It's Official And Insurmountable: These Are 2015's Top Sellers Two Months Early

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

The Ford F-Series will end 2015 as America’s best-selling truck line and the best-selling vehicle line overall. Yes, there are two months remaining on the calendar, but there will be no unseating of the Ford, which built up a 137,400-unit lead over the second-ranked vehicle over the course of 2015’s first ten months.

The F-Series isn’t the only vehicle to secure its position at the front of its respective pack. These are the kinds of stories typically not published until the beginning of January, but we already know that the level of dominance enjoyed by certain nameplates is so high that they won’t – they can’t – be caught.

BEST-SELLING CAR


With five-sixths of 2015 complete, the Camry has outsold the next-best-selling car by 54,418 units. In other words, if Toyota stopped selling the Camry now, the Corolla, America’s second-best-selling car, would end 2015 as the top-ranked passenger car.

Toyota is not going to stop selling the Camry. This year will be the 14th consecutive year of Camry passenger car leadership in America.

BEST-SELLING SUV/CROSSOVER


Not since August of last year has the CR-V surrendered its best-selling crown on a monthly basis. The last time a competing utility vehicle outsold the CR-V over the course of a full calendar year was 2011, when the Ford Escape broke a four-year CR-V streak.

In 2015, the CR-V’s 7-percent year-over-year improvement through ten months produced 288,531 sales, 30,800 more than the Escape has managed through the end of October. The Escape will not outsell the CR-V by 15,400 units in each of the next two months. Therefore, 2015 will be the fourth consecutive year in which the CR-V is America’s top-selling utility vehicle.

BEST-SELLING THREE-ROW VEHICLE


Although the Explorer hasn’t been America’s best-selling SUV since 2006, it is easily America’s top-selling three-row vehicle, regardless of classification. The Toyota Highlander is 80,820 sales behind the Explorer heading into November. Even when combined, the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans fall more than 60,000 sales shy of the Explorer’s tally with two months remaining on the calendar.

Year-over-year, Explorer sales jumped 20 percent to 210,894 units between January and October, meaning this is already the best Explorer sales year since 2005.

BEST-SELLING SMALL/MIDSIZE PICKUP TRUCK


Powered in large part by new GM alternatives, the small/midsize pickup truck segment has grown its market share in the overall pickup truck category from 11 percent in the first ten months of 2014 to 14 percent in the same period this year. But while much of the credit for the segment’s expansion is owed to the rather popular Colorado and Canyon, Toyota sold 148,905 Tacomas already this year, 53,773 more than the Colorado and Canyon combined.

Tacoma volume is up 17 percent so far this year aided by renewed interest in the category, a clear-out of MY2015 trucks, and now the introduction of 2016 models. This year will be the 11th consecutive year in which the Tacoma has outsold all other non-full-size pickup trucks.

BEST-SELLING COMMERCIAL VAN


The year will end as the first full year for Ford’s Euro-esque Transit van in America, but the ramp-up was rapid and the results were all-conquering. Transit volume climbed to 95,446 units in the first ten months of 2015, 27,024 sales ahead of the Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana tandem.

Between the Transit, E-Series, and smaller Transit Connect, Ford owns 53 percent of the commercial/cargo van market in America in 2015.

BEST-SELLING PREMIUM BRAND CAR


Thankfully, BMW began issuing a breakdown of 3-Series and 4-Series sales halfway through the year. Yet even without its 4-Series offshoot contributing to its total, the 3-Series is still the most popular so-called luxury car in America. 3-Series volume is up eight percent in 2015 in a market that’s increasingly veering away from traditional passenger cars.

With 80,832 sales through October, the BMW 3-Series leads the surging Mercedes-Benz C-Class by an insurmountable 9,014-unit margin.

BEST-SELLING PREMIUM BRAND SUV/CROSSOVER


Despite a slow start, 2015 is turning out to be a terrific year for the Cadillac SRX, America’s second-best-selling luxury utility vehicle. On the flip side, 2015 isn’t such a great year for the Lexus RX, America’s top-selling luxury utility, because Lexus is transitioning from the third-gen to the fourth-gen and because some buyers are being lured away by Lexus’s new entry-level NX.

Nevertheless, RX sales – down 8 percent to 77,940 units so far this year – are 21,208 units stronger than the SRX’s year-to-date tally. The RX is responsible for 28 percent of Lexus sales in the U.S.

BEST-SELLING SPORTS CAR


“Sports car” is and always will be defined differently by different individuals. But of this there can be no doubt: the Ford Mustang is now more of a sports car than it’s ever been. Besides, we’re adopting loose borders for the definition for the sake of this section.

The Mustang was outsold by the Chevrolet Camaro in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. But the Mustang was all-new for the 2015 model year. The new sixth-gen Camaro is only reaching customers now and sits 39,488 sales back of the Mustang’s 106,321-unit year-to-date tally.

These are the dominant ones, the vehicles which control the largest chunks of their respective categories; the cars and trucks and SUVs which have so thoroughly outsold their rivals in ten months that victory over twelve months is assured.

They’re not all equally dominant, however. The Ford F-Series hasn’t just outsold all other vehicles in each of the last four years, but outsold its two chief twin rivals from General Motors, combined. This year will be different. The Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra duo leads the F-Series by an insurmountable 42,774-unit gap so far this year. Only GM’s admittedly successful branding exercise allows Dearborn to once again claim top spot.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

Timothy Cain
Timothy Cain

More by Timothy Cain

Comments
Join the conversation
6 of 46 comments
  • Scoutdude Scoutdude on Nov 09, 2015

    The only thing that is surprising is that the Corolla is in position to be the #2 selling car. Amazing that the Accord is that far out of the running.

    • See 3 previous
    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Nov 09, 2015

      @RS I don't know how resale values will be affected. But I do know that CVTs are the wave of the future, which means that Camry will also get one - maybe MY2016 or MY2017. CVTs are cheaper to make, simpler in design, infinitely variable in power transmission, allow for engine rpm to remain in the optimum economic power range, and thus give better fuel economy than conventional step-transmissions. All the CVT-manufacturer has to do is build a CVT that will last at least 150K miles, and preferably longer than conventional step automatics.

  • Felis Concolor Felis Concolor on Nov 10, 2015

    What's in a name? People are paying $1600 more for a dumbed-down Flex and buying them at a near 13:1 ratio. If it weren't for Mazda's CX-9 stagediving and saying "don't look at me," Ford would be both 1st and DFL in the 3 row category. Still, kudos on dominating the working truck and van market; you're definitely doing something right when even Nissan's turnkey blue collar configurations can't boost the rest of the field to the halfway mark. On a side note, I'm seeing a lot of lunch wagons in heavy rotation around town the past couple years: breadbox trucks are the runaway favorite, with 2nd place featuring a heaping helping of converted campers.

  • 285exp I have been assured that EVs don’t require maintenance, so this seems pointless.
  • Slavuta "The fuel-economy numbers are solid, especially the 32 mpg on the highway"My v6 Highlander did 31 over 10 hour highway trip
  • Aja8888 As I type this, my 4 months old Equinox's Onstar module that controls the phone is broken. Yep, 4 months (never worked right from day one). Replacement will be a REFURBISHED unit since no new ones can be obtained (from China?). I really don't miss the phone via Bluetooth. And I have a great Garmin that I have used for years for trips which has free lifetime maps and traffic.
  • Bd2 There's a reason why talented American execs have been leaving Stellantis in droves.Tavares seems intent in following "Le Cost Cutter" Ghosn into driving his company into the dirt, whilst "justifying" his ever expanding compensation.
  • Bd2 Too bad gm didn't make the C8 better looking to begin with...
Next