By on November 9, 2014

2015 Hyundai Sonata LimitedThe Hyundai Sonata was America’s eighth-best-selling car in October 2014, down just one position but 4309 sales compared with October 2013. Among America’s top sellers, the Sonata was not alone in its decline, although the midsize Hyundai’s decrease was notable for its especially drastic nature.

Honda Civic sales slid 12%, the Civic’s fourth consecutive month with declining U.S. volume. Since the beginning of July, Civic sales in the United States have fallen 10%.

The Ford Focus was also off 2013’s October pace, falling 9% to 13,733 units, a 1375-unit decrease. Overall Ford brand car sales were down 11% in October and are down 4% this year even as the brand’s top-selling passenger car, the Fusion, has risen 6% (and 5% in October.)

The Fusion ranked seventh overall in October; fourth among midsize cars.

Rank
Best-Selling Car
October
2014
October
2013
%
Change
10 mos.
2014
10 mos.
2013
%
Change
#1
Toyota Camry 33,164 29,144 13.8% 368,143 348,134 5.7%
#2
Honda Accord 27,128 25,162 7.8% 331,510 307,264 7.9%
#3
 Toyota Corolla/Matrix 24,959 23,637 5.6% 283,764 257,184 10.3%
#4
 Chevrolet Cruze 24,289 16,087 51.0% 232,403 211,862 9.7%
#5
 Honda Civic 24,154 27,328 -11.6% 277,584 280,889 -1.2%
#6
 Nissan Altima 23,544 21,785 8.1% 280,479 271,303 3.4%
#7
 Ford Fusion 22,846 21,740 5.1% 263,431 248,033 6.2%
#8
 Hyundai Sonata 15,563 19,872 -21.7% 180,497 172,574 4.6%
#9
Volkswagen Jetta 14,607 11,710 24.7% 129,662 135,983 -4.6%
#10
Ford Focus 13,733 15,108 -9.1% 189,889 203,762 -6.8%

The majority of America’s best-selling cars, however, posted notable increases in October 2014. Chevrolet Cruze volume jumped 51% from October 2013’s total and 27% compared with October 2012. Volkswagen Jetta sales rose 25% year-over-year; 8% compared with October 2012.

Returning to the normal order after two months away, the Toyota Camry was America’s best-selling car in October 2014, outselling the second-ranked Honda Accord by more than 6000 units and expanding its year-to-date lead to 36,633 sales. 2014 will be the Camry’s 13th consecutive year as the top-selling passenger car in the United States.

That streak began in 2002, a year in which Accord sales fell 4% and Camry volume jumped 11%. Accord sales are on the rise now, as well, but competing sale-for-sale with the Camry requires more than a great product. Toyota’s desire to see the Camry end annual races as the top dog knows few boundaries. Refreshing the Camry for MY2015 and pricing the car very competitively make it more likely than not the Camry will be America’s best-selling car next year, as well.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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81 Comments on “America’s 10 Best-Selling Cars In October 2014...”


  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    Huge retail lease deals on the Cruze helped. It’s too bad this table can’t be normalized to incentives and fleet action. And I recall (for at least some MFRs) “sales” means units shipped to dealers, not true sales. Maybe instead of sales, the metric would be ‘shoveled.’

    • 0 avatar
      HerrKaLeun

      Afaik the car is “sold” to the dealer upon leaving OEM. Even if OEM finances floorplanning of said cars.

      How long the dealer takes to sell is not the direct OEM problem at that moment. Obviously it will become a problem. But why worry beyond the current month? :)

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “Sales” are actually “deliveries.” A “delivery” occurs when the vehicle is sold or leased to the end-user, whether retail or fleet.

      The OEMs report “deliveries.” Polk and other organizations report new vehicle registrations. The numbers are similar, but aren’t exactly the same.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      And $169 lease deals on Camry plus a fleet rate of 13 to 15% doesn’t help make it number one?

      Almost every car on this list has give away leases and cash on the hood.

      The Cruze sells in part because its actuslly a good car in the segment.

      • 0 avatar
        Detroit-X

        $77-99 Cruze lease deals all October in the Detroit papers for the LT model; gone this month.

        • 0 avatar
          sunridge place

          1. Don’t talk advertised monthly lease payments without talking about the down payment in the ads.

          2. You lost most of your credibility talking about sales when you wrote above that monthly sales reporting reflected units shipped to dealers….at least as far as you ‘recalled’

          • 0 avatar
            Detroit-X

            Enter sunridge place with his utter contempt for anyone else’s opinion. Sad, sad.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The issue of deliveries is just a factual matter.

            What may be confusing here is that the OEM books revenue when the vehicle gets shipped to the dealer. That isn’t a “delivery”, but it does hit the OEM’s income statement.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            @Pch101

            Would you care to provide a little more detail about what gets booked when etc.?

            Does the OEM book the full “Invoice” price as revenue? And is the car from then on property of the dealer? And what happens when the OEM later slaps incentives to move cars etc, etc….?

            There’s quite a lot of money at stake in the distribution chain of cars, and to the uninitiated, it seems a lot like one giant hairball, pretty much designed for the purpose of obfuscation…

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The OEM books invoice, minus an allowance for incentives and other discounts.

            From the GM annual report:

            Automotive net sales and revenue are primarily composed of revenue generated from the sale of vehicles. Vehicle sales are recorded when title and all risks and rewards of ownership have passed to our customers. For the majority of our automotive sales this occurs when a vehicle is released to the carrier responsible for transporting to a dealer and when collectability is reasonably assured. Vehicle sales are recorded when the vehicle is delivered to the dealer in most remaining cases. Provisions for recurring dealer and customer sales and leasing incentives, consisting of allowances and rebates, are recorded as reductions to Automotive net sales and revenue at the time of vehicle sales. All other incentives, allowances and rebates related to vehicles previously sold are recorded as reductions to Automotive net sales and revenue when announced.
            ___________

            That isn’t the same thing as a “delivery.” The OEMs primary customers are the dealerships, not us.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            @Pch, Thanks!

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          As others have noted, link to the ad and what is the down payment.

          There are dealers out here that advertise the Nissan Leaf for just $99 a month. You just need to cough up a hair over $4000 plus taxes and fees.

          Here is a $79 a month lease deal on a Cruze for 24 months I found on YouTube.

          Yup – $4,000 down payment. Plus tax, title, registration and document fees, along with first month payment. Oh, and it’s 24 months, 10K miles a year max, 25 cents a mile after that.

          So, $4000 down, plus the 24 monthly payments of $79, plus all the fees, you’re out around $7000 – or about $3500 a year or about $291.66 a month – oh and then you better not go over 10K miles and you sure better not chip the windshield or get a scratch.

          Ya – some give away deal.

          Oh, and the $12,490 Chevy in the ad? That’s a stripper Chevy Spark (not a Cruze) All of this information is taken from the 15 second YouTube clip if you read the disclaimers in the ad.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PD8R800TYbM

          Or I could lease a 2015 Corolla S for $159 a month and $1809 down through Toyota directly – right from Toyota’s site.

          ToyotaCare 24-Month Lease with No Cost Maintenance included: $159/Mo. $1,809 due at lease signing. Includes $1,000 Customer Down Payment + First Month’s Payment/$159 + $650 Acquisition Fee. $175 security deposit waived to qualified buyers subject to approved credit through Toyota Financial Services. Good on Tier I PLUS only. 24-month payments total $3,816.

          $5625 is the 24 month payments, plus I don’t pay for maintenance if I don’t exceed the mileage cap – oh and I get to drive for 12,000 miles a year.

          Gee, who is giving away cars?

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            Now, now. Don’t go off hurting Detroit X’s feelings. He’s a little sensitive. He also has a hard time distinguishing a fact from an opinion.

        • 0 avatar
          thegamper

          I will just say with regard to Detroit area lease deals on Domestic brand vehicles that the fine print makes these deals far less likely. Every auto ad in Detroit assumes that the buyer gets the manufacturer’s A plan employee discount. Miles are reduced to 10k per year, downpayments can be large, often also assumes lease loyalty and a host of other incentives that just aren’t available to the populace as a whole such as military discount, student discount, credit union member, etc, etc.

          Advertisements mean nothing, you actually have to go into the dealership to get a realistic price.

  • avatar
    shaker

    I saw the Motorweek test on the new Sonata, and they were dissing it (in standard 4cyl/auto form) for lethargic acceleration and lackluster fuel economy. (Since going to the Velocity Channel, they seem to have a bit more cajones about pointing out flaws — more lawyers?)

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      I’ve heard some of the same. The new design is rather plain in my opinion. I think the Sonata has always had those issues, but the last body style just proves my point that buyers overall are finicky and in the end, if it looks good, people will buy it, despite shortcomings.

  • avatar
    ehaase

    I guess people dislike the new larger, more conservative Sonata. The Focus has a cramped interior and bad transmission.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I don’t think it is a matter of dislike. Hyundai dealers are less likely to discount much these days at the beginning of the new model year because of the new-found confidence in Hyundai products.

      Plus, the Camry is new, improved, better than ever for 2015 and still has the 6-speed hydraulic step-transmission instead of a CVT, and the 2014 Accord was improved and upgraded.

      Lots of good stuff out there to choose from, but the Hyundai warranty is tops! My grand daughter still scoots around in her 2011 Elantra we helped buy for her and she hasn’t had any problems in spite of putting over 60K on the odo since it was bought new with 11 miles on it.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Glad the Elantra has done well. You do realize the bumper-to-bumper warranty is over? You have a non-transferable limited power train warranty now that she’s passed 60k miles.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          sunridge place, another of my comments has disappeared into the ttac server void.

          And trying to repost results in “looks like you said this already” or words to that effect.

          Sorry.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            Fair enough. I’m still a daily reader here. Saw all the issues with people trying to post. I’ve posted more in the last week than I have all year due to a breather in my job and haven’t had a single problem.

            Guess I’m lucky. Her Hyundai is still out of bumper-to bumper unless you paid for an extended warranty. Great marketing for Hyundai to make it look like a ten year/100k deal….not saying that’s what you think. I’ve come across a few Hyundai owners surprised about their warranty.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            sunridge place, I’m no longer a daily reader.

            The seven people I knew personally have left ttac and it was fun knowing who the people behind those screen names were and what their station in life is.

            But since they’re gone? No more. I hit and run when there is nothing better to do.

            BTW, had my comment not been lost in space, I think you may have found it informative of what is developing in my space.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    I’m not sure if there are any surprises here. I would love to see a chart like this that also added incentives. As mentioned above, I bet the Cruze had some hefty sales incentives to reach those numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      I would say all of the top ten in sales had heavy incentives to reach those number. Especially the top three. The big surprise I think is the Jetta. The new 1.8 T does make is different car. But over 14,000 is damn good for an older design.

      • 0 avatar

        What “older”? The Jetta is from 2011…on par with the Cruze and Elantra, which also sell really well. I suppose that makes it one of the oldest compact sedan currently on sale, but not by any great margin (that honor goes to the Lancer). The Jetta sedan also just received a facelift for 2015, and I saw the new facelifted model in the wild for the first time yesterday.

        Now the Jetta SportWagen (which is what I drive) was face-lifted for MY2010, but has a basic design from 2007, and is based on a sedan that appeared in 2005. *That’s* old.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Actually, compared to the rest of the class, the Cruze does not have “hefty sales incentives.”

      http://www.chevrolet.com/current-deals.html?x-zipcode=80120

      The only deals on a 2015 Cruze is a higher cost lease than what Toyota is offering on a 2015 Corolla S (see this same thread – scroll up for details).

      2.9% financing for 60 month isn’t exactly a huge incentive – I can get close to that through USAA (say within a point). 2014 LS models do have $2.5K on the hood – but LS models are a smaller percentage of total Cruze sales (strippers).

      To put it in perspective, you can get a better lease deal on a 2014-1/2 Camry through Toyota then what GM is offering on the Cruze.

      http://www.toyota.com/local-specials/

      And for another $30 a month, and another $600 up front, you can drive a 2015 Camry over a Cruze. Want to finance that Camry – hey 1.9% for 60 months – now USAA can’t really compete with that. Oh, and a 2014-1/2 Camry has $1.5K on the hood, and you can finance 72 months at 0%.

      OK, fine, think you’re so smart – Honda sure doesn’t offer incentives and deals.

      Well actually, you can lease a 2015 Accord sedan for basically the exact same lease terms from Honda, as a Chevy Cruze. $189 a month, $2K down (total), and 36 months with 10K miles a year.

      A Civic can be leased through Honda at $159 a month with a steeper, $2500 down for 36 months, 10K miles a year.

      The “heavy incentives” on Cruze is over-stated.

      All of these cars have huge incentives on them – and actually, the Cruze is at a disadvantage ($189 a month and $2K down for a Cruze or an Accord sedan – dude come on, do you really have to think about it?)

  • avatar
    gasser

    I would like to see a chart of hybrid sales. Let’s see month to month and year to year comparison. Perhaps also a graph plotting total hybrid sales against gas prices. With gas priced at $3.03 per gallon at my local Costco, hybrids don’t look so good today. Two years from now we may refer to this as the golden opportunity to buy that EV or hybrid!

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      RegUnl 86-octane is $2.659 in my area; 88-octane $2.759; 91-octane $2.859 at several gas stations in my area. Even lower in Las Cruces, NM and El Paso, TX areas.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Hybrids have never looked good if you look at over-all cost per mile. The new 3 cylinder fiesta eco beats nearly everything. True electric is going to close the gap fast and likely become the low cost leaders by 2020.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Meh… sedans are like rubbers. Haven’t bought any in ages. Don’t plan to, neither.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I don’t know why everyone is ragging on the Sonata. YTD sales are still up. Hyundai went from blowing out the 2014’s with huge incentives to a slow rollout of the new car with much lower incentives. Anytime you have lower incentives than your competitors and don’t even have all the trim levels available, sales are going to suffer a bit.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      I tend to agree. The sonata is just as good and does not have that stigma of driving a Camry or Altima. It has a fresher look and stands out against many other sedans. Less recalls as well against the other top models.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      I’m not really a fan of the Sonata. just my opinion. What’s interesting to me is that the Sonata seems like a shift to me for this most recent body style. The Sonata pushed the limits of design for a high volume family sedan on the previous model. It got noticed and sales went up. But they seemed to really tone it down for the new body style. More sedate than the previous. It doesn’t stand out anymore, just like the rest of the competition. The true test will be whether or not buyers in this market purchase the car in the same numbers even though the look has become well….plain.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      dwford, the Sonata is a good deal for the money and was something that Toyota, Honda and Nissan execs feared in Sonata’s heyday.

      Left-over 2014 Sonatas are selling for $16,999 in my area which caused Nissan dealers to push 2014 Altimas out the door for the same price. Not so for 2014.5 Camry and 2014 Accord. Can’t get those for less than $20K.

      I was sad to see Hyundai drop their V6 though. I had a few as rentals and I enjoyed the hell out of them, even getting up to over 100mph on I15 going north from I8 before I realized how fast I was going.

      Scared me! Looked for cops all around me, but didn’t see any. More importantly, if they were there, they hadn’t seen me.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    These numbers will change in the future, I saw a new Chrysler 200 yesterday and unless it turns out to be a total POS it’s going to have an effect. What a good looking car and I don’t even like sedans, but it’s Fusion good-looking

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      The interior of the 200C is absolutely stunning.

      Once it gets a couple model years in to work out the bugs it should sell pretty well.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      A friend of mine was having service done on her Jeep GC. Some waiting time at the Chrysler/Dodge/Ram/Gammara dealership lead to a 200 test drive/mucking around. I like the Pentastar 6 and AWD. The price is OK; but can the AWD versions compete against Audis? I think a good ole TTAC test is in due order.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “but can the AWD versions compete against Audis?”

        It’s Jeep, man, it sure as hell has a good chance

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I agree! The Audi 4wd system may be a lot more refined with three Thorson Differentials, special silicone oil and a much higher cost to produce and maintain, but “ye olde Jeep 4wd system” will get you there just as well and for a lower price.

    • 0 avatar
      SayMyName

      The 200 isn’t a total POS, but nor is it remotely competitive against its more accomplished competitors, and build quality will forever be an issue. It’s also saddled with a pedigree that would see it tossed in a garbage bag and drowned in the river if it were a dog.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    With the (possible) exception of the Jetta, all of these cars have trunks. I will never understand my fellow Americans’ fascination with trunks.

    Edit: I guess the Focus can be had without a trunk. I can’t recall having ever seen one in the wild.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    I think it would be very interesting to see this same data with fleet sales stripped out. The Fusion, Sonata, and Altima are just a few that I know of that push big numbers to fleet sales and I’m sure there are others. I’d like to see the numbers of just consumer purchases. I suspect that a few, like the ones I just mentioned, might fall of this list entirely.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    The Sonata upper trim levels are ridiculously overpriced. They no longer represent the Hyundai bargain that they were once known for. In addition, pairing the sport model with the 6 speed auto instead of the 7 speed dual clutch makes zero sense to me. I like the Sonata, but not with the trim/driveline packages that are available and not at the prices being asked for it.

    Its pretty sad about the Sonata, because the new Genesis is an incredible bargain.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    I wonder if there are potential Civic re-uppers waiting on the HR-V. Or being lured into the new Fit. The next year will be interesting for Honda’s littlest.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I think the HR-V is going to keep a lot of the Honda fans at home and will capture a lot of on-the-fence crossover buyers as well

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        Me too, and I will be very interested in Mr. Cain’s excellent breakdowns of future Honda sales to see if the HR-V cannibalizes both the Fit and the Civic.

        I think the Fit is most vulnerable here as it has such a high take rate among boomers who have the credit to easily jump to the HR-V if they take a shine.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          It’s a risk worth taking rather then loose buyers to all the new compact crossovers coming out like Mazda’s CX-3, Chevy’s Trax and Jeep’s Renegade. Though that Renegade has captured my interest

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Ha ha… you said Chevy!

            Wouldn’t you really rather have an Encore?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            No, you would, though ;-)

            I’m a Jeep guy going back to the 80s. I left them in 2006 when they just didn’t have what I was looking for. The Cherokee rekindled my interest, but the Renegade has got my attention

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Oh, hell yes, Renegade.

            It’s got round headlights and its not a Patriot or Wrangler.

            A Renegade and an Encore would make such a nice couple.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “A Renegade and an Encore would make such a nice couple.”

            *makes a scrunched-up face and suddenly remembers every detail of his divorce*

  • avatar
    EspritdeFacelVega

    just lost another witty and eloquent post. Are you guys all still having the same trouble I am?

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      There is a voodoo letter combination that is causing most of the problems:

      Don’t use S-I-D in any word like “cons*der”. Omit the “i” and you should be good though High Desert Cat cites other issues, particularly with iOS.

      I’m using Windows XP (yes!) with Firefox 29.0 and the above work-around cures the issue for me.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        petezeiss, we can be sure they’re working on it because I can no longer log on with two different browsers simultaneously on my PC, nor with two different PCs, like a Win8.1 PC and an iOS8.1 iPad Air. So the IP-address checker is now on. That’s changed and should reduce multiple log ons for the system administrators.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    It’s not surprising that Ford car sales are down. The Focus is being refreshed and only carryover 2014 models are available, while the Mustang is all new and dealer inventory is just now starting t flesh out.

  • avatar
    hifi

    I’d be interested in knowing the average transaction price for each model. I don’t know this for a fact, but I sense that the on-the-road price of the Fusion is substantially higher than that of the Camry or Sonata. That the Focus or Jetta price is higher than the Corolla. I’m not at all interested in high sales volume, because we all know the tactics automakers engage in that essentially coax people into buying their crap. Selling as many cars as they can, at the highest prices that they can, is what we should be interested in.

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