By on November 9, 2015

2015 Ford F150

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.

2015 Toyota Camry

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.

2016 Honda CR-V

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.

2016 Ford Explorer

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.

2016 Toyota Tacoma

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.

2015 Ford Transit

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.

2014 BMW 328d Sedan and xDrive Sports Wagon.

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.

Lexus RX350

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.

2016 Ford Mustang GT

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.

2015 Chevrolet Silverado

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.

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46 Comments on “It’s Official And Insurmountable: These Are 2015’s Top Sellers Two Months Early...”


  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do think the comment the F Series is the largest selling line of vehicles in the US a bit of a Furphy.

    So, how does the “car lines” from other manufacturers stack up against the F Series. How can one possibly count all of the different pickups as one?

    Is an aluminium F-150 anything like a F-350? Far from it.

    I wonder how many vehicles Toyota sells? The Toytoa line?

    The number should be broken down into models, not lines or Series.

    It’s all just marketing bull$ite.

    So, what is the number of GM’s LINE of pickups?

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The bundling of F-150s with Super Duties is a holdover from the days when all pickups from a manufacturer (not just Ford, but all 3) were in the same line, the days when “compact” meant “barely rebadged Mazda, Mitsu, or Isuzu.” And FWIW, soon the F-350 will have a lot more in common with the F-150 again.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Drzhivago138 – correct. I had a 1990 F250 and my brother had a 1987 F150. The only difference were axles, springs, brakes and 8 lug wheels. He had the same 5.0 as I did.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Inconsequential trivia: The 5.0 meant that you had a light-duty F-250. After the F-100 was discontinued in 1983, the F-250 was split into two models: the LD was an F-150 frame with heavier springs/brakes, a semi-floating rear axle, and 8-lug wheels, like you said, and was only available with the 300 Six, 5.0, or 5.8 V8 for a GVWR no more than 7700#. It also shared the F-150’s 19-gallon gas tank and optional 4-speed automatic. It’s important to note that until ’97, the LD was only a regular cab model.

          The HD had the same wheels, but shared its frame with the F-350 and had heavier springs, brakes, and a full floating rear axle for a GVWR of 8800# max on the optional SuperCab model. The HD was also available with the 300, 5.8 or 7.5 V8s (no 5.0) and the diesel. The only transmissions on the HD were the 5-speed stick or the 3-speed auto–no 4-speed auto option.

          From the outside, the two models were indistinguishable, except maybe the HD sat a little taller unladen. There was no special badging (unless you had the diesel, of course) until the last ’97 models.

          The F-250HD became the new Super Duty in late ’98. After 1997, the F-250 moved to the new “jellybean” F-150 body, with a standard tranny cooler for the new 4.6 or 5.4 engines, and new 7-lug wheels. After 1999, it was renamed the F-150 7700 (visible on the tailgate, but not the fender). The new 2004 model was bumped up to 8300# GVWR, but by then it was a footnote buried in the back pages of the brochure as “HD Payload Package,” only available on 5.4-equipped RCLBs and SuperCab/8′ beds (in fact, from 2004-10, every SCLB F-150 was an HD). The beautiful 7-lug rims were hidden by XL steel hubcaps. It wasn’t until 2011 that HD regained a set of attractive, unique aluminum rims and became optional on RCLBs, SCLBs, and even certain SuperCrew/6.5′ bed models (5.0 or 3.5 EcoBoost only). The ’15s have heavier 6-lugs instead of 7-lugs, but everything else is essentially the same.

          Occasionally one may see a ’90s F-250 or even Super Duty with 7-lug aluminum wheels that look like they came off an Econoline. I have no idea what the story is behind this.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Drzhivago138 – a trip down memory lane :) Correct.
            At that time Ford had a F150 and a light duty F250 and a HD F250. All three used the exact same body.
            I never saw a HD of that era with 7 lug wheels. 1/2 ton trucks were 5 lug and all of the HD’s were 8 lug.

            On a side note it used to be super easy to find HD rims. Ford and Dodge rims were completely interchangeable and IIRC those rims would work on a Chevy but for some odd reason GM rims would not work on a Ford or Dodge HD. I think it had something to do with the size of the centre hole for the full floating axle.

    • 0 avatar
      RS

      Maybe the Silverado will out sell the F150 when they go to aluminum in a couple of years.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Big Al has a point. If Volkswagen renamed every car, as in Passat, Passat Eos, Passat Golf, Passat Touareg, et cetera, they could claim passenger car superiority with their “Passat Series”.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    It’s a bit ridiculous to combine crossovers with SUVs, they’re nothing alike, yet the pickups get separated completely by size?

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      I thought that at first, but there’s really not a lot of BOF SUVs left.

      There’s the GM GMT-K2XXs, the Ford Expedition, EL & Navi and the ChryCo Wrangler; then there’s only a handful of Asian and European vehicles and they are certainly not large volume by comparison to the CUVs.

      For the vast majority of people, having torque-vectoring AWD is more than they’ll ever need. This disappoints me because I take pride in knowing how to get out and manually lock the front hubs. It’ll be a long long time before a self driving electric can take itself where I’ve been.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        There’s the Tacoma, GM twins, and the outdated frontier in the above midsize category.
        And then there’s the wrangler, 4Runner, GMT K2xx, then there’s the Ford, the Toyota and Nissan which only count by default since they lack the capabilities associated with truck based BOF SUVs.
        I’m sure he could find room for actual SUVs instead of the cars that are being unfairly compared to trucks.

        The Wrangler, 4Runner and GMT trucks are more than enough to justify one of the oldest segments in the industry.

        • 0 avatar
          Pig_Iron

          Agreed, and I really like those, but sadly they’re fading away to the point where a maker won’t tool up for anything less than 50,000 units per year unless it’s on a shared platform and/or on a flex line. It would be nice to see the numbers split out though, just to satisfy my curiosity.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Both the 4Runner and wrangler have large year over year increases, the GMT may be stagnant but that’s on purpose.

            This segment is ready for new entrants, and it does help automakers because it brings vehicles that hold their value, not just when new but for an extended time, something no miniv… CUV can say.

            I’ve just recently helped that 4Runner monthly increase, there was no way in hell anyone could have gotten me into the godawful crossovers on the same lot.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I wonder how long we have to wait before Auntie Aluminum posts his comments about F150. (Edit – apparently zero)

    GM has for years managed to outsell the F150 but legally cannot count Sierra and Silverado as one since they are both considered separate products from separate companies (GMC and Chevrolet) even though they are under the GM banner.

    Ford has always managed to claim best selling truck line since the “F” series encompasses F150, F250, F350, and F450’s. All commercial chassis cab models aren’t counted under the “F” banner. Ram for example tallies 1500, 2500, 2500, 4500 under the Ram banner. GM (both Chev and GMC) currently only build up to 3500.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I dunno about Auntie Aluminum, but I could go for a pretzel from Auntie Annie’s.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        That does sound delicious. I had my favorite soft pretzel ever on Friday night, at a hipster bar in a Detroit suburb. I was the only man there without a beard and my wife was the only woman there without, large, visible tattoos. I will go again, because fresh made pretzels with house made mustards is worth it.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          bball40dtw – I thought you were going to say your wife was the only one there without a beard ;)

          I can’t figure out the whole hipster thing but that must be the point. If you have to ask you ain’t cool enough to understand the explanation or something like that.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Hahaha.

            I don’t get it either, but some of the best restaurants and bars near my house have a hipster flair to them. As long as the service is good, the prices aren’t crazy, and they have a good selection of local beer on tap I am happy. Bonus points if they can make a good Manhattan.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “hipster bar”

          Every day I feel more and more in the film 28 Days Later. Why won’t someone give me a green light to shoot the infected?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Listen man. If they make delicious food that is from local, non-GMO sources, they can wear newspaper hats and think they are Napoleon.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            You’ve got me laughing pretty hard.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Hipster restaurant/bar > TGI Applechilli’s

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I have a decent choice of restaurants here which are not in the hipster domain, but I see your point in the “great food/service gets a pass”.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            One must make the distinction between newspaper hats and tinfoil hats.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I have four “downtown” districts in cities around me (Birmingham, Royal Oak, Berkley, Ferndale). I tend to go to Ferndale most often because of the variety of establishments and lack of pretension. Sometimes that means date night with the wife is at a hipster restaurant or gay bar.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            At first I thought hipster was politically correct wording for woman with a fat ass ;)

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I have to admit the new F-150 is a very nice-looking truck, especially wit the toned-down size of the grille. I still prefer the Chevy, though, just because.

    The Camry? Most attractive model in many years, I’m impressed. Would I buy one? I don’t know, but would cross-shop with other OEM offerings, same with the Corolla.

    Toyota said they would work on making their car designs more appealing, and I must say they have succeeded.

    Mustang vs. Camaro? A never-ending battle! Neither is a car for me due to a few reasons, but both are nice.

    Tacoma? Still just as ugly after all these years, but there are no real competitors except for the Colorado/Canyon twins, but they’re gaining, and I find them much more appealing than the Toyota.

    Yes, I skew towards GM and Chevy specifically, but only when they offer something that fits my needs at the time. So far, for the last 11 years, they have.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      The Midsize market is growing with newer vehicles coming into the segment. Toyota is as strong as ever.
      Toyota is doing ery well in general in the US,, here the Corolla sells well, not so much the Camry, but the Hilux is their star,beating everyone else to become the best selling vehicle in the Australian and New Zealand markets

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        RobertRyan -every market has their own “F150”.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        I don’t know about the new ones, but my Frontier was just replaced by a new F150. It manages to get better MPG in every situation I have had it in. I drive it very nicely to be sure but I did the Frontier as well. It does better so far in town, on the highway, and towing a 2000ish pound pop up camper. The fact that that giant truck is in the same ballpark as the Frontier is impressive. Now hopefully the Tacoma and the GM twins are better as the 4.0 in the Nissan is not an MPG star. Yes, if you keep your foot in the turbos it will drop but it is no worse than flogging the VQ40 was and it is so much nicer. Yes it had a significantly higher MSRP but it also had a significant pile o’ cash on the hood. As one who owned a midsize truck I just can’t see how this market grows significantly. You have to really just not want a fullsize and I don’t think that is a massive market.

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          I have often wondered if there is a market for traditional-sized “F-100” pickup trucks with a full 4ft between the wheel wells, but somewhat smaller than the current full size. The international tall narrow mid-size is simultaneously too big and too small. Imagine the Mustang/Camaro/Challenger engine choices in a “classic” short-bed regular cab pickup with 21st century fuel economy and crash test performance.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Something that’s 79″ wide and has a 130″ WB or so? How about a new Silverado regular cab? (Granted, that’s a 133″ WB.)

            Despite all the hype, the only dimensions in which full-size trucks have grown in the past 50 years that affect driveability are wheelbase and front overhang.* (Rear overhang has decreased overall as rear axles move farther back in the bed.)

            WB has increased so that cab space can increase, and front overhang has increased to provide more crumple zone. I’m not sure if anyone wants to give those up.

            *Okay, height does affect driveability a lot, not to mention usability of the bed, but 1. that’s mostly because everyone insists on buying 4x4s, and 2. if it’s really a problem for the consumer, that can be mitigated by them with a lowering kit. WB and overhangs can’t really be changed outside the design studio.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            Dr.Zhivago…I think the perception comes not from them actually getting bigger, but from the rise of the crew cab as a family hauler. 15 years ago an extended cab was a seriously long truck and regular cabs weren’t on the edge of extinction. If you saw a crew cab it was probably a base model full of folks coming to build your house. Now they are everywhere but they aren’t any bigger than a comparable model from back then.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Your assertions are correct, but your years are a little off. 15 years ago was 2000–the most popular truck was an extended cab 1/2 ton with a 6.5′ bed, which was either no longer (in the case of Ford and Dodge) or just slightly longer (in the case of Chevy/GMC) than the RCLB.

            At any rate, another factor into the perception of all vehicles as monsters is the big, bulky pillars and the tall sides with narrow windows. Look at a first-gen Honda CR-V, and look at a current model. Would it surprise you to know that the newest one is not appreciably larger in any dimension than the original, and is in fact shorter in height?

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Since I’m not allowed to edit, this part was supposed to be the second paragraph:

            The comment on crew cab trucks is also slightly off. In 2000, all crew cabs were still HD-only (we wouldn’t be getting the F-150 SuperCrew until next year), but the availability of CC/6.5′ bed models meant the length went from “Knock Nevis” to “manageable,” and both Ford and Chevy offered them in most every trim level by now. Thus, by this time you were just starting to see them in more places than the construction site.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “Since I’m not allowed to edit…”

            Hey! Maybe now that TTAC has garnered NATIONAL RECOGNITION the owners might see a bright enough future for it to maybe spend a little for a better comment engine?

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            I was allowed to edit for a short time, but I think my indecisiveness in pushing the button half a dozen times in 5 minutes was what caused it to close the edit window prematurely.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            With other engines like Disqus you can revisit and edit a comment any time the comments are still open for a thread, days later even.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Big Al From ‘Murica – I’ve owned trucks from every size class (small, 1/2 ton and HD). I buy what works the best for me and my future needs at the time of purchase. In 2010 I had the Tacoma in my sights but with rebates I got my F150 for less money. Now that my kids are turning 12 and 14 I’m happy that i went with the bigger truck. Even with the 5.4 in my truck, MPG wasn’t significantly better in the Tacoma.

          The Colorado and Canyon have raised the bar but Toyota doesn’t seem to be too concerned . I think that you are correct in your last statement. You really have to NOT want a full sized truck to chose a small one instead. The only other metric that would make a small truck more of an option is spending a large amount of time hardcore off-roading. That tends to mean serious modifications and most into that sort of thing buy used.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            Exactly Lou. My 14 year old 6 foot tall son is why the Frontier had to go. The F150 is impressive though.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      RS

      It’s amazing that either sell like they do with their CVT’s.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I haven’t heard of any premature CVT failures on either the Corolla or the Accord.

        Maybe all the real-world experimentation on customers that Nissan did with the JATCO CVTs has resulted in a longer-lasting CVT for Honda and Toyota.

        I still will not advise anyone to keep any CVT beyond the factory warranty period, especially if that vehicle is their primary daily driver.

        • 0 avatar
          RS

          “I still will not advise anyone to keep any CVT beyond the factory warranty period, especially if that vehicle is their primary daily driver.”

          Will terrific resale value just be a memory for Toyota and Honda cars with a CVT and miles?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            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.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    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.

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