Skip to comments.Ten Cars with Booming Sales Since the Recession Began
Posted on 11/14/2011 11:48:13 PM PST by Lazlo in PA
The recession and high gas prices have been major deciding factors in car purchases in the past several years. This can be seen on the list of the ten cars and light trucks models with the greatest unit sales growth in the last five years, as per data from Edmunds.
Interestingly enough, the list does not have a single major Japanese car company model on it. Instead, it is dominated by cars from U.S. companies, second tier Japanese manufacturer Subaru, and upstarts from South Korea, all of which grew sales by at least 60 percent.
Decades ago, Honda, Toyota, and Nissan had tremendous growth and kept gaining market share in the U.S. By July 2006, Toyotas U.S. share matched that of Ford. Within two years, GM and Chrysler were bankrupt.
Not many analysts expected a Detroit comeback. Probably none predicted that South Korean companies would become the most successful car companies in America in terms of growth. Nevertheless, Kia and Hyundai have taken the U.S. market by storm. They have done so by following the Japanese business example of high quality, fuel efficiency, and low prices.
Most of the cars and light trucks on this list share several commonalities. First, most of them sell for less than $25,000. This threshold has become more important as the economy began to slip into recession in 2007, making low-priced cars attractive. Second, the price of crude oil rose above $140 in the summer of 2008. Consequently, gas prices shot up, and combined with the economic downturn, fuel efficiency became an important consideration. Most of the cars on this list get 30 MPG on the highway (or come close to doing so).
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Here is the Rockies, the Subaru vehicles are very popular, and deservedly so. On highways in snowstorms, they’re nearly unstoppable vehicles, especially the Outback.
It has taken years for US auto manufactures to get their heads out of their rectums to make anything remotely similar to an Outback.
Naturally, “sales growth” favors cars that weren’t selling squat to begin with, and are just recovering from utter extinction by doubling their sales. Ignore this report.
Here in AK I flippin hate Subarus, it seems like every other one has an Obama Sticker on it.
Heh - here in Seattle the words Subaru and rectum fit well together. Although I suppose some conservative bumper stickers would take care of the gay persona the Subaru’s have around here. I understand they are a good vehicle.
They are called Lesbaru down here.
Not if they’re turbos with mods! A great stealth car for getting close to warp speed..We traded in our WRX for more space and lower insurance rates..
So, you actually hate Obama and his supporters, correct? (So do I.)
Don’t hate the car; Hate the idiot driving it.
My wife and I love her Subaru. Great for skiing and snowboard season.
Now you are heading into Tuner territory. I am a rear drive, big block V8 guy. I'll pass.
Two great cars in my life: First, for the pure value, any mid-90s Jaguar XJ6... A car of astonishing quality, and a great value on the used market. That inline 6 is perhaps the most perfected engine in the world. Seecond, for pure driving pleasure? The BMW M3 E36... On the used market, if you’re careful, (do a PPI with a top-flight mechanic), there is no better car for your dollar.
‘I am a rear drive, big block V8 guy. I’ll pass.’
right u are lad...there’s nothing like the feel of EXQUISITE, leather bench seats and the beautiful panoramic vista view from behind the WINDOW of a LINCOLN TOWN CAR OR A CROWN VIC.....
THEY are REAL AMERICAN MACHINES.........STRONG SAFE FAST POWERFUL V 8’S..... POWERFUL CARS FOR POWERFUL AMERICANS....THE rightful KINGS OF THE EARTH....
East coast had a bad spell a while back with WRX's.... Yuppie teens with wealthy parents buying them for them. One wrapped around a tree with 4 teens perishing in the crash and another one was almost as bad.
Please tell me you are joking...
So true about the majority of Subarus in AK with Obama stickers, have you noticed that more H2 and the H3 Hummers are back on the roads?
I remember back in 2004 almost everybody was driving an H2 in the Valley, and then the Prius showed up, the beaters were being sent in and crushed and then a whole heck of a lot of kids started jacking up any diesel truck and hopping the engines so they look like an old B-52 taking off from a stoplight.
I know the Subaru is an excellently built car but they are overpriced. I have three of them, none are in one piece. Wife drives a Pontiac Aztek AWD, almost half the price of a Subaru, sure its ugly but its a lot safer in a moose collision I think, with that square front end you won’t get a moose through the windshield I think.
When we lived in AK, we had a Subaru for a short time (early ‘70s), and it was a piece of crap.
We like to buy low mileage Cadillac DTSs (full size sedans) coming off lease. The price is right and the MPG rivals most of the heaps that are promoted these days. We regularly get 24 mpg on highway trips and 19 mpg around town. I have a 2003 with 140,000 miles on it and a 2008 with 20,000 miles on it.
My 2003 really has less than the 140,000 miles because we qualified for an engine replacement at 60,000 miles. Free. I love that car. I don’t know if I love the 2008 yet because my husband won’t et me drive it. It stays parked in the garage collecting dryer lint. LOL. He took it to MO this weekend to go hunting, and I’m left with the 2003. There is a reason for that which I won’t get into.
Anyway, the trick is to look for the luxury models with low mileage. I got the 2008 with all the options and 18,000 miles on it for $25,000 in April (orig. price $50-60,000). Both of these cars are wonderful.
We also had very good service out of 2 Chrysler LHS (1994) cars which we drove for over 200,000 miles each. We still own one of those cars, although I’m about ready to give it to charity. We never would have turned to Cadillac if Chrysler had continued the LHS model. I’d buy another if I could find a clean one with less than 50,000 miles on it. Those were great cars. After that, Cadillac was the only way to go, although the styling isn’t as exciting as the Chrysler.
Unfortunately, I’m guessing that Cadillac is about to discontinue the DTS because I never see them advertised any more. My dealer says no — that they are so popular that they don’t need to advertise. But, who really believes a car dealer?!
My wife had one, great car. She traded it in on an Altima, also a great car, but she misses her Outback.
The reason for our car choices (I forgot to mention) is that we need front wheel drive, and we crave the luxury of those models because we drive cross country regularly.
My next car is a Forrester, if they are still in production. High ground clearance, lots of cargo room.
No wonder GM went bankrupt.
It was a recall that affected only a small percentage of northern cars. If you were driving my car in TX, or AL, you never would have discovered the problem. The care and service we received on that brought us back as customers.
The main Japanese brands, Toyota and Honda, suffered from huge supply chain issues due to the earthquake and tsunami, plus their designs are just flat out boring. The Koreans, Hyundai and Kia, have cars that are rivaling the Japanese on quality and have a little bit of design flair, plus they were available. Given all that, there is no surprise sales for the Koreans are way up.
Sounds like you lucked out. Considering all the horror stories you hear about bad dealerships, you have found a good one. That can make all the difference in the world.
I liked the Olds Cutlass Supreme as well. Now we have a 2007 Hyundai Sonata and it’s excellent and I recently rented a Ford Fusion and it was even better.
I dunno about this list, but without weighting the results for number of units sold I think it’s misleading. Here are the results rejiggered based on number of units sold (a better guage of popularity IMHO):
Hyundai Elantra - 162,153
Jeep Wrangler - 116,599
Ford Fusion - 100,621
Ford Escape - 94,120
Chevy Equinox - 84,495
Kia Sorrento - 79,659
Subaru Outback - 44,559
Kia Optima - 33,336
Cadillac SRX - 32,936
Subaru Legacy - 16,325
Other than the Jeep, which is a rather uncomfortable ride compared to the others, the rest make some sense. The Elantra is up where it is because it’s cheap, both to buy and to operate - it’s the new Ford Escort, if you will. It’s instructive to see that the Fords still beat the Chevy union-parasite junk. The Kias are interesting, too, but I’ve seen a few of the newer models and, like the Japanese brands of yore, it’s clear that Kia is following the same course, going from junky little beaters to some nice stuff. Hyundai is doing the same thing; some of their products are quite nice these days. It’ll be interesting to see if they do a luxury model spinoff the same way that the Japanese manufacturers did.
I have a 94 Buick Roadmaster, 350 LT Engine ,rear wheel drive, 26 mpg highway, 174,000 on the clock, plenty of room.
I keep it maintained to the max in hopes it will last me another 20 years, when I turn 90.
I also have a 2005 Toyota and I use it for the short runs.It’s a great little car,when it needs replacement I will get another Camry.
They have; it's the Genesis: http://www.hyundaiusa.com/genesis/
Last year I was ready to retire my 3rd Honda after 15 years in the '95. Ended up giving it to my relatives for their teenagers to learn on a stick. The 18yo male has already trashed it (sniff).
I had been hankering for the Honda Euro-Diesel but then the California CARB regs made Honda rethink. I am now in an Audi(VW) TDI A3 and loving it. 28mpg city and 40+ highway and no problems with limited range or fuel availability.
I watch the BBC Top Gear all the time, I wish more of the European diesel cars were available, they really like the Skoda Yeti, kind of like a Forrester from what I gather.
What a silly study. Big deal, poorly selling cars increase their sales.
Small numbers when increased 100% still result in a small number. Silly, silly study.
Meanwhile, all the Honda and Toyota owners are just breaking their vehicles in at 100,000 miles. Why buy a new one.
The Forrester is “nice”. We considered purchasing one, but we went with the Imprezza hatchback because we spend a lot of time on the freeways in So. Cal. (Really, really wanted to buy the Forrester’s “turbo-charged” version, but again, it just wasn’t fuctional for us.)
We are in the market for a “new-for-us” car in the next 6 months or so... Our Chevy Blazer has already seen its best days although I loved that “light truck” and its 4-Wheel-Drive - awesome when we lived in Colorado and went up to the mountains a lot.
We’re in Wisconsin now, so although I think 4WD is awesome for those really bad snowstorms, it’s not a necessity as it was in CO. I have to admit to not wanting to lose the size/height of the car. My husband had a run-in with a deer last year, and if he wasn’t in the SUV it would have been a LOT worse — just a moderate concussion for my husband, and car battered from windshield cracks from the face/antlers to a huge indentation when the body slammed against it on the passenger door driver’s side. I’m concerned about deer, but not to the point where I wouldn’t buy a “regular” car.
Suggestions as to a dependable, reliable “mid-size” sedan? We’re turned off on GM cars due to political concerns & union issues - but I think I might still buy a used Saturn if the price was right and the mileage low enough (I LOVED my Saturn SL2).
We’re probably looking at a foreign car for the first time ever - Toyota/Honda for dependability and length of life. I see discussion of Kia here — are they up to par with the Toyota/Honda cars with quality and dependability yet (I’m just not familiar with their cars - except that they reminded me of a Yugo-type when they first came out as they pushed the inexpensive feature so much when introduced).
Thanks for all the info. people have posted on the thread already — gives me places to start! LOL
I leased a 2011 Hyundai Sonata and my daughter leased a 2012 Elantra.
Both are beautifully designed, comfortable to drive and economical.The lease prices are very attractive. I have a set price to purchase the car at the end of three years, and if I don’t want to purchase it, I turn it in and lease a another car.
Years ago Icame to the realization that whether you lease or buy, you are still drive a depreciating vehicle. Leasing is renting, and is more flexible and has no large down payment, plus a much more reasonable monthly payment. And it is more flexible—I don’t have to sell the car, I am not stuck with the car past the lease end unless I want to buy it, and I have that option also.
If you have small kids that wreck cars or high mileage commutes, leasing is not for you. But if you’re older, don’t have little kids or messy teenagers, and you can live with 1,000 or so miles a month, it may make sense for you.
Actually they have a high end luxury model: the Equus. The one with the back seat recliner,DVD player, heat and massage.
Beautifully appointed inside, the styling outside is not as leading edge as their other models.
Out of the 16+ cars around here, only two are foreign and one of them is the only 6 cylinder. I have a ‘90 560SEL. The only car I took over 140mph comfortably. I have the window sticker for that one and it was $90K new so it had better handle and perform great. Extremely easy to work on and well engineered. The other is a ‘78 280SE. It is a total slug, but is a fun little car. The engine is bulletproof which is why I see so many old Mercs still in use oversees.
The Krouts really know how to sensibly engineer stuff especially when you compare it to American stuff. To change the blower motor in my ‘76 Catalina Safari, the shop manual has you cut a big whole in the inner fender to access it and then putty the panel back in. Some engineering idea on an item that does need replacing now and again.
I have a ‘93 Roadmaster Estate with the lesser 350. I drove one with the LT. It was a rocket ship. I liked the ‘93 better because the dash is nicer and has gauges. You can still get the engines for yours and mine from GM along with the Trans brand new. I did have to take off all the stupid rubber strips on the belt line because I couldn’t keep them from falling off anymore. You had to buy the whole chrome piece to replace them and that was $$$. I did buy a full set of brand new wood grain for it when my buddy at Buick told me that they were going to stop making it years ago. Glad I did that.
To keep mine going to 90 I will have to make it another 52 years. If the Cubans can keep their old pre Castro stuff going in those conditions for this long, I think I can do it too. It may get like that here if we get 4 more years of Obummer. The Volt will be the new Skoda.
I heard that about the Town Car. We buy those off lease. Look where they are today. Gone. Companies are going to get rid of popular V8's to make these ridiculous CAFE standards. Volts all around whether you want one or not.
Kraut engineering is oh-so-fine, I agree. The problem for those vehicles here in the intermountain west is that you can’t find parts, dealer service or a whole host of other things to keep them going.
Despite a very high net worth economic base, you’re hard pressed to see any Benz, Audi, or other high-end vehicles here in Wyoming outside of Jackson Hole.
If there were more Benz parts (and when I mean ‘parts’, I mean pull-offs from a junk yard), available, I’d be hip for one of the 80’s Benz, especially the wagon with the I-5 diesel. Wonderful car.
I won’t own a new GM vehicle, and I never liked the pre-bailout ones either. My big iron is Ford.
I assume new Subarus come with leftist decals already applied?
Have you looked at the Ford Flex? They can be found used at a big discount from original selling price, and are available in AWD. It’s a full-size wagon, but worth a look at least.
I’ve had one for about a year, and my family loves it more the longer we have it. It sits up reasonably high, gets 22mpg on the highway and can carry 7 adults comfortably. Competing products with the same level of options as our Flex were selling for $10K above what we paid for ours, and the low-milage Flex SEL we purchased is loaded with tons of features. No problems with it at all so far.
They’re just a solid little car with all wheel drive and a horizontally opposed 2.5L engine that’s been in their cars for so long, they’ve gotten all the bugs out of it.
Who drives it is the least of our concerns. I want a vehicle that, when it is -20F and snowing in Wyoming, Montana, the Dakotas or other places where we frequently are in the winter, will a) start, b) be able to drive on the roads.
Most American cars cannot manage these simple, simple requirements.
Not intended for you, but a general joke about Subarus I’ve seen around my area. A great many of them are festooned with leftist/lib slogans. My wife and I were passing one a while ago, and I joked about how many decals would be on it. As we passed the car, we noticed there were a number of decals plastered on it, but they were all religious ones. My wife said “see, they’re not all leftist decals!!!” The very next Subaru we passed had all the usual leftist decals. But to be fair, I have seen a number with no decals whatsoever.
That might not be a bad option for us. I’ll definitely look into it! Thanks. :)
Thanks, definitely another option to look at re: leasing. I appreciate the pointers. :)
Yes, I know. I’ve seen them too. And on Volvo’s, Saab’s and a whole host of other cars. Around union areas, you see plenty of them on F-150’s and Chevy pickups as well.
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