2015 looks like it’ll be one hell of a year for the automotive business. With January having already flown by, we’ve received the first batch of data concerning U.S. car sales, and so far, the industry is surging.
Behind low gas prices, a slew of new and redesigned models, and overall increased confidence in the economy, it’s clear that Americans are headed to dealerships, and snatching up new cars like hot cakes. Particularly, SUVs and trucks have been incredibly popular, and of course midsize sedans as well. Nearly every automaker saw a big spike in sales during the first month of 2015, from Ford to GM, and even Chrysler.
With help from Cars.com, we’re taking a look at the top 10 best-sellers from January. Though January is typically not the strongest month for auto sales over the course of the calendar year, this year is different. Behind strong sales of these 10 vehicles, 2015 looks primed to be a huge year for car companies.
10. Toyota RAV-4
All things considered, 2015 may just be the year that SUVs return in full force. Cracking the top 10 best-sellers list for January is Toyota’s compact SUV, the RAV-4, which saw sales of 19,824 models. The RAV-4 is one of those unique vehicles that is capable in all kinds of weather, and still gets pretty good fuel economy, making it a popular choice with the barrage of winter storms over the past couple of months. RAV-4 sales were up 17.4% over last January.
9. Ford Escape
If there is a surprise on January’s best-sellers list, it’s probably the Ford Escape. The Escape is a compact SUV, putting it in the same segment as the RAV-4 or the Honda CR-V, but doesn’t consistently keep up with its rivals in terms of sales. If January 2015 is any indication, however, things may be changing. Ford dealers sold a smidgen over 20,000 Escape models last month, a bump of 3.1% over last January.
8. Honda Accord
The Honda Accord, a long-time best-seller, starts the year off at number eight on the top-10 list. Honda dealers had little trouble moving new Accords off the lot, selling a total of 21,011 in January. That’s a slight increase of 2% over January 2014’s numbers, but not enough to keep the Accord in the top five. Surging sales of several other models pushed them ahead of the Accord, which takes a small step back for now.
7. Honda CR-V
Another SUV, the Honda CR-V continues its popularity streak by reaching the number seven spot on 2015’s inaugural best-sellers list. Honda dealers sold 23,211 CR-V units during the first month of this year, which actually represents the biggest one-year jump in sales of any vehicle on the list. CR-V sales improved a whopping 27.3% this January over last.
6. Nissan Altima
We know that Nissan is refocusing its efforts on proven, practical vehicles, and the success of the Altima sedan is probably a good reason why. The Altima has shown it can successfully go head-to-head with best-sellers from Toyota and Honda, and in January, 26,408 models were sold. That’s slightly less than the Toyota Camry, which is consistently a hugely popular midsize sedan. The Altima’s sales represent a 17.3% spike over January 2014.
5. Toyota Camry
The Camry, Toyota’s huge seller and permanent top-10 fixture, came up just short of another popular Toyota car last month, but that doesn’t mean that January was a bust by any means. The Camry’s operative number last month was 26,763, representing the total number of Camry models that were sold. That’s a 14.7% increase in sales over January 2014.
4. Toyota Corolla
Zooming past all other cars and SUVs on the sales ladder was Toyota’s Corolla, the ever-popular sedan that has become a staple among America’s best-sellers list. 27,357 Corollas rolled off of Toyota dealer lots in January, smoking the numbers from last January by an incredible 20.2%. That beats out its corporate brother the Camry, and rivals like the Honda Civic and Accord. An impressive start to 2015.
3. Ram 1500
Americans are still loving their pickup trucks, and when that affinity is combined with low gas prices, sales can skyrocket. Case in point, Ram pickup sales are up by 14.1% in January 2015 over January 2014, marking a solid start to the year for Fiat Chrysler’s truck specialists. In all, Ram dealers sold 28,618 last month, giving Fiat Chrysler executives a positive sign for 2015 after a record-smashing 2014.
2. Chevrolet Silverado
If there was a success story that played itself out in the auto market last year, it was probably that of the Chevy Silverado. GM had to overcome some serious PR problems to get consumers back to dealerships, and the Silverado pickup appears to have done the job. Dealers sold more than 36,000 pickups during the first month of 2015, a huge increase of almost 25% over last January.
1. Ford F-Series
No surprises here at the top, as Ford’s perennial crown-bearer once again steals the show. The new F-150, boasting an aluminum build, was once again a big-mover for Ford, with more than 54,000 having been sold in January alone. That’s a substantial spike over January of 2014, of 16.8%. It appears that Ford’s gamble on new materials is paying off, but it will be interesting to see what happens as gas prices rebound.