Even after 2020, 2021 was an odd year for auto sales. Both were heavily influenced by Covid and the resulting supply chain chaos, and chip shortages and other critical materials and components will almost certainly continue into 2022. However, the show must go on, and it did. While it may not appear so on paper, 2021 saw a surge in demand for new cars as customers returned to showrooms in droves. Here’s what they brought home the most.
10 – Honda Civic
For decades, this Honda staple has been the company’s best-selling vehicle, edging out the Accord as the midsize segment shrank. In 2021, it dropped from eighth to tenth place, but it remained in the top ten despite ongoing parts shortages.
9 – Toyota Highlander
Three-rows, believe it or not, rarely make the top ten. It just goes to show how bizarre the year 2021 was. Last year, the Highlander finished 14th, so this is a significant improvement for the family hauler.
8 – Jeep Grand Cherokee
If our notes are correct, this is yet another surprise and a first for Jeep. The Grand Cherokee’s sales were boosted this year by the addition of a new three-row model (Jeep combines the two for sales reports), but keep in mind that the vast majority of volume was actually the outgoing (as opposed to the brand-new 2022) two-row model. Jeep deserves credit for moving up from 15th to 8th place.
7 – Nissan Rogue
The new Rogue is outselling its predecessor by a wide margin — the little volume SUV has moved up four spots to seventh place. That’s a huge win for Nissan, as they could use a few of those.
6 – Toyota Camry
The list becomes more predictable from here on out. Last year, the Camry was ranked sixth, and it’s interesting to see how Toyota’s script differs from Honda’s, which sees more volume from its compact sedan than its midsize. The Corollas came in 12th place. Not bad, but not as good as this.
5 – Honda CR-V
As we previously stated, Honda’s midsize Accord has fallen from its previous heights, but the CR-V has risen in proportion to take its place. Honda, like everyone else, struggled with the chip shortage in the second half, but early volume helped Honda maintain healthy year-end figures despite production shortfalls.
4 – Toyota RAV4
Toyota, on the other hand, managed to place both its midsize sedan and compact SUV in the top ten. The RAV4 is an excellent choice for this position, which it held last year as well.
3 – Chevrolet Silverado
This is a biggie, to say the least. Although GM’s combined sales of its Silverado and Sierra pickups make it the largest full-size truck manufacturer in the United States by volume, that distinction does not translate to a higher ranking on this list due to the separate nameplates. Because of production constraints and the continued success of Ram’s new pickup line, the Silverado not only does not rank first, but it actually ranks third this year.
2 – Ram Pickup
Stellantis has scored a major victory. As previously stated, this was primarily due to GM’s inability to manufacture trucks due to component shortages, but Ram has been chasing after the General for years, with the two nameplates frequently trading places in quarterly sales results over the last few years. This was a pretty good thrashing (a 40,000-unit difference), and to Ram’s credit, the truck line ended up 1% higher than last year. The Silverado (down 10.8%) and F-Series (down 6.8%) aren’t in the same boat.
1 – Ford F-Series
As usual, the outcome is predictable. For the most part, the F-Series has been America’s best-selling vehicle line. Even before Covid, Ford’s total full-size volume had slipped behind GM’s in recent years due to production issues, but it is still the king of the hill (month, quarter or year).