Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: What Cars Americans Bought in 2001

Matt Gasnier
by Matt Gasnier

After sharing with you the launch of the Africa Project and a couple of world updates ( Top 150 best-selling models in June 2012 and our monthly World Roundup for July 2012), today I will commemorate the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in my own way: by sharing with you sales data in the US at that time.

Not in the mood? There are 167 other countries and territories in my blog ready for you to explore.

Back to the USA in 2001. That year a volume record was beaten and it was the last time a Honda led the passenger cars ranking…

In 2001, the Ford F-Series passes a historical milestone: 900,000 sales in one year for the first time for Ford’s nameplate. At 911,597 units it is up 4 percent compared to 2000. This annual figure would be beaten in 2004 when the F-Series lodges a record 939,511 sales – still unbeaten to this day. This figure is however not the highest ever in the US, with the Ford Model T and Chevrolet Impala selling upwards of one million annual units at their peak.

The F-Series broke another record in 2001: 102,424 sales in a single month in October. And again this record would be beaten, this time in 2005 at 126,905 units, or one every 21 seconds!

In second place we find the Chevrolet Silverado, up 11% year-on-year to 716,051 sales…

…followed by the Ford Explorer at #3 despite dropping 7 percent to 415,921 sales.

After 4 consecutive years of domination by the Toyota Camry, the Honda Accord reclaims the title of US best-selling passenger car for the first time in 10 years and the 4th time overall after 1989, 1990 and 1991. It sells 414,718 units, up 3 percent on 2000.

…while the Toyota Camry, in-between two generations, is down 8 percent in 5th place with 390,449 sales. 2001 would be the only time in 15 years (1997-2011) that the Toyota Camry is not the best-selling passenger car in the US

The Ford Taurus stays down 7 percent to 353,560 units…

…the Honda Civic is up one spot and 2 percent to

…passing the Ford Ranger down 17 percent to 272,460 sales…

…while the Ford Focus stays #10 in spite of sales down 8 percent to 264,414. The Focus is indeed the 5th Ford in the US Top Ten in 2001, how times have changed since!

USA Full Year 2001 Top 10 best-sellers:PosModel2001Var2000Pos1Ford F-Series911,5974%876,71612Chevrolet Silverado716,05111%645,15023Ford Explorer415,921-7%445,15734Honda Accord414,7183%404,51555Toyota Camry390,449-8%422,96146Ford Taurus353,560-7%382,03567Dodge Ram P/U344,538-10%380,90078Honda Civic331,7802%324,52899Ford Ranger272,460-17%330,100810Ford Focus264,414-8%286,16610

You can check out more historical sales data for the US from 1908 to 2010 here.

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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14 of 38 comments
  • CJinSD CJinSD on Sep 11, 2012

    Why do people like Ford? They had half the vehicles on this list only eleven years ago. The F150 continues at the top of its game, although its market is shrinking. The rest of the vehicles on the list? Ford cheaped out on Explorer parts to the point that its $9 tires became another deadly Ford scandal like the Pinto. They let the popular and at one point class-leading mid-sized Taurus die on the vine after misguided updates and general lack of durability caught up with it. They did nothing to preserve the popularity of the Ranger, which pretty much seemed like a time traveler from the '90s when it was finally killed. The Focus went from Euro-style import fighter to cheap fleet-fodder before being brought back up to international standard with a car that isn't as competitive as the first Focus was when introduced. They're the best of the Detroit brands? Yikes.

    • See 7 previous
    • Cdakost Cdakost on Sep 11, 2012

      @cdakost The market is different now than it was back then. We buy different things. That's why you have to look at in classes not as a whole.

  • TomHend TomHend on Sep 11, 2012

    Thank-you CJ. I have always bought American cars and trucks, but I am now reexamining that. Last year I was at Dover DE for the NASCAR race and before the race they usually take the drivers around the track in the back of a Ford or Chevy pick up, but last year they drove them around in a Tundra and I thought to myself, as the crowd booed, that is a great looking truck and started looking in to how well the Tundra is made. Thanks for the reply.

    • See 3 previous
    • CJinSD CJinSD on Sep 12, 2012

      @CJinSD Booing Michelle Antoinette is an act of enlightenment.

  • Lorenzo They may as well put a conventional key ignition in a steel box with a padlock. Anything electronic is more likely to lock out the owner than someone trying to steal the car.
  • Lorenzo Another misleading article. If they're giving away Chargers, people can drive that when they need longer range, and leave the EV for grocery runs and zipping around town. But they're not giving away Chargers, thy're giving away chargers. What a letdown. What good are chargers in California or Nashville when the power goes out?
  • Luke42 I'm only buying EVs from here on out (when I have the option), so whoever backs off on their EV plans loses a shot at my business.
  • Dusterdude When there is a strike the union leadership talk about “brothers and sisters “ . They should give up that charade . Bottom line is they are trying to wring out every last penny they can and could care less ( putting it politely) about the future of the industry 5 - 10 years+ down the road
  • Ronin They all will back off, because the consumer demand is not there. Even now the market is being artificially propped up by gov subsidies.