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USA May 2011: Japan quake aftermath sends models ranking mad

The Chevrolet Malibu is the #1 passenger car in May. The new model (above) arrives in 2012.

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

This month, the effects on Japanese manufacturers of parts and production shortages resulting from the March 11 earthquake are obvious in the US, sending the models ranking into a frenzy. The usual passenger car leaders are all down significantly: the Toyota Camry is #12 and the Honda Civic #13, both at -36%, the Honda Accord #15 (-39%) and the Toyota Corolla #16 (-37%).

Added to this is the increase in the price of petrol which has hurt sales of US trucks: the Ford F Series and Chevrolet Silverado are still on top but at -15% and -16% respectively. As a whole this new context was beneficial to American, European and Korean passenger cars, but it could be relatively short-lived as Japan production should reach 90% capacity in June.

Ford Fusion

The Chevrolet Malibu is the best selling passenger car in the US this month at an outstanding 3rd place with 25,600 sales, followed by an isolated Japanese model, the Nissan Altima which continues to impress in 4th with 25,525 sales. It is now 5th in the year-to-date ranking above the Honda Accord. The Ford Fusion delivers its 2nd best month ever at #5 (24,666 units), the Ford Escape is up 6 spots at #6 and the Chevrolet Cruze stays in the Top 10 for the 2nd month in a row at #8.

Kia Soul

Hyundai has its best US May sales ever at 59,214 units (+21%), with the Hyundai Sonata up to #7 and the Hyundai Elantra up 104% at #11. Even better, Kia lodges nothing less than its best month ever in the US at 48,212 sales (+53% year-on-year), placing the Kia Soul in 22nd place with best-ever 11,157 sales (+82%). Volkswagen has its best month in 7 years with 30,100 sales (+28%).

A few newcomers are gearing up: the Fiat 500 is at 1,759 units, the Nissan Leaf at 1,142 and the Chevrolet Volt at 481.

Full Top 100 Ranking Table below.

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