The car industry in 2021 and 2022 is nothing like what has been for decades, if ever. Shortages of new and used cars, primarily due a shortage of microchips used in electronic and navigation systems, have hammered inventory. Popular cars, SUVs are not only hard to come by. They are extremely expensive compared to just two years ago.
For the auto industry, the situation is a double-edged sword. Car company revenue has been hurt by a lack of sales. However, manufacturers need to use far fewer incentives, which improves margins. Dealers can charge more for cars, but they have many fewer of them.
The cars, SUVs and light trucks that have sold well for a decade have not changed as the car sales landscape has been altered. Mid-sized sedans have little demand. Small, fuel-efficient cars continue to have brisk demand. As gas prices rise to record highs, fuel efficiency will be even more attractive.
One thing has not changed. Despite high gas prices, the sale of SUVs and pickup trucks dominate the list of the best-selling cars in America. This was the case again through the first quarter of 2022. The waiting list for some of these is substantial, as people wait weeks, or even months, for the vehicles they want.
Car and Driver has done an analysis of the best-selling cars in the first quarter. Among the top 25 are SUVs which include the Nissan Rogue, Jeep Wrangler and Chevy Equinox.
America’s three full-size pickups have remained the three best-selling vehicle for years. The Ford F-series as been in first place for four decades. Even a drop in first-quarter sales of 31% has not changed that. F-Series sales were 140,701. Most years, Ford sells close to 700,000.
Trailing the F-Series, the Ram pickup had sales of 127,116. This was off 15% from the same period last year. GM’s Chevy Silverado sold 118,796 units.
It is unlikely that these three vehicle will be replaced in their spots at the top of the list. Ford, to help secure its number one spot, with the launch of an electric engine version.
Even with gas above $4, America remains a pickup nation.
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