* See the Top 5 best-selling light trucks and passenger cars by clicking on the title *
Its size, isolation from the “lower 49” and peculiar transport network – it’s impossible to drive from one end of the State to the other – really make Alaska “the Last Frontier” and a perfect candidate for a Special Report of its own. I have documented this State with extensive Photo Reports here, going from Barrow at the extreme northwest to Ketchikan in the southeast. Note that the figures detailed in this annual report are already included in the annual U.S. figures – sounds obvious but I just thought I’d clarify this upfront.
Alaska’s immensities of almost untouched nature and extremely harsh climate mean it’s a case of survival of the fittest here, whether we’re talking about humans or cars, making the list of best-sellers all the more interesting. On top of this, Alaska is probably one of the only places in the world where it’s common for private customers to get their car delivered by barge after a journey that could take up to three weeks. It’s the case in Barrow, the northernmost town in the U.S., that can only be reached by ground in convoys for a couple of weeks per year when the ice layer is thick enough. I explain this peculiar phenomenon here.
Ram Pickup in Anchorage, AK
The rough nature of the Alaskan terrain means it’s no surprise to see the Top 5 best-selling vehicles in the State in 2015 being light truck, and the best-selling passenger car actually could (should) be categorised as a light truck as it is in fact an SUV. There are big news for 2015 in the form of an all-new best-seller. Mimicking its outstanding success in the northeastern part of the continental U.S., the Ram Pickup gains 4% on 2014 where its two main competitors lose ground…
GMC Sierra in Seaward, AK
The Chevrolet Silverado is down 3% and the Ford F-150 down a harsh 24%, dropping from #1 in 2014 to #3 this year. These three nameplates are the only ones selling over 1.000 units in 2015 in Alaska, and if in 2014 they were within 64 sales of each other, this year the gaps are a lot more significant (345 units separate the Ram from the Ford) meaning the addition of the F-250 and F-350 variants isn’t even ensured to propel the Ford F-Series back into a pole position it holds nationally.
In fourth place like in 2014 we find the Subaru Forester, the best-seller in an extremely successful Subaru lineup in this part of the world – as well as the northwestern region of the Lower 49. If you have met Alaskan people you will know that they are some of the most grounded in the world. Living in remote places and having to endure harsh climates almost all-year long play a large part in this. So for those who don’t absolutely need a full-size pickup to tow boats and floatplanes around, a subdued vehicle with outstanding all-wheel-drive abilities will do just fine. Enter Subaru with, first, the Forester, the SUV leader here for at least a decade.
The best-selling passenger car is also a Subaru, which is a classification anomaly as the Outback is clearly as much an SUV as the Forester is, especially the current, new generation. Keeping this in mind, no ‘real’ passenger car sells over 400 units in 2015 in Alaska, a testimony to the need for vehicles that can reliably venture off-road.
The very large majority of these passenger cars will be found in and around Anchorage, and given the low annual volumes this ranking is heavily influenced by rental car company orders. If in 2014 the notoriously fleet-heavy Chevrolet Impala, Toyota Corolla and Chevrolet Cruze were all in the Top 5, they are not in 2015 and the new king is the Chrysler 200 – almost exclusively sold as a rental. It is followed by the Toyota Camry, Ford Focus and Dodge Charger. Note the 200 and Charger achieve their only Top 5 ranking in all of the United States here in Alaska. All sales figures for these models are below.
Every U.S. State available here: USA Full Year 2015: Exclusive State by State rankings now available
Full Year 2015 Top 5 light trucks and passenger cars vs. Full 2014 figures below.