Full-size pickups from Ford and General Motors surpassed even their usual sales dominance last year, according to data released today, but some rankings were a bit more unusual farther down the best-seller list.
The Ford F-Series line has been the nation’s best-selling vehicle for many straight years, and the Chevrolet Silverado has followed suit in nearly every recent year (with 2009 representing a rare exception).
And despite some unsettled months earlier this year, the Toyota Camry midsize sedan was once again the best-selling passenger car and the No. 3 vehicle overall, though its overall volume has fallen steadily each year since 2007, from 473,108 four years ago to 308,510 in 2011.
See the full sales charts in today’s slideshow
See best-sellers by market class
Indeed, 2011’s midsize car sales volume was more evenly distributed in 2011 than in previous years. The Nissan Altima jumped to No. 2 among passenger cars and No. 4 overall, and the Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata also saw volume increases and edged up in the rankings compared to 2010.
The big 2011 loser, at least among the volume leaders, was Honda. Plagued by a mix of inventory shortages, aging products and harsh reviews among its top sellers, it saw the Altima displace the Accord/Crosstour as the No. 2 midsize car – the first time the Accord wasn’t No. 2 since 2001, when it was No. 1.
Further hurting that automaker, the Honda CR-V compact SUV fell from the top 10 best-seller list for the first time since 2007, and the Civic compact car for the first time since before 2000 (the first year this writer could find reputable sales figures posted online). The CR-V also lost its position as No. 1-selling SUV to the competing Ford Escape.
Toyota also didn’t have a great 2011. Although the Camry remained the No. 1 passenger car and the Corolla/Matrix remained the best-selling compact, its Prius hybrid and RAV4 compact SUV fell off the top 20 list, which both had held spots on in recent years.
A new name on the top 10 list is the Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan, which replaced the Cobalt in 2010 for the 2011 model year. Although combined Cruze and Cobalt sales weren’t enough even for the top 20 in 2010, several particularly strong Cruze months pushed it to the No. 2 compact car and the No. 10 best-selling vehicle overall for last year. Sales of General Motors’ compact/midsize Chevrolet Equinox SUV also jumped in 2011 compared to 2010.
Other new names on 2011’s top 20 best-seller list compared to 2010 are the GMC Sierra full-size pickup and the newly redesigned Volkswagen Jetta compact car. In addition to the Toyota Prius and RAV4, these three displaced the Subaru Legacy/Outback midsize car from the list.
By itself, December 2011 also saw some interesting sales figures. Many products jumped compared both to the previous month and to December 2010, best-sellers and less popular products alike, providing a generally strong finish to the year.
At the top of the chart, volume leaders Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Silverado and Toyota Camry saw particularly strong sales; the 68,000 F-Series trucks sold last month harken back to pre-recession years. Two more full-size pickups – the GMC Sierra and the Ram – also advanced up the sales rankings, as did the Chevrolet Equinox and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.
And despite a poor 2011 overall, Honda’s best-sellers showed signs of recovery. The CR-V and Civic, both redesigned for 2012 and the former within the last month, both topped 20,000 units sold. The Accord/Crosstour line improved slightly compared to November 2011 but remained weak.
One December surprise was Subaru, whose products all jumped significantly and whose Legacy/Outback line outsold top midsize cars and nearly reached the Honda Accord/Crosstour line. The Legacy/Outback doesn’t even appear on the top 20 for the full year, having fallen a few thousand sales short of the No. 20 GMC Sierra.
See the full for Top-20 best-seller sales charts for the 12 months of 2011 and the month of December alone in today’s slideshow, and also see the top 10 best sellers in each of 13 approximate market classes in these charts.
Top 20 best-selling cars of November 2011
Top 10 best-selling cars of November 2011, by class
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