightly larger numbers than were the large pickups (about 128,000 mid-sizes vs. 120,000 pickups). But whereas the pickups on this list were sold under four nameplates (F-series, Silverado, Ram, Sierra), the midsize sales were distributed across six (Camry, Accord, Altima, Fusion, Malibu, Sonata).

      Plus, two of those pickups captured 70% of the pickup sales of those trucks that were on the top 25 list. That speaks to the relative branding power of Ford and Chevy when it comes to truck sales; Chrysler/ Fiat is well behind, and the transplants are nowhere near the top in terms of volume.

      • 0 avatar
        Patrickj

        @highdesert
        There’s still many baby boomer suburbanites back East. While many will cash out (about a decade for us), only a tiny number will ever want to be 26 miles from the nearest gas station.

        As for me, I plan on being somewhere within walking distance of buying a quart of milk and a newspaper.

        The denial of living in suburbia in my Virginia neighborhood extended to government policy, and things like zoning and rules about leaf burning. They had a complex map that allowed old time residents in tiny houses to burn leaves in their yards, whole requiring newcomers in bigger properties to bag theirs.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Patrickj, I know what you mean. My youngest brother sold his new-car dealership in Alabama last month and his wife is a metropolitan woman. They sold their home in Huntsville and are in the process of moving to HER mom&dad’s old house in NYC. A sort of reverse-migration, if you will.

        Her Mom&Dad moved to the Santa Fe, NM area, and bought 5 acres near where Don Rumsfeld has his property. And then there are my wife’s three sisters and their retired-military husbands.

        They are leaving the beautiful and peaceful Sacramento Mountain communities of Cloudcroft, Mayhill and Timberon and moving to the wild open spaces of Wyoming, South Dakota and Idaho, where their husbands already own or inherited many acres of undeveloped land from their parents.

        So, you see, it’s all in what each individual wants. All it takes is money. The world is your oyster.

    • 0 avatar

      Among the smaller cars, the Corolla, Civic, Elantra, and Focus were supply-constrained. This will be temporary for all but the Elantra.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @David

      With $4 gas, buyers of lifestyle/personal use pickups are not likely using them on long commutes. I mean if they’re actually pumping $200 a week into their tank they must be making big bucks. Then again a Corolla on the same commute will still cost you $140/week. It’s almost worth it if you ask me. Same can probably be said for midsize sedan buyers.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Most people don’t care about the price of gas. If they did they shouldn’t buy inefficient vehicles. They just keep buying the gas, no matter what the price, until their money runs out.

        I’m talking about commuting great distances where I live in the Southwestern desert, and most of the vehicles you see on the roads and highways here are……., you guessed it! F150 pickup trucks – all years, all models, all styles. And they’re all cruising at 85+ mph on the highways.

        Just to get to the nearest Shell station from where I live is 26 miles. When I fill up, I fill up in bulk. Several 5-gal gas cans, and I keep a 50-gal drum full of gas at home for emergencies and the AC generators in case of power failure.

        I’m not extravagant. A lot of people do that. And there still are a lot more people living out in the boonies in America than there are people living in the cities and metropolitan areas.

        People living in the cities can afford to be picky about their forms and methods of transportation. People living in the rural areas don’t have the luxury of metros, subways, buses, etc. Most choose the best all-around vehicle for all their needs – a four-door pickup truck.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        I think people care about the price of gas, but like all things it’s a sliding scale.

        Every time gas spikes there are people who freak out and trade in a late model vehicle that may have slightly subpar fuel economy for a fuel sipper, but who end up spending more than the gas savings in the new payments. At the other end of the spectrum there are those that truly don’t care, and buy the biggest engine in the biggest vehicle they can afford.

        Most people seem to fit somewhere in the middle. If you need a truck to tow a trailer or boat, or to carry a bunch of stuff in the bed, a Prius or Focus isn’t going to work for you. Most of the truck buyers I speak with do still care about fuel prices though, and when looking for their new truck try to get the most economical option that will still do what they need it to do. Someone shopping for a new truck might well decide to go for the V6 that gets 17/23 vs the V8 that gets 15/20, and with the V6 F-150 models outselling the V8s, it looks like this is what’s happening.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Oh, I know a lot of people piss and moan about the price of fuel, but then they stand there and fill up their car or truck, get their motor running and head out on the highway; born to be wild!

        If they really wanted to make a statement about the price of fuel, they should stop buying it.

        And since you’re in the business yourself, you know that when people trade those gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs, there’s money to be made.

        I went to a dealer auction a few years back when gas first approached the magic $5/gal mark. There was some real money to be made and the buyers knew it. The sellers were just happy to rid themselves of these vehicles at ridiculously deflated prices. Would you believe $14K for a new, unsold $36K-MSRP stickered truck? We bought several of them.

        Several buyers showed up with transporters and filled them up to cross-ship the trucks and SUVs to areas where trucks were still in demand.

        The trucks that my brothers bought were driven by all of us to Texas and sold quickly for a handsome profit.

        And that’s why I say that MOST people just don’t care about the price of gas. Hey, you gotta buy it if you want to drive whatever it is you drive. And a lot of people choose to buy trucks. That’s why the F150 is the best seller. I owned one until last January.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        “And there still are a lot more people living out in the boonies in America than there are people living in the cities and metropolitan areas.”

        Um, what? You might want to check on that.

      • 0 avatar
        steeringwithmyknees

        if you do feel like checking it out (The Truth About Rural vs Urban Population): http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GCTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-_box_head_nbr=GCT-P1&-ds_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U&-format=US-1

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Thanks for the link, SWMK. It’s dated and a snapshot in time of CY2000 but I can envision all sorts of arguments about the interpretation of the numbers since few people in the inner cities have a need for an F150 or SUV, much less a place to park it.

        And then there are the comments of the contributors spinning off from the debate who presume to lecture us all with their pent-up new-found knowledge.

        Suffice it to say that things may apply depending on location or region and that the 25 best-selling nameplates for August are indeed those listed, on a national scale.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        What amazes me about truck/SUV owners is that they pump all that gas into their rigs and proceed to drive crazy fast on the highway without regard for the vehicle’s “sweet spot” speed for maximum fuel economy, which may be around 57 mph.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Zack, the sweet spot on my 2011 Tundra 5.7 is around 25mph, going downhill with a stiff breeze at my back.

        Anything other than that is about 12mpg in the city and, if I’m real lucky, maybe 16mpg on the highway at 60mph, without a load. Anything outside of those parameters and all bets are off.

        Worst gas mileage I got was towing a fully loaded 8X12 Haulmark up US82 and I got 6mpg, mostly using 3rd and 4th gear. On the way down I let the transmission paddles do the work and I used very little gas until I got to the bottom of the hill. It all evens out.

        If people have to worry about the price of gas they oughtn’t buy a truck because they can’t afford one.

      • 0 avatar
        Patrickj

        @highdesert
        Almost exactly half the country lives in the suburbs. Many of those residents, especially men, are in denial about it.

        I moved from NYC to a suburb in Virginia in my 20s, and a number of my co-workers were originally from rural areas and moved to the burbs for work. Many drove pickups, and from describing their homes and property, I thought they lived on large lots in semi-rural areas 30 to 50 miles away.

        As I got to know them better, I realized that they lived in the same ranch houses on a 1/2 acre as most everybody else.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Patrickj, that’s interesting. In the last couple of years we have seen a lot of people moving to New Mexico, Arizona and West Texas from the ‘burbs on the East coast. Some even moved here from California. They bought properties a lot larger than 1/2 acre.

        Those who I’ve met have stated the taxes as the biggest reason for cashing out (or giving their paid-off homes to their kids) and moving here. Their nest egg goes a lot farther here than in LA, SF, NJ or NYC. Many people move here for the clean, dry air or for their health.

        In my area there is still a lot of open land. But in the towns and cities there are only citified lots usually measuring 100X150 feet, or smaller. What seems to be the trend in this area is acreage being sold that was formerly farmland or ranchland.

        My wife and her family owned a real estate agency/brokerage until last month when they sold it to a Texas agency. Although they still manage some properties that could not be transferred because of contractual agreements, they’re pretty much out of the selling business.

        Instead, what her sisters did was to buy up foreclosed homes at auction to use as rental properties in Wyoming, South Dakota and Colorado where they will be moving to for the rest of their retirement years.

        My wife and I recently bought two foreclosed homes at auction in two nearby towns and had no problems filling them since people always need a place to live.

        I thought it humorous that men are in denial about living in the suburbs. What do they consider a suburb? A suburb of El Paso, TX, Albuquerque or Santa Fe, NM is a lot more spacious than a suburb of Newark, Trenton, Atlanta or Los Angeles, places where real estate is at a premium and large tracts of land are chopped up for sale in smaller chunks.

        Once I retired from the military, I wanted the wide open spaces to live in. No more single family homes on city lots. The nearest hamlet to where I live is Boles Acres, NM. The next nearest is Oro Grande, NM. This must be a popular place because we have people moving here constantly. You can tell from their license plates on cars we have no dealerships for in this area.

        I grew up in Huntington Beach, CA, along the Pacific Coast Highway (US101) and it was a spacious home, or so I thought, and in a rural area at that time. Now it has all grown together and the house looks so much smaller compared to the new homes there. Then again, the house you grew up in always is a lot smaller than you remember it when you go home to visit.

        Thanks for the input. It gives me a new perspective on the definition of what is considered a large/small, rural/suburb property.

  • avatar
    SevenIM

    Trucks -> midsize sedans -> SUVs and 4 cylinder cars. Looks familiar.

    The only thing about this chart that isn’t typical of monthly sales charts for the last 15 years is that the Honda Accord is no longer neck and neck with the camry.

    Everything changes; everything stays the same.

  • avatar
    Monty

    So 20K units for the Escape would mean roughly a quarter million for the year, on tooling and development costs that were amortized like what, 7/8 years ago?

    Ford must make gobs of cash on the Escape. With the Panthers already ending production, and the Escape about to be axed, there’s got to be a few bean counters at FoMoCo contemplating slitting their wrists.

  • avatar
    obbop

    I wanna’ see ye commoners bolt a large automatic anti-personnel weapon into the trunk of thine wimpy sedan.

    What if you wanna’ start a coup or revolt?

    And save yer’ ammo.

    No shooting willy-nilly into the air as an expression of glee, joy, revelry, whatever.

    Discipline, brethren.

  • avatar
    mart_o_rama

    Layman’s question here:

    Isn’t the F-Series comprised of several models of varying sizes and engines and specs, etc, etc?

    If so, then why do we compare it to a nameplate like “Camry” which has like 3 models and perhaps a few engine choices?

    Isn’t it a useless comparison?

    Just wondering why this comparo…

    Thanks!

  • avatar
    Pch101

    If so, then why do we compare it to a nameplate like “Camry” which has like 3 models and perhaps a few engine choices?

    It depends upon how the manufacturer reports its data. It isn’t necessarily consistent.

    This does produce some anomalies. For example, the Corolla sales figures include sales of the Matrix. Even though the Matrix is marketed separately, it is technically a Corolla Matrix, and its sales are included in the Corolla numbers. (Of course, most of the Corolla’s rivals produce sedan and hatch body styles that carry the same names, so lumping the Toyota sales together doesn’t necessarily provide a misleading result.)

    On the other hand, the Sierra and Silverado are essentially identical. But because they are branded separately, they are counted separately (and that isn’t necessarily inappropriate, either.)

    The data is what it is. Comparisons have to be made with some caution, given these inconsistencies, but it is still possible to make at least some comparisons.

    • 0 avatar
      alluster83

      I always wondered why GM didn’t include HHR sales to the Cruze/Cobalt similar to Corolla-Matrix. That would have def. put the Cruze on top of sales charts. With the HHR canned the question is irrelevant. One reason was GM categorized the HHR as a light truck to pad cafe numbers similar to the Accord and Accord Crossturd.

  • avatar
    mart_o_rama

    Thanks for the reply Pch101. Since this is a nameplate comparison, isn’t F-250 a nameplate instead of F-Series? Ultimately, it eludes me why we compare nameplates, what does it means? Competing models I understand, but trucks and cars nameplates…? What does it means about the market?

    Again, just wondering. I’m not being useful I know. :-)

    Martin

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      isn’t F-250 a nameplate instead of F-Series?

      You could argue that it is. From a marketing standpoint, that would certainly seem to be the case. For example, if you look at the Ford website, you will see that the Super Duty and F-150 are distinguished from each other.

      But if you look at Ford’s sales reports for the month, you will find the F-series but no listing of the Super Duty as being a separate vehicle. (I’m not sure whether Ford includes them in the F-category or the Heavy Truck category, but I would guess the former.)

      What does it means about the market?

      Companies are sometimes motivated to push the numbers to tell the story that they want to tell.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      F-Series trucks includes F-150 – F-550. The F-650 and F-750 are counted in the ‘Heavy Trucks’ category.

      GM and Dodge also include their HD lines in the Silverado and Ram numbers.

      From my little slice of experience, I easily sell 10 F-150s for every Super Duty, so I’d wager that even if the numbers were broken down separately the F-150 would still be the #1 selling vehicle in the US. As for why they are all combined, my best answer is that’s just how it’s always been done.

      • 0 avatar
        Dynamic88

        But of course the reality is that full size GM pickups are the best selling vehicle in the US. F series is #1 only so long as we keep up the pretense that GMC and Chevy are each building separate trucks.

  • avatar
    roverv8i

    This and the other name plate discussions also make for another interesting aside. The F series is the best seller based on the data in the chart. Add the classic argument that the Siverado and Sierra are the same vehicle from the same maker marketed under two name plates and if my math is correct would make it the best seller for the month. Most of the time the F series is still ahead. Then you get into the rats nest of F-150 vs Silverado/Sierra 1500 separate from the heaver duty models. So who is winning the truck battle, Ford or GM?

  • avatar
    niky

    I’m willing to bet that even if supplies of other “compacts” weren’t constrained, the Cruze would still be well up there compared to the rest… simply because it has one of the biggest interiors in its class.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      I was thinking the same thing, apparently GM is doing something right, because the Cruze is showing up in the higher end of the sales chart for several months.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        I see Cruzes everywhere! They must be selling like hotcakes in some areas.

        I can’t believe the Camry continues to out-sell just about everything else, though. Personally, I’d never buy one.

        Oh – I completed my first full week of my 100-mile-a-day commute, 4 days, 402 miles out of a tank of gas in my Impala, averaged 29.75 mpg. Of course that includes traffic after getting on/off the highway to work or home plus A/C. I suppose that’s not too bad, considering.

  • avatar
    tekdemon

    Man, what happened to Honda, the Accord and Civic are getting their asses kicked by pretty much everyone else…even the Jetta is outselling the Civic now? Ouch.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    A friend of mine had an F-250, and got tired of buying diesel for it, and decided to get himself a Focus, keeping the 250 for occasional lumber and gardening supply runs. Well, he test drove the Focus for like 10 minutes, and bought it. Not long enough, as after 20 minutes or so, it made him have shooting pains down his left leg, and after 40 minutes, he was miserable. So, after a month, it, and the F-250 went in on a trade, and out he came with a new loaded up F-150, with the ecoboost V6. So far, he’s very happy. I know a couple of people who sold/traded their Rams/GM/Fords for cars and are now really regretting it, they aren’t as comfortable, they can’t put anything very large into it, they have to borrow a truck once in a while anyway, and the gas savings aren’t really the holy grail they thought they would be. If I had to pick one type of vehicle to drive until I don’t drive anymore, it would be a 4 door 4×4 pickup, a fullsized one. I’ve had three of them, and loved them all.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      A lot of people feel the same way and that’s why the 4dr full-size pickup truck of any brand is the hottest thing since the corncobs vs toilet paper debate.

      But my wife has brothers-in-law who are very possessive and proud of their 1999-vintage F250 V10 trucks. Won’t part with them at any price!

      I guess you’d have to live in Wyoming or South Dakota to understand why they are so partial to Ford’s antique V10. In one word? Grunt! There ain’t nothing like it.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    When you overload dealers with trucks then pile on incentives, yeah you move alot of ’em.

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/gm-100-days-of-truck-inventory-aint-no-thang/

    http://www.autoblog.com/2011/02/05/report-gms-latest-numbers-boosted-by-incentives-analysts-fear/

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    We’re discussing nameplates, right? So Chevy and GMC are different nameplates. Thus separated.

  • avatar
    AJ

    Way to go Jeep Wrangler! (Now we just need to work on them waving.)

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    The biggest surprise here is the continued success of the Escape. We have several at work (hybrids) and while I like them, they are nothing special. Interior materials are on the lower end of the scale. They have proven to be reliable which is always a plus, but what do they offer that the competition doesn’t? All I can think of is that they look and feel a lot like a baby old school SUV. And maybe that is something that buyers like…

    Other items…I believe that if I had hauling needs, inclement weather ability (the pickups had no problem with most of the massive flooding from Irene) and could only afford one vehicle, I’d probably own a pickup, too. So I am not at all surprised at the sales numbers. I am curious as to how many miles a year end up on those trucks though. 25K a year means awfully big gas bills.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      The biggest surprise here is the continued success of the Escape…what do they offer that the competition doesn’t?

      Lower price. Yeah, the current Escape has been around since 2001 with only one facelift and lower-grade interior materials, but it’s a solid, reliable design that, with big discounts / incentives, undercuts the competition by several grand. For someone of limited means, it’s not a bad choice for a working CUV that gets good mpg. It’s also one of the few CUVs remaining where a manual transmission is still available (albeit only on the base versions). Fleet buyers seem to love them.

      A major model change is upcoming for 2013.

      • 0 avatar
        Patrickj

        I’d add generous head and shoulder room due to their boxiness, along with avoiding the often over-wrought styling of other CUVs.

        Given recent styling trends, I’m not sure being a decade behind the times is a bad thing.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    It’s interesting that only 25 nameplates (470,567 by my math) comprise nearly 50% of all vehicle sales.

    And there’s not a single ‘enthusiast’ vehicle among them.

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