U.S. auto sales shot up nearly 6% to a record high of more than 17.4 million units in calendar year 2015. This leap forward occurred despite a 2% drop in sales of passenger cars and an 8% decline in minivan volume.
Sales of SUVs and crossovers jumped 16% to form more than one-third of the industry’s total volume. Pickup trucks accounted for nearly 15% of the industry’s volume as GM managed to sell nearly 940,000 Silverados, Sierras, Colorados, and Canyons.
The car decline was suffered by the vast majority of auto brands. Car sales at Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar, Kia, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche, Scion, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo all declined.
This trend toward ever more car-like crossovers – really, are you going to let your neighbor tell you that their new, low-slung Mazda CX-3 really is an SUV? – isn’t some new flash in the pan. The accompanying charts help tell the story.
Indeed, the third of three accompanying charts also tells the story of the dominance of America’s most popular vehicles. The ten top nameplates, of the nearly 300 different vehicle lines which generated sales activity in 2015, produced one out of every four new vehicle sales.