Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: A Trip to Homeland America

Matt Gasnier
by Matt Gasnier

After taking you on a World roundup last time, I thought this week we would go back home and explore the best-selling cars in our own backyard.

Boring? That’s OK. You can visit 170 additional countries and territories in my blog in the comfort of your own lounge. Simple really.

Back to the backyard.

And the stars of the month are the Ford F-Series (expected), Honda Civic (not expected) and Dodge Dart (or not).

2013 Honda Civic

You can check out the Top 260 All-models ranking here

US new car sales are up a very dynamic 15 percent year-on-year in November to 1,143,505 units, with the year-to-date total at 13,135,576 units, up 14 percent on 2011.

US manufacturers mostly fare worse than the market: General Motors is up 3 percent, Ford up 6 percent and Chrysler up 14 percent.

Reversely, Subaru is up a massive 60 percent on November 2011 and achieves 300,000 annual US sales for the first time in its history, BMW is up a huge 45 percent to deliver its best-ever month in the US at 31,213 units, Honda up 39 percent and hitting its best November sales ever, Volkswagen up 29 percent and lodging its best November since 1973, Audi up 24 percent and already beating its annual sales record after just 11 months, Mazda up 18 percent and achieving its best November since 1994 and Toyota up 17 percent.

Kia sold its 500,000th model in the US so far in 2012, a first for the brand.

2013 Subaru Forester. Subaru US sales are up 60 percent year-on-year in November.

There are 5 main bullet points to remember as far as the US models ranking for November is concerned.

1. The Ford F-Series is back in fashion, big time (but was it ever not?)

It’s the 16th consecutive month of year-on-year growth for the Ford F-Series at +18 percent in November and with 56,299 sales it delivers its 4th month in a row above 50,000 monthly sales. For comparison, the Chevrolet Silverado ranks #2 for the 4th month in a row thanks to 30,674 units sold, but its sales are down 10 percent year-on-year.

2. The Honda Civic is on fire (but would it be at full price?)

The best performer of the month is by far the Honda Civic, up 5 spots on October to land in third position overall with 30,075 sales, up a mammoth 75 percent year-on-year and a new November record beating the one set in 1990. This is almost 100% probably due to the current model being in runout mode, days before the unveiling of the 2013 update at the LA Motor Show. Note it is the first time the Honda Civic ranks on the US podium since August 2009, and potentially the 2nd time it ever leads the Passenger Cars ranking after May 2008 when it ranked #1 overall. But would it have achieved these figures at full price? Not so.

The Ford Focus is the best-selling US Passenger Car this month

3. The Ford Focus is on its way up

Below the Chevrolet Silverado, the Toyota Camry is down one spot on October to #4 at 28,765 units but is still up 25 percent year-on-year. It stays #2 year-to-date with 373,479 sales (+36 percent) vs. 367,613 (stable) for the Silverado. The Honda Accord is also down one rank on October to #5 but up a massive 83 percent on November 2011 at 26,248 units. Good month for the Ford Focus, up 56 percent year-on-year to #11 and now the best-selling US Passenger Car.

Top 10 best-selling models in the US – November 2012:

You can check out the Top 260 All-models ranking here

PosModelNov/11Oct2012/11Pos20111Ford F-Series56,29918%1576,52912%112Chevrolet Silverado30,674-10%2367,6130%323Honda Civic30,07575%8284,79142%574Toyota Camry28,76523%3373,47936%235Honda Accord26,24883%4302,44439%486Dodge Ram24,33723%5263,15220%8137Toyota Corolla22,61640%7266,26821%748Honda CR-V22,33336%9255,91930%9149Ford Escape20,970-4%10240,8775%101110Nissan Altima20,305-1%6278,96815%65

You can check out the Top 260 All-models ranking here

The Nissan Pathfinder ranks within the US Top 50 for the first time in 7 years.

4. It helps to have a new generation on sale says the Nissan Pathfinder (doh!)

Further down, the Nissan Rogue is up 14 spots on October to the BMW 3 Series stays robust at #28 vs. #47 year-to-date, the VW Passat is up 10 to a record the Lexus RX is up 11 to the Nissan Pathfinder is up 51 ranks on last month and 249% year-on-year thanks to the new generation and breaks into the monthly US ranking for the first time since 2005 at #47 with 8,097 sales and the Ford C-Max improves again, up 27 spots to #68 and 4,848 units.

Cadillac ATS

5. Dodge Dart: god or dud?

In the absence of automatic transmission, the Dodge Dart seems to have hit a wall already, down 18 percent and 16 ranks on October to #75 with just 4,489 sales. 6 months after launch, the Dart still hasn’t managed to break into the monthly US Top 50. So, Dart: god or dud? The model looks like it might have more luck in China where it sold 4,075 units this month as the Fiat Viaggio…

Apart from the Ford C-Max, 4 additional recent launches break their monthly volume record this month: the Cadillac ATS is up 70 percent and 23 spots on October to at 2,153 sales, the Acura ILX is up 38 percent and 19 to and 2,108 units, now Acura’s best-selling sedan, the BMW X1 is up 9 percent and one spot to and 2,088 sales and the Subaru XV Crosstrek is up 19 percent and 2 ranks to and 2,060 units.

Finally, notice the Chevrolet Volt down almost 50 percent on October to just above 1,500 sales and back below the Nissan Leaf…

You can check out the Top 260 All-models ranking here

You can also check out:

Previous month: USA October 2012: Ford F-Series up, Subaru breaks record

Previous Year-to-date summary: USA 10 months 2012: Discover the Top 277 All-models ranking!

One year ago: USA November 2011: New gen Toyota Camry and Prius V start well

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

Join the conversation
3 of 40 comments
  • AJ AJ on Dec 10, 2012

    I'm on my third Civic as my daily driver. Nothing to complain about, except its not the best car in winter snow due to it's light weight and that it sits low. I briefly lived in southern CA and there, the Civic was a perfect car for that climate. In winter driving it is better then the RWD cars I grew up with, but my wife's AWD SUV is awesome in snow and on slick roads, which I've driven long distances with in the winter and I'd never do so in a Civic. Well the wife wants a new ride, so I may sell the Civic and keep her SUV. MPG isn't everything. But I could see buying another Civic again someday, or at least I'd never tell someone not to buy one.

    • Wsn Wsn on Dec 10, 2012

      Being light weight has nothing to do with stuck in snow. If anything, the heavier the car is, the deep it gets stuck, right? It's all about the tires. The standard tires of Civic is terrible. Just budget $1500 for a set of snow tires on their own rims and you are set.

  • Tjh8402 Tjh8402 on Dec 10, 2012

    Some of the stuff I find interesting... Fiat 500 sales are up huge 123% vs last november, 130% for the year...looks like they found the right advertising message with superbowl ad. Helped the Abarth be a good halo model for the rest of the line? If so, their next crop of rather frisky ads should do them well. They're also neck and neck with Mini (Mini sold 37 more cars in November and is up 814 cars for the year), despite Mini having a bigger lineup and being the more established brand. It's also less than 1k behind the Dart in November, despite the Dodge theoretically being the volume leader. Good to see the Focus doing well. Do we have a current breakdown on what the Focus's current fleet sales mix is? Skyactive seems to be helping the Mazda3 out, although not probably not as much as Mazda hoped. It's up 43% month to month (which was when the skyactive first rolled out) but only 20% for the year (although still beating the market). Crazy that despite that being a "mainstream" model, the 3 series still outsells it. the Miata's overall sales are disppointing, even if this November was pretty big improvement vs last. Corvette, 911, 370z, FR-S, BRZ, and Boxster are all outselling it. The Mustang is up 37% for November but only 18 for the year...are the 2013's really getting that much more attention than the 2012's? The Camaro, OTOH, did not have such a good month (novelty wearing off?). It's ahead of the Mustang for the year by just over 1k units, but it's down for the year by 4%, and saw its Nov down 13%, which put it 1k behind the Mustang in November sales. Hyundai ought to be disappointed in the Genesis (I'm assuming they don't break down Coupe vs Sedan?). It's down for the month, barely up for the year (and behind the market), and even though Hyundai is a non premium brand, the long in the tooth Cadillac CTS, as well as the inferior XTS and Taurus are all outselling it. The Chrysler 300, on the other hand, while having only a decent November (up 17%), is up over 100% for the year and is ahead of all of those cars.

  • ToolGuy "We're marking the anniversary of the time Robert Farago started the GM death watch and called for the company to die."• No, we aren't. Robert Farago wrote that in April 2005. It was reposted in 2009 on the eve of the actual bankruptcy filing.The byline dates are sometimes strange/off with the site revisions (and the 'this is a repost' note got lost), but the date string in the link is correct (...2005/04...). Posting about GM bankruptcy in 2005 was a slightly more difficult call than doing it in 2009.-- The Truth About Calendars
  • Kat Laneaux Agree with Michael500, we wasted all that money just to bail out GM and they are developing these cars in China and other countries. What the heck. I understand the cheap labor but that is just another foothold the government has on their citizens and they already treat them like crap. That is pretty disgusting to go forward to put other peoples health and mental stability on a crazy crazed, control freak, leader, who is in bed with Russia. Thought about getting a buick but that just shot that one out of the park. All of this for the greed. They get what they lay in bed with. Disgusting.
  • Michael500 Good thing Obama used $50 billion of taxpayer money to bail them out and give unions a big stake. GM is headed to BK again with their Hail Mary hope of EVs. Hopefully a Republican in office will let them go BK the next time, and it's coming. The US economy is not related/dependent on GM and their Chinese made Buicks.
  • MaintenanceCosts "Rural areas hardly noticed COVID at all."I very much doubt that is true in places like the Navajo Nation or the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, some of which lost 2% or more of their population to COVID.No city had a death rate in the same order of magnitude.Low-density living is a very modern invention. Before cars, people, even in agricultural areas, needed to live densely to survive.
  • Wjtinfwb Always liked these MN12 cars and the subsequent Lincoln variant. But Ford, apparently strapped for resources or cash, introduced these half-baked. Very sophisticated chassis and styling, let down but antiquated old pushrod engines and cheap interiors. The 4.6L Modular V8 helped a bit, no faster than the 5.0 but extremely smooth and quiet. The interior came next, nicer wrap-around dash, airbags instead of the mouse belts and refined exterior styling. The Supercharged 3.8L V6 was potent, but kind of crude and had an appetite for head gaskets early on. Most were bolted to the AOD automatic, a sturdy but slow shifting gearbox made much better with electronic controls in the later days. Nice cars that in the right color, evoked the 6 series BMW, at least the Thunderbird did. Could have been great cars and maybe should have been a swoopy CLS style sedan. Pretty hard to find a decent one these days.