Though Ford (NYSE:F) F-Series trucks dominated U.S. auto sales in 2013, world consumers gravitated toward smaller and more efficient vehicles. In fact, outside of a single compact SUV and one midsize sedan, the 10 best-selling automobiles were all small cars. Here are the 10 most popular automobiles across the globe in 2013, with Forbes providing the data from LMC Automotive.
10. Volkswagen Polo
U.S. auto consumers can’t buy a super-compact Volkswagen (VLKAY.PK) Polo, but that didn’t stop the spark plug from cracking the top 10 in global sales. It’s easy to see why a car able to get 72 mpg on the highway would be popular among auto consumers. In fact, it’s difficult to understand why it isn’t sold in the U.S.
9. Honda CR-V
Honda (NYSE:HMC) can claim bragging rights for placing the only sport-utility vehicle in the top 10. The Honda CR-V sold nearly 700,000 units across the globe in 2013, with U.S. consumers accounting for more than 40 percent of that volume. This compact SUV is capable of getting 31 mpg on the highway.
8. Ford Fiesta
Ford has been wise to focus (no pun intended) on the smaller cars in its global lineup, and the Fiesta is just one bit of proof the strategy is working. More than 700,000 Fiestas found buyers across the world in 2013. Ford offers seven different Fiesta trims to consumers, with the most efficient model able to get 38 mpg on the highway.
7. Volkswagen Golf
Auto consumers interested in finding the VW Golf on the U.S. sales list would have to scan way down — the Golf doesn’t even crack the top 100 in America. However, VW sold about 720,000 units of the efficient little car in 2013 — good enough for seventh-best among all vehicles. The 2014 Golf can get 42 mpg cruising on the highway.
6. Toyota Camry
The best-selling car in the United States proved to be a worldwide hit for Toyota (NYSE:TM), which sold over 720,000 units of the Camry in 2013. More than half of those sales were to U.S. buyers who snatched up over 400,000 Camrys on the year. Midsize sedans don’t hold the same sway in emerging markets. The 2014 Camry boasts 35 mpg on highways.
5. Chevy Cruze
GM (NYSE:GM) has a winner in the Chevy Cruze, which may not wow the eye but sold over 725,000 units across the world in 2013. More than one-third of Cruze sales were to U.S. buyers. The Cruze ECO boasts an EPA estimate of 42 mpg on the highway.
4. Hyundai Elantra
Hyundai (HYMLF.PK) has found huge success with the Elantra, which out-muscles the Cruze, Civic, and Corolla while offering 38 highway mpg. The Korean automaker has sold more than 850,000 Elantras around the globe in 2013.
3. Volkswagen Jetta
Volkswagen’s third car in the top 10 underscores the globalization of the auto industry. Though the German automaker doesn’t place in the top 10 among brands sold in the U.S., its strong showing in China, Europe, and other markets ensures Volkswagen a place atop the leader board for world automakers. Currently, only Toyota and GM are ahead of VW. The 2014 Jetta gets 42 highway mpg.
2. Toyota Corolla
The Toyota Corolla may have lost the title of world’s best-selling car, but it remains a powerhouse for the Japanese automaker. LMC Automotive projects the Corolla will crack 1 million sales in 2013, leaving the compact mainstay about 50,000 units behind the top dog. Toyota will hold its place as top-selling automaker for the year with hits like the 2014 Corolla, which can get 40 highway mpg.
1. Ford Focus
Whether in Titanium, Electric, or “hot hatch” ST trim, auto consumers around the world bought the Ford Focus more than any other vehicle in 2013. In fact, the popular car broke well over 1 million in sales, affirming Ford’s strategy of thinking global in its design. The most efficient Focus can get up to 37 mpg on the highway.