2015 made folks believe in the automobile industry again. We got a lot of cool, crazy, futuristic, luxury, middle-class, boring, stupid and ridiculous for at least a decade. Yes, last year was pretty awesome, and it was actually a record-braker in terms of sales, especially in Michigan. Big changes in the economy and the super-low oil prices gave SUV/truck sales a healthy kick, and folks were grabbing them like never before. In 2016 we still have low gas prices and the January sales chart is dominated by trucks (spoiler!), just like last year. And I gotta mention that about 90% of profit in the automobile business comes from SUVs and pick-up trucks (at least in America), so, they always do their thing – put up impressive, steady numbers no matter the day, the month or the time of the year. January is considered to be one of the worst months for selling cars, and I’m expecting a huge line-up of awesome new rides in the next 12 months, but today we’ll talk about the current models, the ones that are out putting some work in. And while January IS a pretty important month for checking out the trends, there’s no telling who’ll be on top at the end of the year. So, let’s dig in and check out the list of best-sellers in 2016. I promise you it won’t be a bumpy ride :).
#1 – Toyota RAV4
Toyota really wanted to score big with the RAV4 this year, and they invested a lot of manpower into the new edition. And when the Japanese giant does its job with that kind of attention and love, something awesome happens. The slightly restyled RAV4 2016, along with the first-ever hybrid edition (which is pretty awesome, make sure to check out my review) made folks believe in the effort and sales were great in January. The company moved (that means sold) 21.5K units in the first month of the year, and that’s an impressive 8.7% gain over the same period last year. So, yeah, it’s safe to say that all the investments are paying off and I’m predicting a super-healthy year for the RAV4, as the hybrid will give the potential customers a different perspective at the legendary crossover SUV.
#2 On The List Of Best-Sellers In 2016 – Toyota Corolla
Everybody knows that back in the day Corolla was champ among compact cars and that it’s the one and only to sell +/- 40 million units. However, today it’s one of the most dated cars in terms of the exterior (and interior design), and, if the company wants to stay on top of the game, they’ll have to introduce some exciting changes ASAP. Still, the old-school looks don’t seem to bother the drivers that much and the sales are decent (Toyota sold 22.3K units in January), even though the number is 18.3 percent down as compared to the last year result. They say a sporty Corolla is coming in 2017; it’s all rumors and speculations at this point, but I can say with certainty that a change is absolutely vital in order to stay afloat. The market, as you know, is a very unforgiving thing, and the market of automobiles might just be the harshest.
#3 – Ford Fusion
Ford has been investing a lot of money and talent into this one, and it took a decade for the company to see the fruits of its work. However, today the Fusion is definitely one of the best offers on the market of affordable mid-size sedans and it can easily compete with the big-bad monsters, including Toyota’s Camry, Honda’s Accord and Nissan’s Altima. In 2015 Ford managed to sneak into the top-10 best-sellers list of pretty much every segment of the industry, and that deserves some respect, folks. Now, some experts claim that the Fusion landed in the list of profiteers in 2016 only because the competition failed to deliver, but I can’t agree with that. This isn’t just a one-month wonder, this is a serious rival – at the very least. And, with Ford officially announcing a brand-new, redesigned edition in 2017, along with a high-performance model (the good-old sedan on a race-track, can you believe that?), the Fusion might just become the leader in the chase. In January the customers “snatched” about 20K units, which is a 0.9% better result as compared to last year.
#4 – Honda Accord (No List Of Best-Sellers In 2016 Without This One)
Come on, you already knew that the Accord would be on this list. Maybe not so low down the list, but still, Honda has always been a go-getter. The new styling and a few slight fixes kept the class-leading mid-sizer on top last year, but in January the sales went down a bit: you’ve got 20.7K units sold, and that’s a 1.2% slip vs January 2015. This might partially be the “fault” of the friendly Civic, which had been super-popular in early 2016 thanks to the tremendous love from the fans and the positive reception of the new, redesigned model. We’ll talk about the Civic later, but for now, I just wanna say that it’s too early to scratch the Accord from the list of best-sellers in 2016 just because it might have a bumpy start. Mark my words, friends.
#5 – Honda Civic, The 2nd Entry On The List
So, I mentioned about the Civic’s impressive result this January when we were discussing the Accord, another one from the Japanese Honda, and now let’s talk numbers: this January the dealerships all around moved 26.7K units, which is a staggering 43% boost! This definitely means that the engineers did it right this time with the new design, because not only was it super-hot at all kinds of auto shows and in the mass media, but it also proved to be quite a popular choice among the Regular Joes. And despite the fact that the Honda wonder is high up the list of best-sellers in 2016, that’s only with the “traditional” Civic on the market – expect the hatchback edition to hit the markets soon. Oh, and please, don’t forget about the awesome Type-R that’s practically the powertrain-strong sibling. A mighty Civic? Yep, why not! The bad news is the Type-R won’t arrive until 2017, but it’s well worth the wait.
#6 On The List Of Best-Sellers In 2016 – RAM Pickups
In January 2016 RAM kept it steady and cool, just like any other month of the year 2015. With almost 30K sales we’ve got a 4.6% spike, and that means folks are still lining up for that masculine, all-around mighty truck for towing, hauling and simply enjoying the ride. Ram is putting up big numbers despite the fact that the trucks are actually a bit outdated today and we need to see some changes in the nearest future. For example, Chevy and Ford have been investing unbelievable amounts of that green into their pickups just to make them more user-friendly, comfortable and tech-packed. My guess is the Chrysler Group (RAM’s “Boss”) is working on the next big redesign right now and they’ll introduce it sometime late 2016.
#7 – Chevy Silverado
Alright, folks, we’re now down to the meat and potatoes of the list of best-sellers in 2016 – the triumphal Detroit giants, Chevrolet and Ford. To tell the truth, the Blue Oval Brand has always been just one step ahead of the competition, and that’s why the near-perfect Silverado is “just” number 2 today. Chevy got a new look for its legendary truck for this year and that propelled January sales up 4.9% and moved 37.8K units in total. They say that the dealerships are still packed with the 2015 models, so, that means in the upcoming months we should see a significant spike in sales. One way or the other, selling about 40K in the first month of the year is a pretty amazing result. I’m not really sure whether the team behind the Silverado is working on something amazing for late 2016/early 2017, but I really like the current looks, so, kudos to Chevy. And now let’s talk about the leader – Ford.
#8 – Ford F-Series Trucks
Ok, this is it, the champs of the list of best-sellers in 2016, the F-Series trucks. Despite the fact that sales this January are down 5.2% that still couldn’t stop Ford from being number 1. The company sold 51.5K trucks this month, and that means the American fans are starting to appreciate the brand-new aluminum architecture that makes the truck lighter, faster, more fuel-efficient and better in handling. Not that I (or the heads at Ford) was concerned about that, but still, nothing like the crowd appreciating something new and special. True, the dealerships did move impressive 85K units in December, but, as I mentioned in the beginning, January is the traditionally slow month, so, 51.5K only means Ford is just warming up and getting ready to rule in 2016. And that was my list of best-sellers, ladies and gentlemen! Take care, keep your eye on the market, never pay more and keep it cool. See ya!