Special Report

The Most Popular Cars in the World

Since 1977, the best-selling vehicle in the United States has been the Ford F-Series pickup truck.

Since its introduction in 1948, the pickup has undergone 14 design life cycles (generations) and is one of the most popular passenger vehicles ever made that’s still in production. Ford has sold at least 40 million F-Series trucks globally, an average of 1,481 per day, over the past 73 years.

You might be surprised to learn that even this impressive run and sales record doesn’t make the F-Series the most popular motor vehicle in the world based on total sales. It’s only No. 2.

To determine the world’s most popular cars – including pickup trucks and SUVs in the overall definition – 24/7 Tempo reviewed “The Best Selling Motor Vehicles Around the World,” published by Zutobi, an online driver’s education resource. In ranking the vehicles, we resolved ties by placing the vehicle with the shorter or shortest lifespan to date in a higher position (so that a car selling 15 million units over a 19-year period, for instance, ranks higher than one selling the same number over 24 years). In one case, units sold and time period were identical, and those two vehicles are tagged as a tie.

Ford holds not only the No. 2 position for the F-series but also the record for having the most models among the 25 bestsellers of all time, including the Model T (1908-1927) at 15 million sold and the Escort (1968-2002), at 18 million. (These are the 25 best-selling American cars.)

However, the best-selling vehicle is the Toyota Corolla sedan, introduced in 1966. In addition, two other Toyota models make it onto this all-time bestseller. (The company also holds the No. 1 slot among the largest car companies in the world.)

Click here to see the most popular cars in the world

Besides the F-Series and the Corolla, four other vehicle models have topped 20 million in total global sales, and all of them except the Volkswagen Beetle are still in production. 

Seven of the 25 best-selling vehicles, though, are no longer being produced including General Motors’ Oldsmobile (1961-1999) and Russia’s Lada Riva (1979-2012). In total, automakers have sold more than 478 million of these 25 best-sellers over the years.

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