Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.
Enthusiastic fans of The West Wing may immediately recognize the phrase from the first season. Translated to “after, therefore because of,” Martin Sheen’s President Bartlett explains to the crew of clueless White House staff that it’s not always true. But it has been for recent auto sales.
After gas prices collapsed, Americans predictably flocked to new trucks and SUVs to get in on the global glut of crude. As a busy two-year refesh schedule assures that buyers will have new choices every 730 days or so, Honda, Toyota, Ford, GM, and Ram have all been able to share in the good fortunes.
America’s three best-selling vehicles, the Ram pickup, Chevy Silverado, and Ford F-Series, saw sales gain 8.3%, 8.7%, and 12.6% respectively next to comparable periods. Honda’s CR-V — a regular on the monthly top 10 — saw sales falter slightly, as Toyota enjoyed a massive surge with the RAV4.
But the real surprise of the month was Honda’s venerable Civic, which leapt to fourth place to become America’s best-selling not-truck. A sales surge of 24.5% shows how thirsty consumers are for a mold-breaking compact car. Propter hoc indeed.
Read on to see the 10 best-selling vehicles in America for April. All data courtesy of Cars.com.
10. Nissan Altima
Nissan’s overhaul of its popular midsize sedan seems to have done what it was intended to do: keep buyers in showrooms. Nissan sold 28,484 Altimas in April, up 28.8% from April 2015. This leaves the sedan up 4.4% for the year so far, at 113,816 units moved year-to-date.
9. Honda CR-V
Honda struggled to meet its strong April 2015 numbers this year, moving 28,913 CR-Vs during the month for a 1.8% slide year-on-year. This leaves CR-V sales down 2.4% for 2016, at 100,101 units moved since January 1.
8. Toyota RAV4
New Hybrid and sporty SE trim levels have helped deepen the appeal of Toyota’s leading ute. The brand sold 30,152 units last month, good for a staggering gain of 31.6%. Year-to-date, the RAV4 has sold 106,274 units, up 18.2% versus the same period a year ago.
7. Honda Accord
The venerable Accord plowed on through April, posting 31,526 sales for a year-over-year gain of 15.7%. This leaves the perennial favorite up 13.2% versus January–April 2015, with Honda notching 108,599 sales in total.
6. Toyota Corolla
Taking sixth as Toyota prepares to roll out a refreshed model is the Corolla, which had itself an encore performance from April 2015 — sales remained virtually flat, up 0.4% at 32,111 for the month. Year-to-date, Toyota has sold 116,371 units, off 5.2% from the same period last year.
5. Toyota Camry
Nudged out of its usual throne as America’s best-selling car, the Camry had to settle for fifth in April with 34,039 units sold during the month — flat with 2015 (down 0.1%). This leaves the Camry with 130,283 sales so far this year, down 3.2% from 2015.
4. Honda Civic
It didn’t come close to touching the No. 1 slot, but for April, the Honda Civic was the star of the show. Honda moved 35,331 Civics in April — a sales gain of 24.5% — to make the country’s best-selling non-truck. Year-to-date, Honda has sold 122,634 examples, leaving sales up 28.9% compared to the year-ago period.
3. Ram pickup
Ram hasn’t had a truly off-month in quite some time, and it didn’t break form for April either. Sales leapt 8.3% during the month to 41,079 units, bringing its year-to-date totals to 154,446 — a gain of 10.8% over a strong 2015 comparable.
2. Chevrolet Silverado
Undeterred by its brutally masculine new face, Chevrolet Silverado buyers have been taking full advantage of cheap gas and buying the truck in huge numbers. Chevy sold 49,990 Silverado units in April, up 8.7%; year-to-date, Silverado sales are up 3.6%, to 178,955.
1. Ford F-Series
The king of the proverbial hill proved it again in April, moving a whopping 70,774 units — a 12.6% spike versus the year-ago month. The F-Series leads the pack by a mile for sales since January, at 256,895 units moved since the turn of the new year — a surge of 7.0% year-on-year.