The Heavy Lifters: 2014 U.S. Auto Sales Growth Was Mostly Powered By An Elite Few

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
the heavy lifters 2014 u s auto sales growth was mostly powered by an elite few

Subtract the growth achieved by America’s 19 most meaningfully improved vehicles in 2014 and the U.S. auto industry was up just 1.0%, not 5.9%, last year.

The Audi A3; BMW 3-Series/4-Series; Chevrolet Cruze and Silverado; GMC Sierra; Honda Accord and CR-V; Jeep Cherokee; Kia Soul; Nissan Sentra, Rogue, and Versa; Ram P/U; Subaru Forester and Outback; and Toyota’s Camry, Corolla, RAV4, and 4Runner all produced in excess of 20,000 more sales in 2014 than in 2013, combining for 764,885 extra sales in a market which grew by approximately 927,000 units.

93,722 more sales were produced by another 18 vehicles which weren’t available in 2013: 4C, i3, i8, X4, GLA, Transit, MKC, ELR, City Express, Trax, TLX, K900, RC, NX, Q3, 918 Spyder, Macan, and V60.

Subtract the improvements produced by these 37 vehicles – which represent just 13% of the available nameplates – and America’s new vehicle industry was up just 0.4% in 2014, or basically flat.

Cause for concern?

Hardly. But it’s a meaningful statistic, as it displays how the joint strength of many of the most popular (or increasingly popular) vehicle lines can overcome disastrous results from vehicles which buyers found far less desirable last year than in 2013. The 147 different nameplates which posted year-over-year declines in 2014 collectively produced 626,271 fewer sales in 2014 than in 2013, an 11% loss.

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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6 of 14 comments
  • Fred Fred on Jan 14, 2015

    There are a few new cars/suvs in our company parking lot, not one new pickup, which is unusual for this part of Texas. No one in my little neighborhood has a new car of any kind. New car sticker shock? Old cars still running good and nothing really exciting, seem to be the common reasons.

  • EAF EAF on Jan 14, 2015

    That was an interesting statistic, thank you! Out of curiosity, does anyone know what the TOTAL sales for the Cherokee & Wrangler were this year? These trucks are everywhere!

    • See 3 previous
    • EAF EAF on Jan 15, 2015

      @Timtoolman Awesome, thank you gents!

  • Jeff S I saw a You Tube on this recently that said this truck was going to be midsize and just an EV. I hope that this truck is a true compact and that it will have ICE and hybrid as well especially a plug in hybrid. Matthew please keep us informed of any additional information that is released about this truck. This is good to have more competition in the compact truck market with Toyota already planning to release the Stout and GM talking about a compact truck.
  • SCE to AUX Whoa, I like the looks of that thing.
  • ToolGuy Found this.
  • SCE to AUX Their splash was the sound of breaking through thin ice. It's a matter of time until they withdraw from the US.
  • SCE to AUX I've said for years that the NACS Tesla protocol should become the standard.I had hoped the Feds would settle it, but it's probably better for the industry to do it.Now let's see if Ford and GM will help fund further Supercharger expansion.