American taste in cars has evolved over the past several decades, in terms of both brands and the type of cars people drive. General Motors had a market share of 50% in 1960. Toyota’s market share did not reach 2% until 1970. Today, Japanese and South Korean cars represent a large portion of the brands sold in America. The luxury end of the market, once controlled by Lincoln and Cadillac, is now dominated by BMW, Mercedes and Lexus.
The same evolution has been true for car size and fuel economy. High gasoline prices that hit America particularly hard in the 1970s drove more and more people to small, high gas mileage sedans. More recently, Americans have stopped buying those models and quickly have pushed up sales of sport utility vehicles and crossovers.
One category of vehicle that has done well over almost all of this period is pickups. The Ford F-150 pickup has been the best-selling vehicle in America for well over four decades.
The Chevrolet Silverado, Ram Pickup (spearheaded by the Ram 1500) and Ford F-Series (led by the F-150) regularly top the list of the best-selling new vehicles in the United States. Though U.S. new vehicles sales dropped by 15% last year compared to 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 150,000 of these trucks have been sold in a typical month so far in 2021. The market is so weak for sedans and compact cars that last year Ford stopped making them for the U.S. market altogether. In fact, nearly none of the best-selling models on our list is a sedan or smaller vehicle type.
To determine the best-selling vehicles in America by brand, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed sales data for the second quarter of 2021 for every model sold in the United States from vehicle data site GoodCarBadCar. Total manufacturer sales data for the quarter is from the same source.
The best-selling vehicle in America is the Chevrolet Silverado, with total U.S. sales in the second quarter of 164,730 units, which is 34.5% higher than in the same period of 2019. Its share of all U.S. Chevrolet sales in the most recent quarter was 38.2%.
Click here to read see all the best-selling cars in America.
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