America's "Top 10" Best-selling Car Brands in 2018

Alright, now that we're back from year-end vacations and parties welcoming 2019, it is time to look back at the year gone by and take note of what's hot and what's not in the automotive industry. 

Our neighbor up north might be the single largest market for automobiles globally but the significance of the American car market can't be stressed enough. Why, you wonder? Profits. Sheer profits. And nothing else. Americans love their big, plush trucks and large, swanky crossovers while car-makers are after the fat profits that each one of those vehicles bring in. 

Defying predictions of a decline compared to 2017, Americans bought 17.27 million cars, crossovers and trucks last year. That's a small but crucial 40,000-odd units over 2017. 

Here are the Top 10 brands that made merry in 2018:

Ford leads for the ninth straight year

For the ninth straight year, Ford topped the chart with over 2.39 million vehicles sold. And almost half of those numbers were from F-Series trucks alone. Yes, a whopping 909,330 units of these found buyers across the country making it America's best-selling vehicle for an incredible 37 years now. While that's good news, Blue Oval has a lot to ponder over for sure as the rest of the line-up - sans the Expedition, Transit and the Fiesta that's on the way out - lost volumes compared to 2017.

Toyota and Chevrolet finish runners-up

Closing 2018 as runner-up to Ford is Toyota, as it's been for the last several years. Remarkably, in a market where the top five brands have lost volumes, Toyota lost just over 1,000 units compared to 2017. Like the rest of the industry, the brand's cars lost volumes by thousands but the SUVs in the lineup - especially the RAV4, Highlander and 4Runner - made up for that.

Close on Toyota's heels is Chevrolet, selling over 2.03 million cars and trucks. The new Silverado is off to a strong start and the brand's many SUVs and crossovers are just what the market wants. But the cars in the line-up are off to the gutters in the coming months and years and with recent announcements on plant closures, Chevrolet has a lot of things to sort on the table.

Jeep, Ram and Subaru shine

After Chevrolet comes the other two popular Japanese brands - Honda and Nissan - both posting a decline in sales and market share against the previous year. Again, SUVs and crossovers from both brands continued their growth trajectory while the sedans are bleeding volumes.

When Fiat-Chrysler decided to cut down slow-selling cars in the line-up and focus solely on SUVs and pick-ups with their Jeep and Ram brands respectively, it attracted more criticism than acclaim. Now, a couple of years down the line, that decision seems inspired. Jeeps are flying off the shelves while Ram, riding high on the popularity of the new 1500 truck, makes an entry into the Top 10. These two brands have also posted the biggest growth compared to 2017 with Jeep growing a massive 17.5%.  

Subaru's sales rise over the last several years have been nothing short of a miracle and the dream run continued in 2018 too. Apart from posting it's best-ever year with over 680,000 vehicles sold, Subaru also had the 85th consecutive month-on-month growth. In the process, Subaru jumped ahead of Hyundai in the Top 10 chart.

Hyundai and Kia lost a place each and ended 2018 in eighth and tenth positions. While the sales remained flat with a marginal jump over 2017, the lack of SUVs in the lineup are hurting the Koreans. The recent additions in the form of new Santa Fe and Kona and the upcoming Palisade and Telluride should hopefully make things better for this duo in the coming years.

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