20170105

Top Selling Car Brands in 2016 - USA

Now that 2016 is behind us and car-makers have declared their full year results, it is time to look at the best-sellers in the automotive industry. 

The United States of America, a  critical place for car-makers owing to the potential profit that the market generates, is where we are starting this with. After all, the dollars earned in the United States are what most car-makers use to pay off the engineers and technicians working hard across Europe, Japan and South Korea, designing, developing and testing cars, crossovers, utility vehicles and trucks that make it to the launch floor every year.

2016 was a fantastic year for the automotive industry in the United States of America, with over 17.5 million vehicles sold on the back of affordable gas prices, easy financing options and overall positive sentiments in the market. 

With more than 35 individual car brands vying for a share of the big American pie, here is a look at 2016’s top-selling brands.

Top 10 Car Brands in 2016 - USA


The Top 3 Brands 

For the seventh straight year, it was Ford that ended up as the best-selling automobile brand in the United States. If that isn’t impressive enough, the F-Series finished the year as America’s best-selling automobile for a record 40th consecutive year. One out of three Fords sold was a F-Series, such was its dominance! To add to that, all Ford SUVs barring the Explorer and all Ford Trucks barring the Transit Connect grew their sales in 2016 compared to 2015. The cars wearing the Blue Oval brand were down significantly though, losing more than 100,000 units year over year. 


As they did in 2015, Toyota and Chevrolet rounded off the podium in 2016 as well. While Toyota achieved this result without any big-selling pickups in its lineup, Chevrolet had a massive dose of helping from its Silverado and Colorado trucks that together contributed 683,601 units, one-third of Chevy’s total sales. For Toyota, it was the usual Camry and Corolla that made up big numbers with the RAV4 pitching in with a significant chunk. 

Though all three top-selling brands have lost sales in 2016 vis-à-vis 2015, their cumulative market share of 38% gave them an edge over the chasing pack.

The Rest of the Top 10

In no man’s land after the top three are Honda and Nissan. While the Accord and Civic continued their strong run, record sales from the CR-V and a strong show by the HR-V helped Honda post a 4.8% gain over 2015. Lest we forget, the CR-V is America’s best-selling SUV! With a 5.5% growth over 2015, Nissan bettered Honda in terms of growth though they ended the year breathing down Honda’s neck. The Rogue SUV was Nissan’s top-seller followed by the Altima and Sentra sedans.

Jeep’s lineup may be just six models strong but with all of them being in-demand SUVs, they end 2016 as the sixth popular automotive brand. The Korean duo of Hyundai and Kia come next in the pecking order with the Elantra and Soul emerging as best-sellers respectively for the two brands. Subaru, with an all-time yearly sales record and 61st consecutive month of growth, finishes ninth while GMC, Chevrolet’s premium cousin, rounds off the top ten.

With a few exceptions, a common trend observed across all these brands has been the rise in popularity of SUVs and crossovers corresponding with a drop in demand for sedans and hatchbacks. So, Indians aren’t alone in their love for SUVs and SUV lookalikes!

Luxury Car Brands


Amongst luxury brands, it was Mercedes-Benz that finished 2016 on top with their best annual sales ever in America. Striking new models, an ever-expanding lineup of SUVs and a host of new coupes and convertibles meant the 2016 F1 world champions were also the luxury car champions on American roads with a total of 340,237 units sold. 

With sales of 331,228 units and 313,174 units respectively, Lexus and BMW weren't far off the three pointed star, leaving behind the rest of the premium brands.

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