Special Report

Top Selling Car of Last Decade

New car sales have declined significantly in recent years, in part due to shortages that affected supply. The pandemic-fueled shortages of microchips and other components were more recently exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The conflict has pressured supply chains worldwide. Analysts tend to agree that inventory shortages are what is really pressuring U.S. auto sales at the moment.

General Motors estimated the annualized pace of U.S. light vehicle sales reached 13.4 million units in the second quarter, down from 17 million a year ago. Separately, Cox Automotive forecasts 14.4 million new vehicles sales by year-end. Auto analysts tend to fall within this range.

Regardless of car market trends in recent years, some cars have been selling better than others in recent memory. To determine the best selling cars in America over the past decade, 24/7 Wall St., using data provided by iseecars.com, reviewed the vehicles with the highest sales figures in the U.S. from 2012 through 2021. (Want to find the most recent best-selling car? This is the best-selling car of 2022.)

The list, especially the vehicles at the top, shows how Americans have turned away from coupes and sedans to trucks, sport utility vehicles, and crossovers. What remains to be seen is whether full-sized pickups, SUVs, and crossovers can hold their places at the top of America’s vehicle sales should electric vehicles continue their rise to prominence. Although, most car makers have introduced or are introducing electric pickups, SUVs, and crossovers. 

Recent legislation in California demonstrates a real shift towards EVs as the state is banning the sale of gas-powered cars starting in 2035. Although this is far off in the future, buyers could move in anticipation, and automakers could build out the infrastructure, creating an enticing value proposition. (This is the electric car with the longest range.)

As it stands now, with every large manufacturer that sells cars in America gearing up a line of EVs, consumer preferences for car type might remain the same — even if the engine might be different. Each of these companies is chasing Tesla for the time being in terms of EVs, but the big names like Ford and GM far outpace Tesla in terms of production and sales in the broad sense.

Here’s a look at the top selling cars over the past decade.

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