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     The Best-Selling Cars and Trucks in the U.S.
     CARS AND GIRLS GALLERY



CARS REVIEW - The Best-Selling Cars and Trucks in the U.S.


Believe it or not, the Ford F-150 is still the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. But not for long

By Jim Henry

At first glance, the U.S. list of 10 best-selling cars and trucks looks like the usual suspects, especially at the top. The Ford F-150 pickup is No. 1, followed by the Chevrolet Silverado, Toyota Camry, and Honda Accord, marching along as they have been ... hut, two, three, four.

But the Top 10 list through April, 2008, is a snapshot in time. Yes, the Ford F-150 is No. 1, but it's going into the fourth year of a nosedive. The generally unexciting Toyota Camry is still the No. 1 car, ho hum, but if you extend the dotted lines, the Camry could someday unseat the F-150. At the other end of the Top 10 is the Ford Focus, a familiar name, but one that has had to fight its way onto the list since last fall.

 

Ford F-Series Pickup

2008 year-to-date Top 10 rank: No. 1
Year-ago rank: No. 1
Product segment: Large Pickup
2008 sales through April: 192,951
2007 sales through April: 228,343
Percent change: -15.5%
Starting price: $17,700

The Ford F-150 pickup is the nation's biggest seller, car or truck, but its dominance is shrinking. Consumers are leaving big trucks for better gas mileage. The ailing housing industry is hurting commercial sales of large pickups. In addition, some buyers are probably waiting for an all-new F-150 this fall. In 2004, the year gas prices first took off, Ford sold 939,511 F-Series pickups. In 2007, sales were 690,589. In 2004, the F-Series outsold the best-selling car, the Toyota Camry, by more than 2 to 1. So far this year, it's outselling the Camry by about 30%.

 

 

Chevrolet Silverado

2008 year-to-date Top 10 rank: No. 2
Year-ago rank: No. 2
Product segment: Large Pickup
2008 sales through April: 160,010
2007 sales through April: 202,151
Percent change: -20.8%
Starting price: $18,425

The Toyota Camry overtook the Chevrolet Silverado as the nation's No. 2 seller for the month of April. For all of 2007, the Silverado outsold the Camry by about 145,000 units; for all of 2006, by about 188,000. The Silverado is huge for General Motors. The company lists 120 variants of the Silverado on its media Web site, with different combinations of engines, body styles, seating, trim, and equipment. Prices range from less than $20,000 to more than twice that amount. The Silverado was last redesigned in 2006, which makes it considerably older than the upcoming 2009 Ford F-150.

 

 

Toyota Camry

2008 year-to-date Top 10 rank: No. 3
Year-ago rank: No. 3
Product segment: Upper Middle Car
2008 sales through April: 147,018
2007 sales through April: 143,774
Percent change: +2.3%
Starting price: $19,380

The Toyota Camry Hybrid has attracted additional buyers to the Camry, which was last redesigned in 2006. Compared with the Toyota Prius, for about $2,000 to $4,000 extra, the Camry Hybrid is more comfortable and conventionally styled. The Camry Hybrid also benefits because the Prius is in such demand. Prius sales were up 66% in April. Some shoppers who want a hybrid probably step up to a Camry Hybrid instead of waiting in line for a Prius. Hybrids made up 14.6% of Camry sales year-to-date through April, vs. 10.9% a year ago.

 

 

Honda Accord

2008 year-to-date Top 10 rank: No. 4
Year-ago rank: No. 5
Product segment: Upper Middle Car
2008 sales through April: 122,430
2007 sales through April: 121,516
Percent change: +0.8%
Starting price: $20,995

The Honda Accord has moved up in the Top 10 ranks even though its sales are virtually flat compared with a year ago, because sales have fallen for the Dodge Ram pickup, which outranked the Accord last year. The Honda brand is advertising its gas mileage; the four-cylinder Accord gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city/31 highway. The V6 Accord, which shuts off two or three cylinders while cruising, gets 19 mpg city/29 mpg highway, which is respectable for a 268-hp engine. A redesigned Accord debuted in September, 2007.

 

 

Honda Civic

2008 year-to-date Top 10 rank: No. 5
Year-ago rank: No. 8
Product segment: Upper Small Car
2008 sales through April: 111,695
2007 sales through April: 97,295
Percent change: +14.8%
Starting price: $15,445

The hybrid version of the Honda Civic accounts for most of the recent growth in Civic sales. Sales of the Civic Hybrid were up about 23% year to date, accounting for 10.4% of total Civic sales in the U.S. The proportion of hybrid models is increasing. In April, sales of the Civic Hybrid were up 39.8% from the year-ago month, accounting for 12.7% of Civic sales, the company said. The hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 40 mpg city/45 mpg highway, vs. 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway for the base-model, four-cylinder engine. The Civic was last redesigned in 2005.

 

 

Toyota Corolla/Matrix

2008 year-to-date Top 10 rank: No. 6
Year-ago rank: No. 6
Product segment: Upper Small Car
2008 sales through April: 99,482
2007 sales through April: 120,484
Percent change: -17.4%
Starting price: $15,910

The Toyota Corolla and Toyota Matrix are mechanically identical, but the Matrix has a different, hatchback body style. The Matrix starts at $16,850 suggested retail. The two models got a redesign that first went on sale in late January. Sales of the new models are off to a slow start. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. said April was only the second month of full production for the new cars. The base engine is a 132-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder that gets an EPA-estimated 26 mpg city/32 mpg highway.

 

 

Nissan Altima

2008 year-to-date Top 10 rank: No. 7
Year-ago rank: No. 9
Product segment: Lower Middle Car
2008 sales through April: 99,037
2007 sales through April: 90,338
Percent change: +9.6%
Starting price: $21,130

The Nissan Altima has improved its position on the list of Top 10 sellers so far this year. The current Altima, with attractive styling and a high level of standard features, has been a sales hit since it was introduced for the 2007 model year. The Altima shares a front-drive platform with the more upscale Nissan Maxima and the Nissan Quest minivan. Nissan also offers a hybrid version of the Altima, which starts at $26,140. Despite the higher price, Altima Hybrid sales more than doubled vs. the year-ago period, to 2,635 through April.

 

 

Chevrolet Impala

2008 year-to-date Top 10 rank: No. 8
Year-ago rank: No. 7
Product segment: Upper Middle Car
2008 sales through April: 98,478
2007 sales through April: 108,876
Percent change: -9.6%
Starting price: $22,400

The Chevrolet Impala is slumping, vs. strong year-ago sales. Gas mileage is middling, even though the Impala has GM's Active Fuel Management system, which turns off half the cylinders at cruising speed. With the system, the mid-range Impala gets an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city/28 mpg highway from a 3.9-liter V6; about the same as the entry-level, 3.5-liter V6 without the system. With the system, the top V8 model gets only 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway. An all-new Chevy Malibu debuted last year. Malibu traffic could help the Impala, but the Malibu could also make the older Impala look outdated.

 

 

Dodge Ram

2008 year-to-date Top 10 rank: No. 9
Year-ago rank: No. 4
Product segment: Large Pickup
2008 sales through April: 93,068
2007 sales through April: 122,816
Percent change: -24.2%
Starting price: $22,115

The Dodge Ram, like the Ford F-Series, is encountering "the perfect storm"-poor gas mileage, changing consumer tastes, the housing slump, and the fact it's a lame duck that's about to be replaced this fall. The current and future Dodge Ram each has a Hemi V8 that shuts down half the cylinders at cruising speed. Mileage remains poor, however. The V6 model gets an EPA-estimated 16 mpg city/21 mpg highway. With a big V8 and all-wheel drive, it gets only 13 mpg city/17 mpg highway. The upcoming model will get a hybrid version for the 2010 model year.

 

 

Ford Focus

2008 year-to-date Top 10 rank: No. 10
Year-ago rank: No. 14
Product segment: Upper Small Car
2008 sales through April: 72,920
2007 sales through April: 56,463
Percent change: +29.1%
Starting price: $15,065

While big truck sales are tumbling, the Ford Focus is working its way up the list of Top 10 sellers. Not counting fleet sales, Ford said retail sales of the Focus were up 88% in April, for the model's best sales month since 2000. "Focus is the right car at the right time," said Jim Farley, Ford Group vice-president, marketing and communications, in Ford's April sales announcement. George Pipas, Ford's U.S. sales analysis manager, said separately that Focus models equipped with the Ford Sync feature, which includes Bluetooth wireless connectivity and voice control, are the fastest sellers.

(businessweek.com)

 

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