The Top Ten of May 2012 – Car Pro Commentary

I eagerly await the sales numbers from all over the country on the first day of every month, to see who the winners and losers are by manufacturer. There haven’t been many losers in the past year. Through five months of 2012, only Mitsubishi, Suzuki, and Volvo are down versus the first five months of 2011. As time permits, I then like to look at the top ten vehicles for the month in terms of sales numbers in the United States.

Once again, the Ford pickup is the top-selling vehicle overall. Nobody has outsold it for as long as I can remember. It shows no signs of slowing down either, this May sales were up 30% over a year ago.

The #2 seller last month was the Toyota Camry, which did not even appear on the top ten list in 2011. This May, sales were up 110% from a year ago, and don’t think it was because of the earthquake in Japan. The dealers had more available for sale last May than this May. The results are astounding for Toyota and propelled their overall sales 87%.
Chevy Silverado came in #3 this May, and although sales we up 21% this year over last year, Silverado dropped one spot in the top ten from May 2011.

Remember the Honda Civic? This car was dissed by a major consumer magazine and in this column I came to the defense of the car. I went as far as to say when America voted with their dollars, the new Civic would be a winner. The 2012 Civic was your #4 seller for May 2012 with sales up 82% from the old model.

#5 was Toyota Corolla with sales up 87%. This is another vehicle that wasn’t in the top ten in May 2011. If this car had sold almost 32,000 vehicles last year-like it did this year-it would have been #2 on the May 2011 list.

Your #6 car this year was the Honda Accord, coming in almost 30,000 sales. That is an increase of 74% from a year ago, and in this case, it probably was somewhat due to the disaster in Japan.

Next up at #7 is the Chevy Malibu. It too sold almost 30,000 vehicles but dropped from the #3 seller in May 2011. I wish I had a breakdown of the May sales to know if the majority was the old 2012 model, or the new 2013-which I really liked when I reviewed it.
#8 is the Ford Fusion at almost 27,000 sold. That is up from fewer than 25,000 sales in May of 2011. Ford has some heavy incentives on the car right now as they get ready for the all-new model coming out this fall. The new 2013 Fusion was the huge hit of the Detroit Auto Show.

Dodge Ram filled the #9 spot for May 2012, with sales up 29% from one year ago. Ram had 26,000 sales last month versus barely 20,000 in May of 2011. Those results moved it up from #10 in May 2011.

Finally, rounding out the top ten for May 2012 is the Honda CR-V which saw a 54% sales increase over a year ago. The compact SUV did not make the top ten in May 2011.

Interestingly, the Detroit Three truck sales were up dramatically this year in spite of gas prices being up, but outside of that, six of the top ten sellers are considered to be fuel-efficient vehicles. More surprising, the Honda CR-V was the only SUV to make the list.

Missing from the May 2012 top ten list versus May 2011 were Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Hyundai Sonata, Ford Escape, and Nissan Altima. It is fairly unusual to have five popular vehicles fall off the list in just one year. The numbers are always fun to watch!


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