The Best-Selling Vehicles of December
Throughout the month of December, the effects of cheapening oil had their chance to seep in and gas prices around the country continued to decline. Consumers responded as expected; trucks and SUVs saw their sales spike, while hybrids and other fuel-saving modes of transportation suffered. As far as the 10 best-selling cars and trucks of the month go, however, it was pretty much business as usual.
The year ended with all the familiar suspects that we’ve seen throughout the year, with few surprises. Midsize sedans are still the bread-and-butter for Japan, whilst American companies rely on their pickups to carry them through. Crossover SUVs remain popular, but with no specific affiliation to any region.
“Excluding luxury models, small crossovers gained about 12 percent in December. Big three-row crossovers and full-size, truck-based SUVs piled on about 15 percent apiece,” Cars.com said in its Kicking Tires blog. It added that “despite a year-over-year uptick for incentives, average transaction prices in December rose about 5 percent,” because buyers were willing to put down more for pricier models.
Read on to find the 10 best-selling cars and trucks from last month to see how they rounded out the year.
10. Honda Civic
Honda’s Civic compact sedan and coupe line hit a relative slowdown in 2014, as the brand’s other vehicles plowed on ahead. The modest refresh for the 2014 model year was enough to keep the Civic in the top 10 for December with 25,337 units moved during the month (down 12.6% over December of 2013), bringing Honda’s year-t0-date total to 325,321 (up 3% versus 2013).
9. Ford Escape
Ford’s Escape crossover put in some late gains to sell 25,603 vehicles in December, a 4.7% lift over the same month a year ago. The strength of the crossover segment saw Ford sell 306,212 Escape units this past year, leaving it up 3.5% for 2014 over the year prior, and making it perhaps the second most popular small SUV after the Honda CR-V.
8. Toyota Corolla
Toyota’s Corolla got a serious update for the 2014 model year, but earlier on, consumers seemed hesitant to run out for the latest and greatest. Over the year, however, Toyota’s Civic-fighter built up momentum and it came through December with 30,125 units sold, a 33.5% leap over the same month a year ago. For the year, the Corolla posted a healthy 12.3% jump, to 339,498 cars sold.
7. Honda Accord
Unlike the Civic, the Honda Accord has had a banner year, which cooled in September after dropping 2.3% during the month to a grand sales total of 31,589 units. That brings the venerable sedan’s yearly total to 388,374 models, which despite the December dip sits up 5.9% versus all 12 months of 2014. The vehicle’s highlight this year was likely September, when it outsold the Toyota Camry and took a year-high fourth place on the best-sellers list.
6. Toyota Camry
New and improved, bolder and sportier, the 2015 Toyota Camry is now available in dealerships and consumers appear to be responding, well, somewhat cautiously. The Camry didn’t do poorly by any means, moving 31,618 units for a 5.5% gain over December of 2013, and it lifted it’s yearly total to 428,606 units (up 4.9%) to affirm its place as the best-selling non-pickup of all of last year.
5. Nissan Altima
The Nissan Altima is a floater on the regular monthly best-sellers lists, moving in and out of the ranks with each passing month. December, however, was one of the vehicle’s best months to date (if not the best), having outsold both the Camry and Accord to move 32,331 units for a monthly gain of 30.3% over December of 2013. This leaves the car up 4.7% for the year, at 335,644 units sold.
4. Honda CR-V
The Ford Escape has had a tremendous year, but it pales next to the period that Honda’s CR-V has enjoyed. Bolstered by a mid-cycle refresh, the new 2015 Honda CR-V moved 12.6% more units at 32,369 in December 2014 than it did in December 2013, leaving the model up 10.2% on the year, at 335,019. It was America’s best-selling non-pickup for the month, as it was during November also.
3. Ram Pickup
Riding on the success of the EcoDiesel 1500, Ram’s line of pickups has also had one of the best years in recent memory. The company moved 44,222 units in December, a 32.4% gain in sales versus the December of 2013. This leaves the pickup up an impressive 23.6% on the year, having sold 439,789 units in total since January 1 of last year.
2. Chevrolet Silverado
A slow rollout for the 2014 model year didn’t hinder the Chevrolet Silverado’s momentum as the year continued. And at its closing, the Silverado logged 529,755 sales of the truck, a 10.3% gain over 2013. This was largely helped by a 35.8% sprint in December, as Chevrolet sold 57,837 units in the month to solidify its position in second place overall.
1. Ford F-Series
Analysts and observers were concerned about the F-Series’ performance for 2014, due to the anticipated release and subsequent retooling for the new F-150. However, they shouldn’t have been — despite suffering a slight 0.3% dip in December sales, the brand still moved 74,355 pickups, more than enough to maintain the sales crown that completed the year with 753,851 units: Far and away first place, despite sitting 1.3% lower than last year.