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USA 2008: Tormented year sees Civic and Corolla shine

Honda Civic

* See the Top 100 best-selling models by clicking on ‘Read more’ at end of post! *

With petrol hitting $4 a gallon, the US models ranking has gone through an eventful year, trucks have lodged their poorest performance in over 20 years and passenger cars climbed to the top of the ranking for the first time in 25 years…

It doesn’t show at first sight though, with the year-end top 5 best-selling models identical to 2007. The Ford F-Series is the best-selling vehicle in the US for the 27th consecutive year but down 25% to 515,513 sales, its lowest volume in decades. It was #1 only 8 times out of 12 this year, even dropped to #5 in May and June and peaked at a weak 54,465 units in March, lower than the Chevrolet Silverado’s best month which was 55,765 units in August. The Chevy saw its sales drop 25% too at 465,065 units but ranked #1 in August and September when it sold nearly 18,000 units more than the F-Series, the highest ever margin over its archenemy.

Toyota Corolla

Passenger cars were the stars of 2008, and May and June were the months that changed everything. In May, the Honda Civic topped the overall ranking with 53,299 sales, the highest ever monthly volume in the Civic’s nameplate 36 years history. It finished the year at #6 with 339,289 sales (+2%).

That same month the Toyota Corolla ranked 2nd overall at 52,826 units, here too the nameplate’s volume record in 40 years. The Corolla went on to rank #1 overall in June with 42,180 sales and finished the year at #5 with 351,007 sales, down 5%. The Toyota Camry keeps its passenger car best-seller title for the 7th consecutive year at 436,617 sales, down 8%. It peaked at 51,291 units in May and ranked #2 four times. The Honda Accord stays 4th at 372,789 sales down 5% and peaked at 43,728 units in May.

Ford Focus

Excellent performance of the Ford Focus, up 6 spots and 13% to #11 with 195,823 sales, peaking at 32,579 units and #8 in May, as well as the new generation Chevrolet Malibu, up 20 spots and 39% to #13 with 178,253 sales, peaking at #7 in December. Notice the Hyundai Sonata, #26 at year-end, breaking into the US Top 10 for the very first time in June and thus becoming the first Korean model to do so…

Chevrolet Malibu

2008 is the year of the small car: the Toyota Yaris is up 23 spots and 21% to #22 with 102,328 sales and peaked at #20 in May. The Nissan Versa is up 20 spots and 7% to #41 with 85,182 sales and the Honda Fit is up 40 spots and 41% to #46 with 79,794 sales, peaking at #18 in July.

Previous year: see the US 2007 post here.

Full Year 2008 Top 100 below.

USA 2008:

PosModel200808/072007Pos
1Ford F-Series515,513-25%690,5891
2Chevrolet Silverado465,065-25%618,2572
3Toyota Camry436,617-8%473,1083
4Honda Accord372,789-5%392,2314
5Toyota Corolla351,007-5%371,3905
6Honda Civic339,2892%331,0957
7Nissan Altima269,668-5%284,7629
8Chevrolet Impala265,840-15%311,1288
9Dodge Ram P/U245,840-31%358,2956
10Honda CR-V197,279-10%219,16010
11Ford Focus195,82313%173,21317
12Chevrolet Cobalt188,045-6%200,62012
13Chevrolet Malibu178,25339%128,31233
14GMC Sierra168,544-19%208,24311
15Toyota Prius158,884-12%181,22114
16Ford Escape156,544-5%165,59621
17Ford Fusion147,569-1%149,55223
18Toyota Tacoma144,655-16%173,23816
19Pontiac G6140,240-7%150,00122
20Toyota Tundra137,249-30%196,55513
21Toyota RAV4137,020-21%172,75219
22Honda Odyssey135,493-22%173,04618
23Ford Econoline124,596-26%168,72220
24Dodge Caravan123,749-30%176,15015
25Chrysler Town & Country118,563-14%138,15128
26Hyundai Sonata117,357-19%145,56825
27Toyota Sienna115,944-16%138,16227
28BMW 3-Series112,464-21%142,49026
29Ford Edge110,798-15%130,12532
30Mazda3109,957-9%120,29137
31Toyota Highlander104,661-18%127,87834
32Toyota Yaris102,32821%84,79955
33Nissan Sentra99,797-6%106,52241
34VW Jetta97,467-1%98,95146
35Dodge Charger97,367-18%119,28938
36Honda Pilot96,746-17%117,14640
37Chevrolet HHR96,053-9%105,17542
38Hyundai Elantra94,72010%85,72454
39Chevrolet Tahoe91,578-37%146,25624
40Ford Mustang91,251-32%134,62630
41Nissan Versa85,1827%79,44361
42Jeep Wrangler84,615-29%119,24339
43Lexus RX84,181-19%103,34043
44Dodge Caliber84,158-17%101,07944
45Saturn VUE81,676-4%84,76756
46Honda Fit79,79441%56,43286
47Ford Explorer78,439-43%137,81729
48Chevrolet TrailBlazer74,878-44%134,62631
49Jeep Grand Cherokee73,678-39%120,93735
50Nissan Rogue73,053310%17,808n/a
51Mercedes C-Class72,47114%63,70176
52Chrysler Sebring71,663-23%93,13047
53Nissan Murano71,401-6%76,35864
54Hyundai Santa Fe70,994-23%92,42148
55Kia Spectra68,465-7%73,47467
56Chevrolet Equinox67,447-25%89,55251
57Jeep Liberty66,911-27%92,10549
58Subaru Legacy66,876-15%78,42862
59GMC Acadia66,440-9%72,76568
60Ford Ranger65,872-9%72,71169
61Infinity G64,181n/an/an/a
62Lexus ES 35064,135-23%82,86760
63Chrysler 30062,352-48%120,63636
64Dodge Avenger61,963-26%83,80457
65Subaru Forester60,74836%44,530102
66Chevrolet Express/G Van60,427-22%77,37563
67Saturn Aura59,380-1%59,96481
68Cadillac CTS58,7743%57,02985
69Jeep Patriot55,65438%40,434107
70Chevrolet Aveo55,360-17%67,02872
71Ford Expedition55,123-39%90,28750
72Buick Lucerne54,930-34%82,92359
73Chevrolet Colorado54,346-28%75,71665
74Mini54,077n/an/an/a
75Chevrolet Suburban54,058-35%83,67358
76Ford Taurus52,667-23%68,17871
77Mazda652,590-9%57,57584
78Chrysler PT-Cruiser50,910-49%99,58545
79Hyundai Accent50,43140%36,055113
80Lexus IS49,432-10%54,93389
81Subaru Impreza49,0986%46,33398
82Ford Crown Victoria48,557-20%60,90180
83Toyota 4Runner47,878-45%87,71852
84Dodge Journey47,097new109n/a
85Nissan Maxima47,072-10%52,57491
86Acura TL46,766-20%58,54583
87BMW 5-Series45,915n/an/an/a
88Acura MDX45,377-23%58,60682
89Scion xB45,220-1%45,83499
90Nissan Frontier44,997-30%64,39774
91Kia Optima44,90410%40,901105
92Buick Enclave44,70653%29,286120
93Subaru Outback44,262-21%56,07987
94Audi A443,343n/an/an/a
95Toyota Avalon42,790n/an/an/a
96Scion tC40,980-36%63,85275
97Chevrolet Uplander40,456-42%69,88570
98GMC Yukon39,064-38%63,42877
99Mercedes E-Class38,576n/an/an/a
100Buick LaCrosse36,873-23%47,74797

Source: manufacturers

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