Best Selling Cars Around The Globe

2021 Land Rover Defender Corroded

2021 Land Rover Defender owners, are you unhappy with your SUV’s finish? Heritage Customs will give you corroded parts with real rust.

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U.S. North to South 2015: Seattle to Portland

If you thought I got lost somewhere in southern Alaska, you thought wrong.

We are now hitting Seattle, WA for the remaining part of this U.S. North to South series. I have the privilege of driving a 2015 Ram 2500 Tradesman Crew Cab 4×4 Turbo Diesel.

I baptised last year’s Ram 1500 as Albert. This year, I will follow the letters of the alphabet as they do for hurricanes. Say hello to Bob. Bob, say hello to TTAC.

My first impressions are below along with an explanation on Ford Seattle license plates 2,000 miles up north in Barrow, Alaska…

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U.S. North to South 2015: Wrangell and Ketchikan, Alaska

Leaving Petersburg to continue on our way south requires a ferry as Petersburg’s road network only reaches 30 miles out of town and does not cross any water along the way.

Next we visit Wrangell and Ketchikan before leaving Alaska for good. As well as analysing the car park in these two tiny towns, this is an opportunity for me to try and convey to you how it feels to take the most common means of transportation in Southeastern Alaska: the ferry.

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U.S. North to South 2015: Petersburg, Alaska

After stopping in Juneau, we now take the Alaska Marine Highway — the ferry in simple terms — on a little over five hour sail to reach the next town in our journey: Petersburg, definitely the most picturesque fishing station I got to visit in Alaska.

Nicknamed Little Norway and founded in 1897 by Peter Buschmann, who gave the town its name, Petersburg still displays a very strong Norwegian influence, with many buildings decorated with flowery Norwegian rosemaling paintings. In fact, many of Petersburg’s residents can trace their heritage back to Norwegian ancestors and there was a time when Norwegian was still commonly heard on the street.

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U.S. North to South 2015: Juneau, Alaska

After Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, we fly south to Alaska’s capital city, Juneau.

Juneau is America’s only state capital that cannot be reached by car — only boat or plane — as its road network does not connect it to any other towns. It is bound to stay that way as half its residents and its mayor opposed a plan to build a road that would. But even though you can’t drive anywhere, Juneau has a very dynamic car park.

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U.S. North to South 2015: Anchorage, Alaska

After Barrow and Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, at the extreme north of the United States, we now fly south 620 miles (1,007 km) to Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska but not its capital.

As much as I would have liked to tackle the mighty Dalton Highway, an additional 230 miles and a 14- to 18-hour trip depending on the weather, time and budget constraints meant I had to fly instead, in a semi-cargo plane: the first third of the plane was cargo with the remaining two-thirds for passengers and entry only from the back of the plane. It was the first time I saw such a plane.

On the way, the bonus is sublime panoramas of the former Mt. McKinley, the highest summit in the whole of the United States at 20,320 feet high. Denali, the Indian name for the peak, appropriately means “The Great One”.

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U.S. North to South 2015 Itinerary

The U.S. North to South 2015 series articles are published with a little bit of delay, necessary to process observations, write, retouch pictures and publish. Therefore I thought I’d let you know where I am currently and my planned itinerary for the next week.

If you live nearby and want to holler, please let me know in the comments! Also, if you have any advice on “must do” things and, more importantly, “must drive” roads along the planned itinerary, I have kept it relatively flexible to allow for this, so please let me know.

Currently I am in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Over the next few days I am planning to travel to:

– Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
– Jackson, Wyoming.
– Salt Lake City, Utah (via the 189, 26, 89, 34, 30 and then joining the I-15 South).
– Almost Las Vegas, Nevada then possibly Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.
– Back northwest via Coyote Springs and 93 to Rachel, Nevada, to see some aliens at Area 51.
– North on the 93 to Route 50, “The Loneliest Road in America”, all the way to Carson City, Nevada.

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U.S. North to South 2015: Prudhoe Bay, Alaska

After starting in Barrow, the northernmost settlement in the United States, our second stop takes us 200 miles (320 km) south east to Prudhoe Bay, again on the Arctic Ocean.

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U.S. North to South 2015: Barrow, Alaska

Last year, I crossed the United States from Coast to Coast — New York to LA — in a Ram 1500 Tradesman. You can follow last year’s coverage here. This year we embark on another crossing, this time from North to South, albeit starting a little further North than you might expect.

I’ll hop in a Ram 2500 Tradesman 4×4 in Seattle eventually, but for now, as the area I’ll travel through before Seattle has only an intermittent road network, it will be a mix of planes, rental cars and ferries.

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China 2015: Cars of Kashgar, Xinjiang Uyghur

Dongfeng Pickup at Kashgar livestock market

After Ürümqi, we are now headed 670 miles (1,080 km) south-west to the hinterland of the hinterland: Kashgar. It’s China’s westernmost city and predominantly populated by Muslim Uyghurs.

To give you a rough idea of what Kashgar looks like, the city stood in for Kabul in Afghanistan in the movie “The Kite Runner”. In fact, Kashgar is 2,100 miles (3,400 km) away from Beijing by air, but only 500 miles (816 km) separate it from Kabul, 390 miles (722 km) from Peshawar, Pakistan, 1,200 miles (2,200 km) from Tehran, Iran, and 1,600 miles (2,900 km) from Baghdad, Iraq.

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China 2015: Cars of Rmqi, Xinjiang Uyghur

After covering the northernmost city in China (Mohe), we now travel to Ürümqi in the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region in the westernmost part of China. I thought we may as well push it to the extreme and explore the provincial capital furthest from Beijing, a whopping 1,500 miles (2,400 km) away.

In fact, Ürümqi – pronounced something resembling “Yooloomooshee” – is both geographically and culturally closer to Kabul in Afghanistan than it is to Beijing. The majority of the population is Muslim and most Chinese road signs are dubbed in Arabic and sometimes Cyrillic script.

What are the most popular vehicles in this remote part of the world?

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China 2015: Cars of Mohe, Heilongjiang Province
Dongfeng dealership in Mohe

We continue on our exploration of Chinese regions and after Harbin we head north to Mohe, still in the Heilongjiang province. This is the northernmost city in the whole of China, completely rebuilt in 1985 after a devastating fire, with striking Russian imperial-era style with colourful facades, spired domes and pillared entrances. A further 60 km (37 miles) north via a very quiet highway is Beijicun (literally “Arctic Village”), the northernmost settlement in China on the Amur River, the border with Russia.

In fact, from a couple places in Beijicun you can clearly see a Russian settlement on the other bank of the river. Even though it was the end of April when I visited, the river was carrying a large amount of ice blocks thawing their way toward the Japan Sea. As you can see on the map below the jump, in Mohe we are further north than any point in Mongolia and around the same latitude as the north of Lake Baikal — two regions I reported on in a previous Trans-Siberian series. You can see the Russian part of the Trans-Siberies Photo Series here and the Mongol part here.

So what are the most popular vehicles in Mohe?

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China 2015: Cars of Harbin, Heilongjiang Province

After Mudanjiang, we are staying in the Heilongjiang province to travel to its capital, Harbin. It’s the 8th most populous Chinese city and the most populous in Northeast China, home to a total of 10.6 million inhabitants.

The uniqueness of Harbin resides in its Russian heritage. Refugees from the Russian socialist revolution in 1918 made Harbin the largest Russian enclave outside the Soviet Union. The Russian Harbin community peaked at 120,000 people in the early 1920s, accounting for well over half of the city’s population back then. As a result, a large part of the old town is comprised of Russian-influenced buildings including the St. Sofia Orthodox Cathedral. Harbin’s main pedestrian street is packed every night, including during the week, with locals enjoying their growing spending power as street food stands offer scorpions and centipedes among other delicacies.

A happily bustling city with a heart and a story to tell made it one of the highlights of this Northeastern China exploration. But what cars are Harbin inhabitants most fond of?

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China 2015: Cars of Mudanjiang, Heilongjiang Province

After Yanji in the Korean Autonomous Prefecture, we are now headed north to cross over to Mudanjiang in the Heilongjiang province, home to just under 1 million inhabitants.

Mudanjiang does have an airport, but it doesn’t have direct flights to either Yanji or Harbin, so it’s bus riding all the way for me to join these 3 cities and a good opportunity to check out the car landscape in the hilly Chinese countryside.

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China 2015: Cars of Yanji, Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture

After Changchun, we hop on a short 45 minute flight to Yanji, capital of the little-known Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, next to the North Korean border. Yanbian was created in 1955 as a reward for Koreans who fought on the side of the communists in the Civil War and is the only minority prefecture in the north of China. Many Koreans refer to it as the “third Korea” — after the South and North, given it’s around half the size of South Korea. However, it’s home to just two million inhabitants, including roughly 400,000 in Yanji.

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China 2015: The Cars of Changchun

After exploring the Shanghai car landscape, we are now headed North to land in Changchun, the capital city of the Jilin province and known as the Chinese Detroit.

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China 2015: The 10 Most Impressive Carmakers at Auto Shanghai (Part 3)

This is it: the most impressive carmaker at Auto Shanghai, Haval.

Like in Beijing last year, I was most impressed by Haval at Auto Shanghai, and for a variety of reasons. Haval is Great Wall’s SUV marque, a standalone brand since July 2013. Above all, having topped my ranking last year already, I had high expectations for the brand and they didn’t disappoint, which was a very significant achievement on its own.

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China 2015: The 10 Most Impressive Chinese Carmakers at Auto Shanghai (Part 2)

It’s Leopaard, with two A’s.

Last time we had a look at the 10th to 6th most-impressive Chinese carmakers at Auto Shanghai 2015, it’s now time for ranks No. 5 to No. 2. By now, either the carmakers in question have made tremendous progress compared to last year in Beijing, or they are approaching world class. And we’ll start with the “Most Improved” award.

Drumroll, please:

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China 2015: The 10 Most Impressive Chinese Carmakers at Auto Shanghai (Part 1)

Consistently loud: Foton

We ended our last overseas adventure, the Trans-Siberian Series, in Mongolia with an exploration of the best-selling cars in this cold country. I’m resuming my exploration of this part of the world, leaping South to Shanghai in China where the biennial Auto Show took place in April.

Now that the dust has settled, it’s time to investigate the plethora of Chinese carmakers at the show (over 40) and trim it down to the 10 most impressive. It’s an abashedly subjective ranking. However, know that many aspects were considered to establish it: from interior/exterior quality and design of the models revealed, the number/validity of new cars, concept cars, brochures, staff availability, savviness and friendliness, as well as whether or not they improved since last year at the Beijing Auto Show.

In brackets are the ranking I gave these manufacturers at the Beijing Auto Show in 2014.

Discover the carmakers ranked from #10 to #6 below the jump…

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Coast to Coast 2014: Final Destination Los Angeles and Final Albert Review
Albert made it to Hollywood

* You can see all the USA Coast to Coast Reports here! *

This is it! After 5.722 miles or 9.209 km Albert and I have made it across the United States of America from Coast to Coast and have arrived in Los Angeles. This is the final instalment in this Coast to Coast series. It features Los Angeles car landscape and impressions, a final long-term review of Albert and my Top 10 highlights of the trip.

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Coast to Coast 2014: Being Modern in Palm Springs
Albert in West Cielo Drive, Palm Springs CA* You can see all the USA Coast to Coast Reports here! *After surviving Death Valley we now arrive at our last stop before reaching the Pacific Ocean in Los Angeles: Palm Springs California, the mid-century architecture mecca of the world. The traditional Photo Report, car landscape study, Palm Springs trivia and a guide to the unmissable architectural attractions in town are below.
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Coast to Coast 2014: Among Coffins, Furnaces And Devils In Death Valley
Albert’s first incursion below sea level at Badwater, Death Valley CA

* You can see all the USA Coast to Coast Reports here! *

We now leave Las Vegas to enter the final state of this Coast to Coast trip: California. Crossing the state line, we enter Death Valley National Park and this is the perfect location for an extended photo session with Albert. I give you the Photo Report, California sales data, Death Valley trivia and a review of how Albert coped with Death Valley heat below.

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Coast to Coast 2014: Las Vegas, Nevada
Tonka-tuned Ford F-150. How perfectly Vegas.

* You can see all the USA Coast to Coast Reports here! *

We are now leaving in our path beautiful Monument Valley to drive through Arizona and arrive in Las Vegas, Nevada. A very different official Top 5 best-selling models than the entirety of the dozen states we have just crossed, some crazy Vegas vehicles, the traditional car landscape analysis and all the things you didn’t think you needed to know about the state of Nevada are below.

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Coast to Coast 2014: Monument Valley, Arizona-Utah
Albert all set for his first Hollywood movie.* You can see all my USA Coast to Coast Reports here! *I think most of you will agree that a Coast to Coast trip wouldn’t be complete without the obligatory stop at the very photogenic Monument Valley. So after pausing in New Mexico at Albuquerque and Gallup, we now drive north on US 163 to reach the legendary set of so many Hollywood Western movies, located across the Arizona/Utah state line. The vehicle landscape analysis, official sales data, a special feature on the most popular rental cars in the country, an update on how my valiant Ram 1500 EcoDiesel (Albert) is behaving and a healthy amount of spectacular and oh-so American pictures are below.
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Coast to Coast 2014: New Mexico
The Dodge Dart is the hero in town in Albuquerque NM

* You can see all my USA Coast to Coast Reports here! *

After detailing the history and highlights of the Old Route 66 from Oklahoma to New Mexico, we now pause in New Mexico to analyse the vehicle landscape in Albuquerque and Gallup. This, a special feature on ethnic car buyers’ preferences and state-wide sales data below.

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Coast to Coast 2014: Driving Old Route 66 (Part 2)
Honda-proud in Shamrock TX

* You can see all my USA Coast to Coast Reports here! *

Check out Part 1 of this Old Route 66 Report here

Now that I have shared with you my impressions on the local vehicle landscape and bit of history about the Old Route 66, it’s time to get straight into it and explore a few roadside highlights. We will be covering the Oklahoma section of Route 66 including Texola, then Shamrock TX, Amarillo TX, Tucumcari NM, Albuquerque NM, ending at Gallup NM. The full details on these stops and 40 pictures are below.

Albert in Shamrock TX

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Coast to Coast 2014: Driving Old Route 66 (Part 1)
Albert on the Route 66 in Tucumcari New Mexico.

Check out all my Coast to Coast Reports here

This is it! After stopping in Oklahoma City, we are now on one of my most anticipated stretches of road in this entire trip: the Old Route 66, or the Mother Road as it is fondly called. Even though I didn’t have enough time to drive Route 66 in its entire length from Chicago to Los Angeles, I still managed to hop on it for a good 1/3 of its length, all the way from Oklahoma City OK to Gallup NM, driving alongside Interstate 40 which ended up replacing it and visiting places such as Clinton OK, Texola OK, Shamrock TX, Amarillo TX, Tucumcari NM and Albuquerque NM. We will hop back onto Route 66 later in this Coast to Coast trip in California. A thorough visit of this part of Route 66 full of photographs as well as my impressions on the vehicle landscape in this region of the United States are below…

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Coast to Coast 2014: Oklahoma – Last Stop Before Route 66
In Oklahoma, the Chevrolet Silverado hits its highest state ranking so far in this trip…

* You can check out all Coast to Coast 2014 reports here! *

After driving from New Orleans, Louisiana through Texas via Houston, Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth, we now enter the Great Plains in the Oklahoma state to reach Oklahoma City. This is our last stretch of the trip before we roll onto legendary Route 66… If Texas was the kingdom of pickup trucks, their proportion in the overall traffic is actually even higher in Oklahoma, with sales statistics to prove it – along with a surprise state sales leader… These, my Oklahoma impressions and a review of my Ram 1500 ecoDiesel (“Albert”) interior ergonomics below.

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Coast to Coast 2014: Everything Is Bigger In Texas
Ram 2500 Long Horn in Fort Worth – Texas

You can check out all the Coast to Coast reports as they are published here

The Coast to Coast reports are back, and after New Orleans we now land in Texas, literally the land of pickups trucks. This time Albert, my Ram 1500 ecoDiesel feeling now absolutely at home, took me to Houston, Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth before heading North to Oklahoma City. Texas makes it look like the rest of America I have visited so far wasn’t really trying. It may sound cliché, but everything is bigger in Texas. My impressions as well as official sales data courtesy of JATO are below.

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Coast to Coast 2014: New Orleans, Louisiana
The Hero in Town: the Kia Soul

You can follow all US Coast to Coast Reports here

We have arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana, also called NOLA or, more affectionately, The Big Easy. A very different experience than all other American cities I crossed so far, especially given the fact I was there on a Friday night… Bourbon Street with all its performers, singers, live music, good vibes, cheap (so cheap!) alcohol and deliciously spicy jambalaya is an experience I had not thought possible in the US and one I don’t think I will see again in this trip. Of course, NOLA has its own very particular vehicle landscape, slightly different from Louisiana – as is often the case for big cities compared to the rest of the State they are located in. The Top 5 ranking and full landscape description/photo report is below.

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Coast to Coast 2014 – Crossing Mississippi And Reviewing America's Motels

You can check out all the Coast to Coast 2014 updates as they get published here.

We are now leaving Memphis TN to drive South to New Orleans, Louisiana, crossing Mississippi via Jackson. For those of you unfamiliar with this often underrated State, Mississippi is home of the blues and the birthplace of Elvis Presley ( check out Elvis’ cars here if you haven’t already). We are now entering the next level of pickup domination, more in line with the national sales charts: based on official FY2013 data supplied by JATO, the Ford F150 is the most popular vehicle in Mississippi followed by the Chevrolet Silverado. Full Mississippi stats and my exclusive review of America’s budget motels below the jump. Make sure you read till the end as it gets more ‘authentic’…

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Coast to Coast 2014 – The Cars of Elvis Presley
Elvis with his legendary pink 1955 Cadillac Series 60 Fleetwood

You can check out all the Coast to Coast 2014 updates as they get published here.

Today we stay in Memphis as in my opinion the one attraction really worth seeing in town is Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley. I wasn’t expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised with the tour’s thoroughness, the extravagant decoration and endless flow of music sales records detailed on the self-guided iPad tour. My never-ending thirst for stats was quenched here, and that says a lot! It was also an opportunity to go beyond the singer’s most commonly played hits and discover gems like ‘She’s not you’, ‘Good luck charm’, ‘The Girl of my best friend‘ or ‘Return to sender‘. Most significantly (and relevantly), there is also a car museum displaying a collection of cars Elvis owned. I have ranked the most stylish Elvis cars here along with detailed background info about each model. Yes this is absolutely and unashamedly subjective. The full ranking is below the jump.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Coast to Coast 2014 – Memphis, Tennessee
2015 Chevrolet Colorado

You can follow all Coast to Coast reports here.

After Nashville TN, we are now heading 222 miles South West to Memphis, still in Tennessee. As a reference point, the best-selling vehicles in Tennessee are the Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry and Ford F150 (2012 figures). Splitting the F-Series into its specific variants (F150, F250) does mean it is ‘only’ #1 in 22 states. However if we get into detailed observation, Memphis is the first city I have visited so far to have a strong mid-sized pick-up truck heritage and I will cover this at the end of the report. My first striking impression in Memphis is the markedly older vehicle landscape, in line with the region struggling a little economically in recent times. Cars 6-7 years or older are the norm here which prompts me to describe the state of the US car landscape as I have been witnessing it so far.

Full report below the jump.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Coast to Coast 2014 – Nashville, Tennessee

Follow all my Coast to Coast 2014 trip reports as they get published here.

After crossing Georgia and part of Tennessee – the State of Davy Crockett, Aretha Franklin and Dolly Parton (of course) – we have now landed in Nashville, the country music capital of the world. Having grown up in France, I am not overly familiar with this music genre but listening to Sirius XM’s “The Highway” satellite radio station all day long while driving had me catch up on lost time in a flash.

Full report below.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Coast to Coast 2014 – Crossing Georgia and Tennessee
30 mpg average in a full-size pick-up truck is possible: the proof.

I started this New York to Los Angeles Coast to Coast trip by driving South along the East Coast all the way through to Charleston SC and Savannah GA. It’s now time to go north-west, taking Interstate 16 to Macon then the 75 through to Chattanooga, Tennessee via Atlanta, and continuing on the 24 to Nashville. A total of 585 miles (940 km) from Savannah to Nashville, the longest daily stretch so far in this Coast to Coast trip. And this is where Albert – my Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pick-up truck – met his match in the form of a bright yellow Peterbilt truck, and beat his fuel economy record to reach a very symbolic milestone…

Full report below the jump.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Coast to Coast 2014 – Savannah GA
Albert in the Avenue of the Oaks – Wormsloe Plantation Historic Site in Savannah, GA

Now that we have gone through New York City, Washington DC through Virginia, North & South Carolina and Charleston, it’s time to travel further South along the East Coast of the United States and the Interstate 95 to Georgia – the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr and Ray Charles. But first, I’ll give you my first impressions on running a full-size pick-up on diesel in the US.

Full report below the jump…

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Coast to Coast 2014 – Charleston SC
Ford F250 in Charleston SC

After driving from Washington DC through Virginia, North & South Carolina, we are now in Charleston SC. I know a lot of you live in town and have already predicted the type of cars I would see depending on which area of town I travel to. So I need to preface my observations by saying I spent some time in North Charleston, Downtown Charleston and Ashley River as this will impact the landscape I have observed.

Full Report below the jump.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Coast to Coast 2014 – Driving Through Virginia, North & South Carolina
Not my picture, but the Hero of the Day: the Nissan Rogue.

After New York City and Washington DC, today we continue South on the Interstate 95 Highway to cross Virginia via a detour to Williamsburg, then North and South Carolina to arrive in Charleston. As soon as we leave the Washington urban area, the vehicle landscape starts to progressively change to allow more pick-up trucks on the road. My Ram 1500 4×4 (Albert) is now starting to feel less out of his comfort zone and more and more at home…

Full report below the jump.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Coast to Coast 2014 – Washington DC

Toyota Corolla in Washington DC (these are from Maryland for illustration purposes)

After managing to drive through Manhattan and escape unscathed, we are now travelling 250 miles Southwest to the country’s capital city, Washington DC. But first, I’ll answer a few of the questions you asked in my first article:

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Coast to Coast 2014 – New York City
Ford E-Series in Times Square, New York City – September 2014

You may remember my Trans-Siberian Railway series that took us from St Petersburg through to Mongolia. This time we are crossing the United States of America from the East to the West coast, departing in New York and arriving in Los Angeles. Last month the US new light vehicle market rebounded back to levels not seen since January 2006, so what better timing than now to explore it in detail, observing specificities in the automotive landscape as we go through various cities, States and regions.

Full report below the jump…

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe – Trans Siberian Series Part 16: The Best-selling Cars in Mongolia

This is the final Mongolian post in our Trans-Siberian Series, exploring a very unique and surprising list of the best-selling models in the country. Next stop will be China! But first, a slice of modern Mongolian culture for you. As you will see below the Mercedes G-Class is at world-best levels in the Mongolian sales charts and has reached cult-level in the country. Proof: above is the music video for Mongolian R’n’b artist Tselmuun’s latest hit “Setgel”. From 2min49 in the video you can see a line of Mercedes G-Class behind the dancers, not one but 4 of them – so hot right now…

If you can’t wait for the next report, you can follow my trip in real time here, or check out 174 other car markets on my blog.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Trans Siberian Series Part 15: The Japanese Imports of Ulaanbaatar

This is the next step in our Trans-Siberian adventure. After reporting on the impressive number of Hummers in Mongolia’s capital city Ulaanbaatar, today we have a look at one of the most peculiar characteristics of the car landscape of Ulaanbaatar (and the country): used right-hand drive Japanese imports. Hope you enjoy, and stay tuned for the last Mongolian update in this long-term Photo Report, detailing the official best-selling cars in Mongolia in 2013…

If you can’t wait for the next report, you can follow my trip in real time here, or check out 174 other car markets on my blog.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Trans Siberian Series Part 14: The Hummers of Ulaanbaatar
One of the many Hummers I saw in Ulaanbaatar

This is the next step in our Trans-Siberian adventure. We stay in Mongolia, and after one week in the Gobi desert, saying that getting back to the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar (nicknamed UB here) is a total shock is an understatement. You would assume that civilisation progressively creeps back to culminate in UB, but it’s not so. Anything outside of UB is desert steppe, and when you arrive in the city it’s like turning a huge switch on: you instantly are in traffic jams going for kilometres! I saw in 10 seconds the amount of cars it took one week to spot outside the capital…

I couldn’t go on without pausing on one of the most surprising particularities of the UB car landscape: the astounding frequency of Hummers…

If you can’t wait for the next report, you can follow my trip in real time here, or check out 174 other car markets on my blog.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Trans Siberian Series Part 13.3: Which Cars Survived The Gobi Desert
Make no mistake: our van is a Silver Mustang.

Today we continue on our Trans-Siberian adventure, with the last report dedicated to the Gobi region in Mongolia. We have seen in the previous Gobi post that the UAZ vans and jeeps were by far the most popular in the Gobi desert. It’s no surprise then that we did this whole trip in one of them, the UAZ Bukhanka. In Russia, this off-road van (real name: UAZ 452) has earned a few nicknames – Bukhanka: (loaf of bread), Tabletka (pill) or Golovastik (tadpole) – in Mongolia our driver has baptised its own Silver Mustang, because of its grey colour and its ability to gallop to the most isolated stretches of the Gobi.

If you can’t wait for the next report, you can follow my trip in real time here, or check out 174 other car markets on my blog.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Trans Siberian Series Part 13.2: Which Cars Survived The Gobi Desert
Like a ghost riding the desert… Forget cars, motorbikes are the preferred motorised means of transportation in the Gobi.

Today we continue on our Trans-Siberian adventure. The last update was just an introduction to the Gobi desert region, now we are getting serious. Traversing the harshest terrain in the Gobi desert took us 4 days on an often disappearing track, only rarely flat. Needless to say only the sturdiest four wheel drives are allowed here.

If you can’t wait for the next report, you can follow my trip in real time here, or check out 174 other car markets on my blog.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Portal To All Of Them Here

Our whirlwind tour around the planet takes you to a new country every week. We have explored 75 destinations so far, and they are all listed below.Each title is also the link to the full article.If the nation you are looking for is not here, my blog covers 177 countries and territories so it should quench your thirst…

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Trans Siberian Series Part 13.1: Which Cars Survived The Gobi Desert

Nomadic life in action: Proud Mongolian woman in front of her family’s Hyundai pick-up with her ger all packed-up in the back.

After a little pause we are back on track for our Trans-Siberian Railway series. After a tiny hop to Terelj National Park we are now entering ‘real’ Mongolia and getting lost in the Gobi desert for a week. This region is bigger than France (612,000 sq km) and home to just 313,000 inhabitants, and I will try and relate this amazing experience with 3 posts on here. One of the big questions I will ask (and try and answer) is: which cars survived this environment, one of the most inhospitable in the world – yes, which cars did survive the Gobi desert?

If you can’t wait for the next report, you can follow my trip in real time here, or check out 174 other car markets on my blog.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Understanding The Indian Car Market
The Datsun Go starts at US$5,340. Only in India is such low pricing possible at the moment.

A recent stay in India has enabled me to get a much better understanding of the Indian new car market and its dynamics which have very unique characteristics. Understanding India is essential in today’s worldwide automotive scene – a lot of the innovation taking place here will soon be applied to other developing markets (like Africa).

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: What Future For French Manufacturers? (Part 2)

* Check out Part One of this Special Report on French manufacturers here *

This is Part 2 of my special feature on the future of French manufacturers. You can see Part 1 here.

After evaluating both PSA and Renault through their European sales, overseas sales, international alliances and low cost models, we continue on this study of what lies ahead for French carmakers by going through 3 additional elements of comparison.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: What Future For French Manufacturers?

Lately there has been a lot of talk, speculation, and actual structural changes within both French car manufacturers, Renault and PSA Peugeot-Citroen, with notably Carlos Tavares switching from one manufacturer to the other over the past year. Being French, this is close to my heart and I thought it would be timely to take stock and evaluate what lies in the future for these two French manufacturers.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Trans Siberian Series Part 12: Terelj National Park, Mongolia
Toyota Prius next to a traditional Mongol ger in Terelj National Park

After giving you my first impressions on the unique Mongolian car landscape, I now take you to Terelj National Park, 80 km East of the capital Ulaanbaatar and already complete countryside. What I first observed in Ulaanbaatar is still valid here, namely a huge part of the car landscape is composed of the first two generations Toyota Prius. I have also seen proportionally more Toyota Verossas in this part of the country. More after the jump…

If you can’t wait for the next report, you can follow my trip in real time here, or check out 174 other car markets on my blog.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Trans Siberian Series Part 11: Mongolian First Impressions

Three first generation Toyota Prius at a traffic light: a common sight in Ulaanbaatar…

We now continue on our Trans-Siberian railway adventure and after going through Siberia and crossing the Lake Baikal up to Ulan Ude in Buryatia, we are now travelling South to Mongolia. In this post I will describe my first impressions about the unique Mongolian car landscape, but we will start with a bit of introduction on Mongolia as a country, because knowing overall facts about this country goes a long way in explaining its car park.

If you can’t wait for the next report, you can follow my trip in real time here, or check out 174 other car markets on my blog.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Trans-Siberian Series Part 10: Ulan Ude, Buryatia

After a few weeks hiatus, we now continue on our Trans-Siberian railway adventure! Last time I took you to the shores of Lake Baikal, today we are moving across the lake to Ulan Ude, 455 km East of Irkutsk and my last stop in Russia before I cross the Mongolian border to the South. And even though this is one of the smallest hops of the trip, again a fascinatingly different car landscape awaits…

If you can’t wait for the next report, you can follow my trip in real time here, or check out 174 other car markets on my blog.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: The Top 10 Highlights of 2013
For the first time in history, more than 20 million new vehicles were sold annually in a single country…

What were the sales highlights of 2013? A combination of big growth in certain markets and specific segments meant for an interesting 2013. Hit the jump to see my own highlights.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Trans-Siberian Series Part 9: Lake Baikal
FAW V5 and UAZ Bukhanka

We continue on our Trans-Siberian railway adventure: the last stop was Irkutsk in Siberia, this time we are doing a tiny little hop 80 km South East to the shores of Lake Baikal, more precisely in the Litsvyanka village. Granted, there are not many cars here and the vehicle landscape is surely not representative of the region as Litsvyanka is mostly visited by Russian tourists, but the mix of cars I saw was so striking once again than I thought it should warrant an update on its own. Jump in for the full report!

If you can’t wait for the next report, you can follow my trip in real time here, or Check out 174 other car markets on my blog.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Trans-Siberian Series Part 8: Irkutsk, Siberia
Honda Airwave

We continue on our Trans-Siberian railway adventure: the last stop was Krasnoyarsk in Siberia, we are now moving 855km East to Irkutsk, which is 80km off Lake Baikal. And here again a fascinating car landscape awaits… From roughly 30% of the traffic in Omsk and Tomsk to half in Krasnoyarsk, we are now faced with a proper invasion of used Japanese imports! Jump in for the full report!

If you can’t wait for the next report, you can follow my trip in real time here, or Check out 174 other car markets on my blog.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Trans-Siberian Series Part 7: Krasnoyarsk, Siberia
The Toyota Ist is by far the most popular used Japanese import in Krasnoyarsk.

Over the next few weeks I will be taking you on a trip through the Trans-Siberian railway, stopping along the way in various Russia, Mongolian and Chinese cities to observe the vastly different car landscapes each time. The last stop was Tomsk in Siberia, we are now moving 450km East to Krasnoyarsk in the midst of Siberia. And this is it: used right-hand drive Japanese imports have taken over. Although I only stayed in Krasnoyarsk 4 hours it is enough to establish the simple fact that roughly every second car in the city is a used Japanese import, therefore being driven with the steering wheel on the wrong side! Jump in for the full report!

If you can’t wait for the next report, you can follow my trip in real time here, or Check out 174 other car markets on my blog.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Trans-Siberian Series Part 6: Tomsk, Siberia

Over the next few weeks I will be taking you on a trip through the Trans-Siberian railway, stopping along the way in various Russia, Mongolian and Chinese cities to observe the vastly different car landscapes each time. The last stop was Omsk in Siberia, we are now moving 940km North East to… Tomsk (hard to not confuse the two but I will do my best). And I am happy to report that at last, the Tomsk car landscape is looking pretty much like what one would expect from Russia… Jump in for the full report!

If you can’t wait for the next report, you can follow my trip in real time here, or Check out 174 other car markets on my blog.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Trans-Siberian Series Part 5: Omsk, Siberia
The Toyota Probox is the most popular used Japanese import in Omsk.

Over the next few weeks I will be taking you on a trip through Trans-Siberian railway, stopping along the way in various Russia, Mongolian and Chinese cities to observe the vastly different car landscapes each time. The last stop was Yekaterinburg, and we are now travelling almost 1000 km South East to Omsk, the start of Siberia and the place where Dostoyevsky was imprisoned… I have alluded to the strange phenomenon of used right-hand drive Japanese imports in Russia in my last photo report as I started seeing a stream of these in Yekaterinburg… Well it gets better in Omsk… Jump in for the full report!

If you can’t wait for the next report, you can follow my trip in real time here. Check out 174 other car markets on my blog.

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Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Trans-Siberian Series Part 4: Yekaterinburg, Ural, Russia
The Opel Astra is extremely popular in Yekaterinburg.

Over the next few weeks I will be taking you on a trip through Trans-Siberian railway, stopping along the way in various Russia, Mongolian and Chinese cities to observe the vastly different car landscapes each time. The last stop was Kazan in Tatarstan, and we are now travelling a further 940 km East to Yekaterinburg in the Ural region.

The Yekaterinburg car landscape is once again very different from the cities I’ve explored before. It’s a mix of less Ladas, more sedans, some brand new models I had not seen yet in the country (not even in Moscow) and the big novelty: used right-hand drive Japanese imports… Jump in for the full report!

If you can’t wait for the next report, you can follow my trip in real time here. Check out 174 other car markets on my blog.

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  • EBFlex More proof of how much EVs suck. If you have to do this, that means you are trying to substitute what people want...and that's ICE.
  • ChristianWimmer The interior might be well-made, but the design is just hideous in my opinion. It’s to busy and there’s no simplistic harmony visible in it. In fact I feel that the nicest Lexus interior ever could be found in the original LS400 - because it was rather minimalistic, had pleasing lines and didn’t try to hard. It looked just right. All Lexus interiors which came after it just had bizarre styling cues and “tried to hard” if you know what I mean.
  • THX1136 As a couple of folks have mentioned wasn't this an issue with the DeLorean? I seem to recall that it was claimed you could do a 'minor' buff of the surface and it would be good as new. Guess I don't see why it's a big deal if it can be so easily rectified. Won't be any different than getting out and waxing the car every so often - part of ownership, eh.
  • ToolGuy This kind of thing might be interesting in a racing simulator.
  • FreedMike Hmmm, electric powered vibrations. Is this the long rumored move into the...ahem...adult products market?