We already know what vehicles Americans love, and most of them are trucks. It’s expected that annual Ford F-Series sales will be astronomical, but will come in just shy of a million units. It’s as boring as it is patriotic and tells us nothing of the future; we already know the United States will keep buying trucks. An underdog tale is always much more interesting. So what are the less popular vehicles we’ve perpetually ignored that are suddenly beginning to worm their way into our hearts?
Bloomberg compiled sales data through this November to see which models posted the biggest swells in demand and which models have been cut the deepest by America’s changing tastes. While it is impossible to say with certainty which are a flash in the pan sensation, a genuine comeback or marketing blunder, the vehicles on this list are all pieces in the puzzle that shows us what the automotive industry should look like in the near future.
General Motors’ U.S. market share in the small/midsize truck category grew in December 2014 to 21.1% from 13.9% in November. According to inventory statistics from Automotive News, GM dealers had approximately 9400 Chevrolet Colorados and GMC Canyons in stock at the beginning of December.
• Tacoma and Frontier rising
• GM earning market share
• Small/midsize trucks account for 1/10 pickup sales
Yet a booming auto industry and a surging pickup market meant that even with this new level of competition from the GM midsize pickups, widely regarded as the modern members of the class, the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier each posted 12% year-over-year improvements in December.
The Toyota Camry was America’s most popular car in 2014, the 13th consecutive year in which the Camry has led all passenger cars. The Camry ranked fourth among vehicles overall, trailing only three pickup trucks.
• Camry volume represents a six-year high
• Accord volume shoots up to seven-year high
• Corolla leads all small cars
Camry volume rose to a six-year high in 2014. With a 5% increase in the lead-up to a MY2015 refresh, the Camry outsold its nearest rival, the Honda Accord, by 40,232 units. (The Accord trailed the Camry by 41,806 units in 2013.) Accord volume, at 388,374 units, improved to a seven-year high.
Despite reporting record-high U.S. sales, the Nissan Altima fell from third place in 2013 to the fourth spot this year. Altima volume increased in each of the last five years.
American Honda grabbed its third consecutive best-selling SUV crown with the increasingly popular CR-V in calendar year 2014. The CR-V’s lead over the next-best-selling Ford Escape grew to 28,807 units (about one month of sales for the CR-V) in 2014 from 7911 units in calendar year 2013.
• CR-V leads SUVs & crossovers in seven of the last eight years
• Seven of the ten best sellers post record U.S. sales
• Explorer is America’s best-selling three-row vehicle
The CR-V was alone on top, but it was not alone in its ability to achieve record-high U.S. sales volume. Along with the CR-V, the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Chevrolet Equinox, Nissan Rogue, Jeep Wrangler, and Subaru Forester all sold more often in 2014 than in any prior year.
Auto sales in the United States grew nearly 11% in December 2014, a fitting ending to a year of impressive growth for the overall auto industry. The biggest leaps forward in December were achieved by three volume brands: Chrysler, Kia, and Ram. Scion and Cadillac continued to spiral. Volkswagen reported a modest increase for the third consecutive year in comparison with what was a disappointing fourth-quarter in 2013.
• Ford led all brands in U.S. sales in 2014
• GM is the top-selling manufacturer with its four brands
• Maserati’s 171% year-over-year improvement led all automakers in 2014
• Jeep and Ram combined for 303,190 more sales in 2014 than in 2013
The market supported more than 16 million sales for the first time 2007 with strength rising most particularly in the SUV/crossover sector, but also from top-selling cars. Toyota’s Camry, the best-selling car in America, climbed to 428,606 sales. The Nissan Altima set an annual sales record. The Honda Accord reached a seven-year high.
What a year it’s been for Chrysler [sales release here]. With a bankruptcy and bailout on top of a aged and unloved product lineup, it’s almost a miracle the Pentastar boyz sold anything in 2009. Overall sales were down 36 percent over 2008, which saw sales 30 percent lower than 2007. But never fear Mopar fans, Chrysler swears that this downward momentum is a thing of the past, and that 2010 will see Chrysler’s first annual sales growth in years. But the question that comes to mind looking over these latest results is how? After all, only two Chrysler Group models actually sold better in 2009 than 2008. Can you guess which?
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- Dusterdude @El scotto , I'm aware of the history, I have been in the "working world" for close to 40 years with many of them being in automotive. We have to look at situation in the "big picture". Did UAW make concessions in past ? - yes. Do they deserve an increase now ? -yes . Is their pay increase reasonable given their current compensation package ? Not at all ! By the way - are the automotive CEO's overpaid - definitely! (That is the case in many industries, and a separate topic). As the auto industry slowly but surely moves to EV's , the "big 3" will need to be producing top quality competitive vehicles or they will not survive.
- Art_Vandelay “We skipped it because we didn’t think anyone would want to steal these things”-Hyundai
- El scotto Huge lumbering SUV? Check. Unknown name soon to be made popular by Tiktok ilk? Check. Scads of these showing up in school drop-off lines? Check. The only real over/under is if these will have as much cachet as Land Rovers themselves? A bespoken item had to be new at one time. Bonus "accepted by the right kind of people" points if EBFlex or Tassos disapproves.
- El scotto No, "brothers and sisters" are the core strength of the union. So you'll take less money and less benefits because "my company really needs helped out"? The UAW already did that with two-tier employees and concessions on their last contract.The Big 3 have never, ever locked out the UAW. The Big 3 have agreed to every collective bargaining agreement since WWII. Neither side will change.
- El scotto Never mind that that F-1 is a bigger circus than EBFlex and Tassos shopping together for their new BDSM outfits and personal lubricants. Also, the F1 rumor mill churns more than EBFlex's mind choosing a new Sharpie to make his next "Free Candy" sign for his white Ram work van. GM will spend a year or two learning how things work in F1. By the third or fourth year GM will have a competitive "F-1 LS" engine. After they win a race or two Ferrari will protest to highest F-1 authorities. Something not mentioned: Will GM get tens of millions of dollars from F-1? Ferrari gets 30 million a year as a participation trophy.