The World's 20 Best-Selling Vehicles in 2017's First Half

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
the world s 20 best selling vehicles in 2017 s first half

The Ford F-Series was the planet’s best-selling line of new vehicles in the first half of 2017. Boosted by a 9-percent year-over-year global sales increase, the broad F-Series range produced 519,000 total sales in 2017’s first six months, according to JATO Dynamics, about 47,000 more sales than the second-ranked Toyota Corolla.

The F-Series wasn’t the only pickup truck on the list of Earth’s 20 most popular vehicles in 2017, to date. FCA’s Ram P/U lineup ranked 11th and the Chevrolet Silverado grabbed the 15th position. The United States market, on its own, accounts for the overwhelming majority of global sales generated by these full-size pickup families: more than 80 percent for the F-Series, just under 80 percent for the Ram, and nearly 90 percent for the Silverado.

Utility vehicles, meanwhile, earned seven of the top 20 positions. And while seven of the nine cars sold less often in the first half of 2017 than in the equivalent period in 2016, six of the seven crossovers reported year-over-year improvements.

These were the world’s best-selling cars in H1 2017. @Nissan X-Trail/Rogue, @Volkswagen Tiguan shine. C-Class, top-seller premium

— JATO Dynamics (@JATO_Dynamics) August 16, 2017

America-oriented success earned the Ford F-Series, Ram P/U, and Chevrolet Silverado their positions in the top 20, but there are a number of vehicles that make their way into the top 20 in spite of a dearth of American volume. Indeed, the Wuling Hongguang MPV and Volkswagen Polo aren’t even offered in the U.S. market.

The third-ranked global best seller, Volkswagen’s Golf, generates less than 10 percent of its global volume in the United States. Although it’s been a success for American Honda, barely more than one out of every 10 Honda HR-Vs sold around the world are parked in American driveways. Only 5 percent of the Volkswagen Tiguan’s global volume is U.S.-generated.

All of these vehicles would be global best sellers even if they weren’t sold in the United States.

Many of America’s leading vehicles are nevertheless prominent figures in other markets.

The Nissan Rogue, for example, is America’s top-selling utility vehicle * so far this year, and it’s tops among utility vehicles around the world, as well, earning more than half its sales outside of America.

The Honda Civic is America’s top-selling car through the first seven months of 2017 and the Toyota Corolla ranks third in the U.S. — they’re the planet’s first and second-ranked cars. The Civic and Corolla produce slightly more than half and two-thirds, respectively, of their global volume in non-U.S. markets.

Moreover, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is the top-selling premium brand car in America in 2017, and it’s the top-selling premium brand car in the world, as well. Eighty-four percent of global C-Class volume is generated outside the U.S.

[Images: Ford Motor Company, Nissan]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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  • Stingray65 Stingray65 on Aug 17, 2017

    How the mighty have fallen: Approximate top 10 list from 1959: Chevrolet, Ford, Plymouth, Pontiac, Buick, VW, Oldsmobile, Dodge, Mercury. Today, not a single GM vehicle in the top 10, although they probably have several top 10 in terms of dealer inventory.

  • Sjalabais Sjalabais on Aug 17, 2017

    It speaks to the variety of the Chinese market that their first car is on #13. Lucky number? Anyway, GM is involved - not sure if that speaks pro or contra good reliability? It's a neat MPV though that has been build for almost eight years.

  • Dawn Maple They haven't even fixed the airbag issues and recalls completely, so why waste more time and money on another "safety feature" that removes choices from the driver? We would be safer getting in a car driven by Helen Keller. Oh wait with driver assist, all she has to do is find her car and turn it on.
  • Lorenzo I'm out. I'd never find it in the dark.
  • VoGhost Minivans don't sell well, and the market has been declining. And while the entire 'range anxiety' myth is mostly a big oil propaganda designed to scare the weak minded, minivans are often how families travel to grandma's house, so that will be a concern, unless VW can gain access to the Supercharger network. I could see 50K units at peak, declining to 25K/year after a couple of years, unless VW can price competitively with Tesla.
  • VoGhost Glad you're healthy, Tim
  • VoGhost 20 years ago, Sportage was the bottom of the barrel, a joke. Kia's come a long way.