The Toyota Camry scores a 25th win as USA’s best-selling passenger car.
An estimated 13.867 million new light vehicles hit U.S. roads in 2022, a harsh -7.9% year-on-year decline or close to 1.2 million less than the 15.050 million of 2021. As a reminder pre-pandemic 2019 sales were above 17 million and this year’s result comes despite Q4 volumes up 10.1% year-on-year. It is the lowest annual figure since 2011 (12.78m sales) as the market was then recovering from the Great Recession of 2008-2009. Note Motor Intelligence estimates 2022 sales at almost 13.9 million, Cox Automotive at 13.8 million and Edmunds and Wards Intelligence at 13.7 million. Sales have been impacted by stock supply woes but carmakers’ profits have increased due to record-high prices, as it has been the case since Covid-19. Brands are prioritising top-variants of each model and ditching low-profit fleet sales. Also, according to CNBC, automakers have largely passed rising commodity costs to build vehicles onto consumers, and combined with rising interest rates, higher gas prices and broad inflation, it has dampened new vehicle demand. 2023 perspectives point to a somewhat muted recovery as price pressures will again keep some buyers away from dealerships.
After a suffering shock defeat last year and the first one in 90 years, General Motors (+2.5%) recovers the groups top spot in 2022, knocking Toyota Motor (-9.6%) back to #2. GM sales were up a splendid 41.8% year-on-year over Q4 as the company rebounds from year-ago sales badly impacted by the microchip crisis. Toyota Motor sales were also up over the Q4 period, at +13.1%. Ford Motor (-2.2%) edges down to 1.85 million sales with Stellantis (-13%) hit hard at #4. Hyundai-Kia (-1%) is basically stable year-on-year in 5th place, whereas American Honda (-32.9%), Nissan Motor/Mitsubishi (-22.9%) and the VW Group (-12.7%) all fall faster than the market. Over Q4, Stellantis (-15.4%) and American Honda (-11.1%) fail to capitalise on the market rebound.
The Ford F-Series is the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for the 41st year in a row.
Brand-wise, Toyota (-8.8%) remains in the lead but sees its advantage over Ford (-2.1%) thaw from 223,000 units in 2021 to 82,000 this year. Chevrolet (+5.7%) posts the only year-on-year gain in the Top 10 but stays a distant #3 at just over 1.5 million sales. Honda loses a devastating -32.7% or 428,000 sales year-on-year yet staying at #4. Both Hyundai (-1.9%) and Kia (-1.1%) brilliantly advance two spots on last year to land at #5 and #6 respectively. The Korean sister brands take advantage of steep falls by Jeep (-12.1%) down one rank to #7 and Nissan (-25.7%) down three to #8. Subaru (-4.7%) overtakes Ram (-15.8%) to grab the 9th spot. Just outside the Top 10, GMC (+7.3%) and Tesla (+56.1%) defy the sluggish market with strong upticks. Mercedes (+6.5%) is also up at #12 as is Cadillac (+13.9%) at #20. Below, Porsche (+0.1%) and Genesis (+13.7%) shine while Rivian (#32) and Polestar (#35) post encouraging scores for their first full year in market.
Over in the models ranking, the Ford F-Series (-9.9%) falls to its weakest annual volume since 2012 but celebrates a 41st consecutive year atop the U.S. charts (no interruption since 1982). The F-Series has now been the best-selling pickup truck in the U.S. for 46 straight years (since 1977). The Chevrolet Silverado (-1.2%) keeps its fall to a minimum to reclaim the overall 2nd spot for the second time in the past 3 years, toppling the Ram Pickup (-17.7%) in a deep rut this year. This way, the podium is 100% pickup for the 9th straight year and 10th time in the past two decades (add 2003). The Toyota RAV4 (-1.9%) is stable in 4th place and signs a 6th year in a row as the country’s most popular SUV. Its main competitor the Honda CR-V (-34.1%) freefalls to #7 overall.
The Toyota RAV4 is the most popular SUV in the U.S. for the 6th straight year.
The Toyota Camry (-5.9%) surprisingly outraces the market and gains one spot on last year to #5, easily keeping the title of best-selling passenger car in the U.S. for the 21st consecutive year and the 25th time in the past 26 years (only interruption by the Honda Accord in 2001). This means 2022 marks the 26th straight year the best-selling passenger car in the USA is Japanese: the last American sedan to be crowned #1 was the Ford Taurus in 1996. In fact the Camry is the only car in the Top 11 with the 2nd rank being the Toyota Corolla (-10.8%) at #12. The Tesla Model 3 (+46.5%) follows at #15. Back to the Top 10 where the Toyota Tacoma (-6%) is up three ranks on last year to a record-high 8th place, the Tesla Model Y (+34.5%) advances 8 ranks to #9 and the Jeep Grand Cherokee (-15.5%) is down two to #10. Other great performers near the top include the Chevrolet Equinox (+28.3%), Hyundai Tucson (+16.1%) and Subaru Crosstrek (+21.7%) whereas the Nissan Rogue (-34.7%) falls from #7 to #16 and the Honda Civic (-49.2%) falls from #10 to #25. The Mazda CX-50 (#143) is the best-selling 2022 launch above the Kia EV6 (#149) and Honda Integra (#178).
Full Year 2022 Top 15 groups, Top 45 brands and Top 330 models vs. Full Year 2021 figures below.
Full Q4 2022 Top 15 groups, Top 45 brands and Top 290 models below.