By on January 9, 2015

2015 Jeep CherokeeExcluding ultra-low-volume brands such as Maserati, Jeep was America’s fastest-growing auto brand in 2014. Both in terms of percentage growth and units added, no auto brand came within striking difference of the Chrysler Group/FCA SUV brand. Jeep sales jumped 41% to record-high levels of nearly 700,000 units, an improvement of more than 200,000 U.S. sales.

• U.S. Jeep volume climbs by more than 200K

• Five “Detroit brands” in top 10

• Jeep, Subaru, Audi, Nissan set annual U.S. sales records

Even without the additional sales of the Cherokee, Jeep was flying high in 2014. Non-Cherokee/Liberty volume was up 12% to 513,840 sales, which would have been the highest total for the Jeep brand since 1999.

Incidentally, the second-fastest-growing brand in America was another make from the same manufacturer, another brand which doesn’t sell passenger cars: Ram.

Sales of Ram trucks and commercial vans rose 27.5% to 469,139 units, the highest figure since Ram was separated from the Dodge division. The brand’s ProMaster and Cargo Van accounted for 29,350 of the Ram brand’s sales. Ram and Jeep generated 55% of FCA’s U.S. volume in 2014, up from 47% in 2013.

 Jeep 692,348 490,454 41.2% +201,894 474,131 419,349
 Ram 469,139 367,843 27.5% +101,296  300,928 257,610
 Mitsubishi 77,643 62,227 24.8% +15,416  57,790 79,020
 Subaru 513,693 424,683 21.0% +89,010  336,441 266,989
 Lincoln 94,474 81,694 15.6% +12,780  82,150 85,643
 Audi 182,011 158,061 15.2% +23,950  139,310 117,561
 Lexus 311,389 273,847 13.7% +37,542 244,166 198,552
 Nissan 1,269,565 1,131,965 12.2% +137,600 1,021,779 944,073
 Buick 228,963 205,509 11.4% +23,454  180,408 177,633
 GMC 501,853 450,901 11.3% +50,952 413,881 397,973

Other brands which moved far past their 2013 totals in 2014 included Mitsubishi (which was down 78% compared with calendar year 2002) and Subaru, which set an annual sales record. Lincoln volume jumped 16%, although non-MKC sales were down 0.4%.

Like Subaru, Audi set an annual sales record thanks to big help from their new entry-level models, the A3 and Q3. Lexus sales shot up by more than 37,000 units to a seven-year high.  With record-high sales of the Altima, Rogue, and Versa – three of the brand’s four top sellers – Nissan set a U.S. sales record. The brand’s fourth-best-selling Sentra was up 42% to 183,268 units.

Buick and GMC brought General Motors to the list with 74,406 extra sales. (Chevrolet volume rose by 86,317 units, a 4.4% YOY improvement.) Buick set an annual global sales record in 2014; U.S. sales were down 47% compared with 2002 levels.

U.S. fastest growing auto brand sales chart 2014Flip the arrangement of this list, however, and we see other brands making headlines. Toyota’s percentage gains, at 5.8%, were modest, but a 5.8% improvement at Toyota equals 110,499 extra sales, year-over-year, enough to rank Toyota third in units added behind Jeep and Nissan.

Ranked in such a manner, Ram slotted in to the fourth spot, with Subaru, Chevrolet, GMC, Kia, Lexus, and BMW rounding out the top ten. Kia sales were up 8.4%, or 45,055 units, to 580,234 in 2014, the brand’s best-ever U.S. sales year. BMW also set an annual U.S. sales record with 339,738 sales in 2014, a 9.8% gain equal to 30,458 units.

And what of Maserati, America’s no-exceptions fastest-growing auto brand? Sales jumped 171% to a record-high 12,943 units, just 2830 units back of the Jaguar brand which Maserati outsold in and August, September, and October. Sales of Mercedes-Benz’s Smart division, meanwhile, rose 13% to 10,453, the third-highest-volume year in Smart’s seven-year history, but well off its first-year pace of 24,622 sales.

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

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32 Comments on “America’s 10 Fastest-Growing Auto Brands In 2014 – Jeep Leads The Way...”

  • avatar

    Has TTAC done a review on the GC EcoDiesel?

    We are currently saving for a new SUV to replace our POS 5 yr old Mountaineer Premier and me being the diesel junkie I am this is very appealing. I know enough about the 3.0 to be comfortable with it, just curious about the rest of the vehicle.

    • 0 avatar

      As much as I also like the concept of a smaller diesel and the excellent MPG that comes with it, all of the modern emissions stuff combined with the restyled GCs that already have more than their fair share of reliability issues really gives me pause.

      But there’s no arguing that it’s an excellent package, I’ve heard of people getting a solid 27+ mpg in highway driving with them. I forget, does the diesel have the new 8spd auto?

      • 0 avatar

        I’d be surprised if 27 mpg highway was the best they were capable of,a neighbor down the road has a Ram and does 28 consistently at 72 mph. He travels frequently for his job and already has 40k miles on his truck and keeps a detailed log book for his expense account through work.

        Although the diesel engine commands a premium on the front end of a purchase, you will almost always get it back when you decide to sell. It might not make sense for certain conditions but in our case where we typically hold on to vehicles 10+ years (except both Fords we own which soon will be gladly kicked to the curb inside of 6 yrs) and 90%+ of our driving is rural a diesel option fits our bill. I’ve owned various platforms over the years and nothing about them scares me the least bit.

        And yes, the EcoDiesel is paired with the ZF8 speed.

        • 0 avatar

          I would NOT want to own one of the current diesel engines out of warranty, let alone for 10 years.

          • 0 avatar

            Have you ever owned anything diesel for 10 years? If your miles are city driven and commutes are short, a diesel is not for you. If you live rural and drive long commutes and work the engine the way it is designed, there will be no problems provided the platform is solid.
            I have owned more diesel powered cars and pick ups than gassers in my life, got to know them all well, learned how to properly maintain them, how to fix them, and I have had positive experiences with everyone of them. The reality is a modern diesel engine is not anymore complex than a modern gasser.

          • 0 avatar

            “The reality is a modern diesel engine is not anymore complex than a modern gasser.”

            I’m not so sure about that. Gas cars don’t have to worry about particulate filters that need to burn off, or urea injection, or issues with fuel contamination in the super high tolerance high pressure fuel pumps (although direct injection is taking us down that road). My port injected Civic is loads simpler than the latest common-rail turbo diesel, and would be much cheaper to repair if something did go wrong.

            Having said that, no I’ve never owned a diesel. But I’ve researched enough when I was car shopping to scare me away. I think modern diesels are not the old dead simple apocalypse-proof clattery lumps of yore, for better or for worse.

          • 0 avatar

            The issues you are describing are 90% related to the growing pains virtually every manufacture went through while implementing the new technology. They also had to contend with a new fuel (ULSD) at the same time which created many new problems unrelated to the emissions equipment. OEMs are now providing proper fuel filtration (dedicated fuel/water seperation and 2um final filtration) which is needed for the longevity of injection pumps and injectors. SCR technology has been improved enough that they are now able to cut drastically back on EGR. This allows the engines to run at higher internal combustion temperatures which increases efficiency and reduces soot load in the oil which in turn increases service intervals. Ram now has 15k mile service intervals on their diesel engines, which is double the interval of pre emission engines. That alone should tell you how clean the new engines are.
            DPFs have been hit or miss but this is another area the OEMs have all drastically improved on since 2007. I know several hot shotters who are easily getting 250k miles out of their filters before needing cleaned. There is a huge misconception out there that these are throw away units. While that is what the dealership will likely do if its serviced under warranty there are other options if its on your dime. There are dedicated companies you can send your canister to. They will first pressure check it to make sure the unit is fit for service then they will clean it with a chemical solvent that breaks the soot loose. Once its been flushed, they dry it, check the dew point to ensure all moisture is removed,and pressure check it again. The legit shops are fully bonded and insured and provide warranties. Prices vary from around $300-$400.
            Ram and Cummins are also testing fully electric DPFs. Instead of burning fuel for 15 to 20 minutes to perform a regen they are looking at doing this with large heater elements. So far it looks promising and early reports I’ve seen are cutting regen times to a third of the current set up. This will not only further increase fuel mileage but make comepleting a full regen much easier and shorter (think short trips)

            There is a ton of resistance to diesels on TTAC, but as the technology improves diesels will make more and more sense. Manufacturers are dumping a ton of R&D into diesel and this is evidenced by the new models being released every year with a diesel option. Like it or not, diesel is here to stay.

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      Jrmason, Derek Kleinder (sp?) did a short one back in July:

    • 0 avatar

      @jrmason – the Ecodiesel has gotten good reviews but it all depends on what you want out of a truck. The coil spring suspension gives a good ride but lacks capacity. It is incredibly easy to overload one. A family of 4 in the cabin weight 600lb leaves little in the way of cargo. The Laramie LongHorn Crew 4×4 has pathetic capacity. Passengers and a box of donuts would put you over. Air ride has gotten mixed reviews. It works well under very light or empty loads. PickupTrucks dot com just did a V8 test and rated the ride of the new F150 and GM siblings better.

      Cost per mile is an issue. Diesel tends o be on par with premium gasoline for pricing. That and DEF additives negates any mpg advantage.

      Then you have to contend with Ram’s worst in class durability ratings.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m not interested in a half ton truck its not enough for my needs. My question was aimed towards the Grand Cherokee. As to Rams reliability, I’ve owned 1 ton Dodge Ram Cummins Turbo Diesel trucks for 16 years and accumulated over half a million miles between 2 trucks. Actually, 390k on my first truck (still see it on the road periodically) and am at 140k on my current truck. Had an F250 for a short time and Ford eventually lemoned it out. Wish they would have done the same with the wife’s Mountaineer because its been a nightmare. Ram is the only HD truck manufacture to have a million mile club, and the list is quite impressive, so I think your reliability comments are a little misguided.

        I won’t get into the cost per mile argument because I don’t want to completely derail the intent of this conversation, but that is another misconception that comes from the crowd that does not understand them (diesels)

        • 0 avatar

          It looks to me like your mind is already made up. You like diesels and you trust ChryslerCo. So go buy one.

        • 0 avatar

          Diesel costs $1.00 more per gallon here in Michigan,effectively negating any mpg advantage. The premium the buyer will pay for the diesel option better be worth it in regards to torque or durability. The tax structure of fuel prices here in the states is a big disadvantage to the widespread adoption of diesel platforms.

          • 0 avatar

            I could give you a break down of my log book but instead I will give you the best apples to apples comparison I have. Every year myself and a few friends spend a week in West Virginia 4 wheeling and camping. Every other year a friend and I switch off hauling my 14k lb tilt trailer with our machines down. He owns a 2012 Chevy 2500 with a 6.0 gasser. The truck spends much of the trip out of OD and both years has averaged 8-9 mpg. Hauling the same trailer, same load my 16 year old truck averaged 13.7 the first year and 13.9 mpg the second year and easily pulls the 5-7% grades without dropping gears. The new diesels would pull this load easier yet and return the same or slightly better fuel mileage. We have compared maintenance expenses and they are pretty even. We both run synthetic but he runs 7500k intervals to my 15k. His 6 quarts to my 12 quarts. Some easy math tells you there is no advantage either way. The only place my expenses are more is in fuel filtration. I have 3 filters I change annually that cost me $50.00.
            And then there’s the wife’s TDI Beetle that she makes long monthly trips to Toledo (app.400 miles round trip) and has to keep an accurate mileage log for reimbursements. She’s not easy on the skinny pedal, consistently runs 72-75mph and has never averaged poorer than 50mpg on these trips. 130k highway miles and nothing beyond routine maintenance.

            And the premium for diesels you mentioned is not even a valid argument. You will always get that premium back on the tail end of ownership compared to an equally equipped gas model.

  • avatar

    “Audi set an annual sales record thanks to big help from their new entry-level models”

    Nah, it was the new nomenclature system put in motion by Mr. Cadillac, JdN that turned the tide

  • avatar

    Wasn’t this the first time ever that the top three selling vehicles in NA were pickups?

  • avatar

    Just think how Ram would compare to GMC with a pair of SUV’s. Technically, Durango is a Dodge, which should (and could) change, once they bring on a new Journey. Why they have never made a Tahoe competitor out of the Ram 1500 is anyone’s guess (the Chrysler Aspen/big-ugly Durango doesn’t count). A Longhorn version would almost certainly sell well.

    And what would be REALLY sweet, would be a RAMCHARGER! I swear I’d buy one tomorrow, if they were available. Put a removable top like the old big Bronco had on it.

    Add a new Jeep pickup/Gladiator and Jeep continues to fly high. Jeep could jack the Dart, or shrink the Cherokee (same difference) and make a hatch/wagon to compete with some of Subaru’s offerings.

    A little off-subject, but with Mitsu’s struggles, it would be a good match to be sucked up by FCA.

    • 0 avatar

      Have you seen the new PowerWagon with the 6.4 engine, factory 33’s, front and rear electric diff lockers, electronic steering stabilizer disconnect, over 14″ of ground clearance, can ford crossings 30″ deep.


  • avatar

    New jeeps, gross. Hopefully they use all this money they’re making to strengthen the brand image by making the grand wagoneer, a gladiator pickup, and maybe even a comanche… based on a cherokee that can actually go off road. A man can only dream.

  • avatar

    Who buys Nissan, and more importantly, why?

    (A case of rental agencies + maybe subprime sales growth?)

    • 0 avatar

      Deadweight they run forever and unlike Toyota and Honda they have timing chains that never have to be replaced. Between 1996-2013 we owned three Q45’s that we bought as lease returns for about the price of a base accord. They all went well over 200K without issue. I have a 04 Nissan Titan that I bought new. Ten years later it has 140K and Ive replaced the battery and tires twice. No squeaks or rattles, and between 10000 mile oil changes it uses 1/4 quart of oil. The engine is amazing…all aluminum, DOHC, 6 bolt mains, they dont get much more durable than that. I talked to a guy in a parking lot two years ago with a 05 Titan who made weekly runs from Thousand Oaks CA to San Diego to SLO and back to TO. He had 375K on it with tires, brakes and batteries replaced and nothing else. Maybe thats why people buy them.

      • 0 avatar

        The Q45 had a blow up transmission IIRC, at least in the first generation. I can’t speak for the rest of what you said other than to point out the Nissan CVTs also suffered catastrophic issues at least when they were first released. My cousin has had numerous non-drivetrain related issues with her MY06 Sentra as well.

      • 0 avatar

        I know that it’s subjective, and I owned a very reliable Nissan for 3 years, but I’ve haven’t driven a Nissan that was close to class leading in terms of driving dynamics since the 1989-1990 Maxima.

        I’m not saying they don’t exist (I always did want to try the M35 out even if it’s technically an Infinity), but I’ve yet to drive one since that era Maxima.

        And I plain do not understand any appeal for the Altima, Sentra or current Maxima other than that of price (are they significantly cheaper than competitor vehicles?).

        • 0 avatar

          You are right about the 89-90 maxima great car. Altimas are indeed boring but they dont seem quite as numb as Camrys. I think most people these days just dont care about driving dynamics as evidenced by the number of SUV’s and crossovers sold.

          • 0 avatar

            I don’t believe it’s “these days”, sporty driving dynamics have been forced on the American buyers for the past 10 years on everything being made, even BMW figured out they could sell more cars without the harsh ride associated with sporty vehicles.

  • avatar

    if there was ever any indication that cadillac is in trouble it is this: in an increasing market where the higher end manufacturers are gaining market share – cadillac is losing market share.

    buick on a nice little 4 year role. that’s good to see. something is working at buick hq

    • 0 avatar

      Based on product lines alone I suspect the old C-P-C and B-O-C division arrangement has become: C-B-C and C. The “C” in this case has lost the plot while the new C-B-C split does well, which is important because this is the volume end of the business. I suspect GM can afford Cadillac to completely crash and burn without sending the company back into receivership which is why they don’t rein this in.

  • avatar

    Jeep & Subaru are ON FIRE.

    We live in uncertain times and many people assume AWD/4WD + taller = safety/security.

    I really do think it has psychological roots.

    RAM is increasing on a huge basis because their new trucks, including their diesel, have closed the gap considerably with the F Series/GM Twins, and in many cases, are better suited to provide what current truck buyers want.

    RAM has a chance at really CONQUESTING owners if their current crop of trucks hold up as well or better than the competition (or, at least, aren’t significantly worse).

  • avatar

    GM is in trouble. And for good reason.

  • avatar


    Edit: woohoo

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