While sales across the industry continue to struggle, it’s almost unbelievable to some that the new auto industry has survived at all with what it’s been through since the pandemic rocked the nation in early 2020.
Factory shutdowns and dealer shutdowns to slow the spread of COVID-19 have hammered sales in the spring of 2020. However, the company managed to recover to some extent soon after, as automakers and dealers began embracing online sales and home deliveries. Unfortunately, even with the assembly lines back, corporate inventories have never recovered, due to a range of issues, including the ongoing global semiconductor shortage.
However, consumer demand only strengthened, pushing new-vehicle transaction prices from about $39,000 before the pandemic hit, to over $47,000 now, with most models reportedly pushing more than their sticker prices. Stratospheric gas prices and higher interest rates have also been fueling industry attacks of late, increasing demand for previously neglected frugal models and driving buyers deeper into debt, with six- and seven-year loans and payments over $1,000 becoming more common.
We compared the best-selling lists from the first half of 2022 to the same period in pre-pandemic 2019 to see how the preferences of car buyers in the US have changed as a result of all this upheaval. As it turns out, there are both winners and losers among the country’s perennial favorites.
These were the best-selling models in the US as of mid-2019, ranked by sales volumes for the first two quarters of the year:
- Ford F-150: 448,398 units
- Ram 1500: 299,480 units
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500: 255,463 units
- Toyota RAV4: 200,610 units
- Honda CR-V: 176,944 units
- Toyota Camry: 176,008 units
- Nissan Rogue/Rogue Sport: 175,267 units
- Chevrolet Equinox: 174,157 units
- Honda Civic: 169,172 units
- Toyota Corolla: 138,747 units
- Ford Escape: 133,100 units
- Honda Accord: 129,435 units
- Jeep Grand Cherokee: 123,272 units
- Toyota Tacoma: 121,866 units
- Jeep Wrangler: 117,065 units
- Toyota Highlander: 111,183 units
- Nissan Sentra: 109,899 units
- Nissan Altima: 108,777 units
- Ford Explorer: 101,823 units
- GMC Sierra 1500: 97,403 units
Here’s what the top-20 list looks like at the end of Q2 2022, as the company continues to battle its own case of protracted COVID.
- Ford F-150: 299,345 units (-149,053 since 2009)
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500: 259,516 units (+4,053)
- Ram 1500: 244,983 units (-54,497)
- Toyota RAV4: 200,885 units (+275)
- Toyota Camry: 135,925 units (-40,083)
- Jeep Grand Cherokee: 134,369 units (+11,097)
- GMC Sierra 1500: 118,938 units (+21,535)
- Toyota Highlander: 117,403 units (+6,220)
- Toyota Corolla: 116,832 units (-21,915)
- Chevrolet Equinox: 116,678 units (-57,479)
- Honda CR-V: 116,602 units (-60,342)
- Toyota Tacoma: 108,648 units (-13,218)
- Tesla Model Y: 108,000 (estimated) units (NA)
- Ford Explorer: 102,917 units (+1,094)
- Jeep Wrangler: 99,497 units (17,568)
- Tesla Model 3 (estimated) 90,100 units (NA)
- Nissan Rogue/Rogue Sport: 87,675 units (-87,592)
- Hyundai Tucson: 84,071 units (+18,117)
- Mazda CX-5: 81,804 units (+7.417)
- Honda Accord: 80,422 units (-49,013)
It’s no surprise that the full-size Ford F-150 continues to hold the number one position in new-vehicle sales in the U.S., but it’s now leading its closest rivals, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Ram 1500, with a whisker. instead of multiple lengths. Production-hampered sales of the F-150 have fallen 17.3 percent so far this year and are a third less than before the pandemic, making it the biggest loser among the top sellers. The Ram and Chevrolet continue to battle it out for second banana status, with Silverado’s sales rising nominally, and the Ram 1500 went the other way.
The biggest winner here is Silverado’s business cousin, the GMC Sierra 1500. It climbed from number 20 in 2019 to number seven in mid-2022, based on a sales increase of approximately 21,500 units. If a Chevy dealer didn’t stock what a particular truck buyer wanted, the nearest GMC store might have it.
Note that with the much-discussed return of medium – and most recently compact – pickup trucks in recent years, the only incomplete model among the industry’s 20 most popular vehicles remains the Toyota Tacoma, which has always been a favorite among young and old. active buyers, which have increased from 14e up to 12e Place.
As evidence of the market’s seismic shift away from sedans, only four passenger cars remain in the top 20 most popular models in the US, down from six in 2019. Then, as now, they are led by the Toyota Camry and Corolla, and the Honda Civic, but the Nissan Sentra and Altima are now nowhere to be found in the top 20 sellers. In addition, the Honda Accord, which has historically been on par with the Camry, nearly fell off the chart, slipping to the number 20 position, with sales down 30 percent since 2019.
It should come as no surprise that as gas prices continue to climb, so does the demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles, with the Tesla Model Y SUV and Model 3 sedan making hay as the sun shines at the top of the 2022 sales chart. (Since Tesla only publishes worldwide sales figures, the estimated US figures are from estimates of Automotive News†
The Toyota RAV4 compact crossover SUV remains steadfast in fourth place with a slight gain, although its closest rival, the Honda CR-V, fell from fifth to eleventh.e place and lost more than 60,000 sales in the first six months of the year, compared to pre-pandemic times.
Although the volume has fallen by more than 17,000 units since the first half of 2019, the Jeep Wrangler SUV managed to break the 15e position. It seems the lost sales went to the Gladiator pickup spinoff, with nearly 18,000 units delivered so far this year. It is also likely to be influenced by the debut of what is now its closest competitor, the Ford Bronco with 54,842 units delivered so far in 2022.
Jeep Grand Cherokee sales, on the other hand, have strengthened over the past three years, jumping 13e to sixth on the map, aided by a recent redesign and the addition of a three-row variant. The Toyota Highlander crossover SUV has also gained traction in the face of adversity and is now the eighth bestseller, compared to number 13 in 2009.
Even if Nissan combines sales for the compact Rogue crossover SUV with its smaller brother, the Rogue Sport, the two have lost nearly 52 percent of their sales so far this year (and about half since mid-2009), pushing their position. to 17e Place. Buyers are clearly shopping elsewhere in this product-rich segment, with the Hyundai Tucson and Mazda CX-5 now arriving at 18e and 19e place, or
What will the second half of 2022 look like? The current state of affairs is unlikely to correct itself anytime soon, with some analysts predicting that the relative lack of cars, trucks and SUVs on dealer lots will continue well into the next year. Some believe that automakers will continue to keep inventories thin and prices high, even as supply chain problems ease, in order to favor profitability over market share. Gas prices and interest rates will remain wildcards, and there is a clear possibility that consumers who feel the inflation squeeze will either look for cheaper models, or sideline the market altogether. As always, stay tuned.