20180104

America's "Top 10" Best-Selling Car Brands in 2017

As 2017 drew to a close and car-makers reported their full year sales, it became clear American car-buyers have given the automotive industry reasons to cheer as well as worry about. While higher average transaction prices driven by shift in consumer preferences to more expensive and profitable trucks, SUVs and crossovers kept the bean counters happy, the fact 2017 sales are down 1.8% from record 2016 levels is sure to be a cause of concern. 

Still, with annual sales exceeding 17.2 million units, 2017 was not a bad year by any stretch of imagination. 

Like the rest of the world, Americans are shifting in thousands to SUVs and crossovers, shunning the erstwhile favourite sedans. Pick-ups, especially those from the 'Big Three' domestic brands, continue unabated by these changes.  

With the numbers of over 30 brands reconciled, here are America's 'Top 10' best-selling car brands in 2017.


The Top 10 Brands


Ford leads for the eighth straight year

With a 14% market share, Ford maintained its position as America's most popular automobile brand for an eighth consecutive year selling close to 2.5 million units through the year. In addition, the brand's iconic F-Series ended 2017 as the best-selling vehicle in America, a feat this truck has now achieved for a record 41 years on the trot! Factor in the significant year-over-year gains posted by Ford's SUVs - Escape, Explorer and Edge, the folks at the Blue Oval have ample reasons to cheer. But, all's not well at Dearborn. Firstly, Ford's fleet sales are higher than rivals. Moreover, every single car in the brand's lineup - from the Fiesta to the Mustang and everything in between - lost volumes compared to 2016. Ford has to find a way to stop its cars from bleeding further. 


Toyota and Chevrolet round off the podium

Like 2016 and the year before, Toyota and Chevrolet finished second and third respectively in 2017. Toyota is the only brand in the top three to have actually grown sales over 2016, albeit by a meagre 0.5%. RAV-4 is the shining star in Toyota's lineup, as it leapfrogged Camry to become America's most popular vehicle after the Big Three pick-ups. Camry and Corolla are the other big-sellers for the Japanese brand. Chevrolet had the ever-popular Silverado helping its sales tally massively while the Equinox is on a steep growth trajectory with a 20% jump over the prior year. 


The rest of the Top 10

A fair bit behind the top three but bunched closely together are Honda and Nissan. Be it sales numbers, market share or year-over-year growth, these two Japanese brands are not far off each other. While the CR-V and Rogue led the sales charts for Honda and Nissan respectively, the sedans from both brands pitched in with useful numbers too.  Honda's tenth-generation Civic proved to be a popular choice amongst new car buyers while the all-new Accord has received rave reviews already. 

Up next is Jeep, the iconic American brand known for its hardcore and rugged SUVs. Though the maker of the Grand Cherokee posted a significant decline in sales, the all-new Compass, the face-lifted Cherokee and the reborn Wrangler should result in a good 2018 for Jeep. Hyundai comes next in the pecking order with sales plummeting over 13% vis-a-vis 2016. Kia didn't fare much better with sales declining by 9% and the brand dropping a position to Subaru, a brand on the rise for the last few years and the one to watch out for going ahead. GMC, Chevrolet's premium sibling, rounded off the top ten in the mass-market segment.


Mercedes-Benz leads the luxury race


Higher up the price ladder, Mercedes-Benz retained its leadership amongst the luxury brands with sales totaling 337,246 units. The three-pointed star is therefore America's most popular luxury brand for two years in a row now. With sales of 305,685 and 305,132 units respectively, BMW and Lexus aren't far behind though.

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