After taking a quick peek at the car side of the ledger yesterday, today we’ll look back at the trucks (and SUVs, and crossovers, and minivans) that garnered some of the top sales numbers in the country last year. Unsurprisingly, of course, it was a truck that had THE top sales results in 2012, as the 2013 Ford F-150 finished the past selling season with an incredible 645,316 deliveries. That makes it 31 years in a row that the F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in America, and the full-size pickup has now been the volume leader among trucks for the past 36 years.
And while the 2013 Ford F-150 didn’t quite match the industry’s selling pace last year, when the market enjoyed a 13.4 percent sales increase on 14,491,873 deliveries, the fact that the Blue Oval’s truck raised its results by 10.3 percent is still fairly impressive—especially given the recent consumer interest in vehicular downsizing. In fact, it must be noted cars actually outsold trucks by a narrow margin in 2012, with data from MotorIntelligence.com showing that car volume in this country expanded to 7,414,282 units last year (up 18.8 percent) while truck sales advanced by 8.3 percent, backed by 7,077,591 deliveries.
2012 Auto Sales: 2013 Ford F-150 Picks up Another Sales Crown
The 2013 Ford F-150, as mentioned, delivered more units than any other vehicle in America last year—so, it’s obviously the leader in the full-size pickup segment, too. But it wasn’t the only truck to score big numbers in 2012. Aided by strong end-of-the-year sales, all three of the segment’s main players finished among the overall top five in December, with the Ford and the Chevy Silverado finishing 1-2—the same positions they held on the full 2012 best-seller list. In addition, the 2013 GMC Sierra snuck into December’s top-20 rankings and brought in more than 157,000 total sales last year. The 2013 RAM 1500—Autobytel’s Truck of the Year—even outpaced the industry with its 20 percent sales jump for 2012.
And the oft-overlooked 2013 Toyota Tundra deserves a shout-out as well, after benefiting from a 22.6 percent increase in volume and broke the 100,000-sales mark for the year.
The final tallies for each member of the full-size pickup segment are listed below, but I’ve also included full-brand sales numbers from across the industry to put the pickup volumes into context:
- Ford F-150—645,316 sales; up 10.3 percent
- All Dodge—524,989 sales; up 16.4 percent
- Chevy Silverado—418,312 sales; up .8 percent
- All Subaru—336,441 sales; up 26 percent
- Ram 1500—293,363 sales; up 20 percent
- All BMW—281,460 units; up 13.5 percent
- GMC Sierra—157,185 sales; up 5.4 percent
- Toyota Tundra—101,621 sales; up 22.6 percent
- Nissan Titan—21,576 sales; down 1.9 percent
2012 Auto Sales: Honda CR-V Leads Entry SUVs/Crossovers
It required a record-breaking performance, but the 2013 Honda CR-V led all rivals in the entry crossover/SUV segments. Further, to provide an idea of how hot this vehicle class has become, three other competitors also emerged from 2012 with new volume milestones, including the Nissan Rogue, Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Journey. At the same time, the Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe (and Sport), and Toyota RAV4 all enter 2013 with all-new models, to join the recently redesigned Honda and Ford Escape. (And all that’s without even mentioning up-and-comers like the Mazda CX-5 and Subaru XV Crosstrek.)
It sets up quite an interesting scenario for the new model year, too. Looking at the top-volume players from 2012, only three models really outperformed the industry—the CR-V, RAV4 and Journey—and the latter is in a particularly tough position as one of the older models on the marketplace. On the other hand, as the least-expensive entry, the Journey also makes a nice value play for some customers.
Regardless, that means we could very well see more big growth among the segment this year, but while each individual nameplate struggles to outpace its results from 2012.
The final standings from last year:
- Honda CR-V—281,652 sales; up 29 percent
- Ford Escape—262,008 sales; up 2.6 percent
- Chevy Equinox—218,621 sales; up 13.1 percent
- Toyota RAV4—171,877 sales; up 30 percent
- Nissan Rogue—142,349 sales; up 14.3 percent
- Jeep Wrangler—141,669 sales; up 16 percent
- Kia Sorento—119,597 sales; down 8.2 percent
- Dodge Journey—79,563 sales; up 44 percent
- Hyundai Santa Fe—71,016 sales; down 4.5 percent
2012 Auto Sales: Ford Explorer Tops Big Crossover Category
Much as is the case with the entry crossovers and SUVs, vehicles in this class can be hard to compare, since the industry template for crossovers isn’t as rigid as it is for cars. Thus, while nearly all mid-size sedans, for example, are right around 190 inches long, here we have entries that range from the Chevy Traverse, which stretches more than 203 inches, to the Ford Edge, coming in at just past 184 inches. What they do have in common is positioning a bit higher up the ol’ pricing hierarchy than the entry models, as well as a similarly higher level of content.
Moving forward, 2013 looks like it will be a transitional year for the bigger crossovers, as only the brand-new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder—which switched from body-on-frame construction to a unibody setup for the new model year—is truly a fresh face. The Traverse did get some mid-cycle updates, and the coming 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee will as well, but for the most part, sales performances probably won’t change much from 2012.
Speaking of which, here they are:
- Ford Explorer—158,344 sales; up 20.4 percent
- Jeep Grand Cherokee—154,734 sales; up 21 percent
- Ford Edge—127,969 sales; up 5.1 percent
- Toyota Highlander—121,055 sales; up 19.6 percent
- Honda Pilot—114,848 sales; down 1.2 percent
- Chevy Traverse—85,606 sales; down 20.1 percent
- GMC Acadia—78,280 sales; down 1.3 percent
- Nissan Pathfinder—42,621 sales; up 64.3 percent
- Dodge Durango—42,589 sales; down 18 percent
2012 Auto Sales: Dodge Grand Caravan Wins Minivan Sales Prize
You know, it wasn’t that long ago that the Chrysler Group was rumored to be killing off the Dodge Grand Caravan, and now the “man van” has walked off with the 2012 minivan sales crown, courtesy of 141,468 deliveries that marked a 28 percent improvement over the vehicle’s 2011 results—and left the Grand Caravan some 15,000 units ahead of its next-closest competitor, the Honda Odyssey. Meanwhile, with the Chrysler Town & Country now on the chopping block, that vehicle still managed to lift sales by 18 percent during 2012, finishing just behind the third-place Toyota Sienna.
Now, as we close here, something else has to be noticed about the Dodge Grand Caravan: Its price. The Dodge is far and away the least-expensive minivan on the market, and not only did it lead the segment in volume, it also bested all of the other high-volume entries in terms of growth. And as you may recall, the Dodge Journey, which boasts the lowest MSRP in its class, also was the fastest-growing entry in 2012. In the full-size car segment, the Dodge Charger has the lowest price of admission, and although it didn’t have the highest sales rate in 2012 among its direct rivals, it came in at No. 2. Then, the Dodge Avenger—with, yes, the smallest MSRP in its segment—ended the year with the third-biggest sales boost. But the cars it trailed, the Kia Optima and VW Passat—had been completely redesigned for 2012. You might almost get the idea pricing has some sort of effect on sales.
Also interesting, here is the final score from the 2012 minivan sales season:
- Dodge Grand Caravan—141,468 sales; up 28 percent
- Honda Odyssey—125,980 sales; up 17.7 percent
- Toyota Sienna—114,725 sales; up 3 percent
- Chrysler Town & Country—111,744 sales; up 18 percent
- Nissan Quest—18,725 sales; up 49.8 percent
- Kia Sedona—17,512 sales; down 27.2 percent
- VW Routan—10,483 sales; down 16 percent