America’s auto industry posted marginal losses in the month of August, while the daily sales rate and seasonally adjusted annualized rate soared. In August 2014, U.S. auto sales figures actually included sales from September’s high-volume Labour Day weekend.

Through the first eight months of 2015, auto sales are up 4% to 11.6 million units, with the prospect of more than 17 million new vehicle sales now appearing like a highly likely outcome. Not since 2001 have American consumers, businesses, and governments bought and leased more than 17 million new vehicles.


Which vehicles are carrying the load? America’s 30 most popular new vehicle nameplates account for half the new vehicle sales in the country. Here’s a look at the most popular vehicles across different industry sectors through the first eight months of 2015: cars, SUVs/crossovers, pickup trucks, vans, premium cars, and premium utilities.

The Toyota Camry leads all passenger cars in America, including the second-ranked Toyota Corolla. Overall car volume slid 10% in August and is down 3% through the first eight months of 2014. Cars accounted for 49% of all new vehicle sales in America between January and August of 2015. That figure tumbled to 46% in 2015.

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Rank
Best-Selling Cars
8 Months 2015
8 Months 2014
% Change
#1
Toyota Camry
291,843
306,471-4.8%
#2
Toyota Corolla
252,106
238,2755.8%
#3
Nissan Altima
238,200
235,2601.3%
#4
Honda Accord
231,173
271,426-14.8%
#5
Honda Civic
221,471
231,167-4.2%

Honda’s CR-V, which now challenges the Accord for Top Honda status, has been America’s top-selling SUV/crossover in each of the last twelve months. With sales of its nearest rival, the Ford Escape, sliding 2% this year, the CR-V’s position atop the 2015 leaderboard appears secure. The CR-V first became America’s most popular utility vehicle in 2007 and held on to that position in 2008, 2009, and 2010 before losing it to the Escape in 2011 and grabbing it again in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Rank
Best-Selling SUVs/Crossovers
8 Months 2015
8 Months 2014
% Change
#1
Honda CR-V
229,574
217,2935.7%
#2
Ford Escape
204,539
208,444-1.9%
#3
Toyota RAV4
200,818
179,34512.0%
#4
Chevrolet Equinox
192,505
167,53914.9%
#5
Nissan Rogue
188,143
137,33937.0%

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Through the first eight months of 2015, the Ford F-Series is America’s best-selling pickup truck family and best-selling vehicle line overall. F-Series volume is down marginally, however, even as America’s pickup truck category grew 10%, year-over-year. GM’s full-size twins have outsold the F-Series by more than 34,000 units so far this year.

Rank
Best-Selling Pickup Trucks
8 Months 2015
8 Months 2014
% Change
#1
Ford F-Series
494,800
497,174-0.5%
#2
Chevrolet Silverado
387,179
331,97716.6%
#3
Ram P/U
294,045
283,2563.8%
#4
GMC Sierra
141,899
130,5268.7%
#5
Toyota Tacoma
122,064
102,73618.8%

After a shutdown for retooling at their Windsor, Ontario, factory, U.S. sales – particularly of the fleet variety on which they depend for much of their volume – of the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country tumbled in the early part of 2015. Minivan sales are down 14% this year, and the FCA twins have seen their share of the category slide from 49% at this stage in 2014 to 32% in 2015. Combined, they’re still outselling the class-leading Toyota Sienna. Honda’s Odyssey, a van with which we’re well acquainted, has led the minivan segment in each of the last two months.

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The Ford Transit has been America’s top-selling commercial van in each of the last ten months. Total commercial van sales are up 11% this year as the small, Transit Connect-led category up 36% and the Transit-led full-size sub-segment up 5%.

Rank
Best-Selling Minivans/Commercial Vans
8 Months 2015
8 Months 2014
% Change
#1
Toyota Sienna
94,046
86,3388.9%
#2
Honda Odyssey
88,910
86,6912.6%
#3
Ford Transit
75,931
2,0853,542%
#4
Dodge Grand Caravan
53,651
92,796-42.2%
#5
Chrysler Town & Country
52,807
95,311-44.6%

The BMW 3-Series continues to lead all premium brand cars – all premium brand vehicles, for that matter – in terms of U.S. sales. BMW has also sold 31,036 copies of its 3er offshoot, the 4-Series, a 33% year-over-year improvement.

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Rank
Best-Selling Premium Brand Cars
8 Months 2015
8 Months 2014
% Change
#1
BMW 3-Series
91,711
81,89712.0%
#2
Mercedes-Benz C-Class
56,875
43,88529.6%
#3
Lexus ES
41,767
47,188-11.5%
#4
Lexus IS
32,237
33,427-3.6%
#5
Mercedes-Benz E-Class
31,152
47,725-34.7%

As Lexus prepares to launch a new RX, the outgoing model is still America’s favourite premium SUV/CUV. RX sales have declined by 6600 units over the first eight months of 2015, but Lexus has also added 28,834 sales of its NX, which was unavailable at this stage last year.

Rank
Best-Selling Premium Brand SUVs/Crossovers
8 Months 2015
8 Months 2014
% Change
#1
Lexus RX
62,163
68,763-9.6%
#2
Cadillac SRX
43,863
38,00815.4%
#3
Acura MDX
39,144
43,444-9.9%
#4
BMW X5
37,965
28,62332.6%
#5
Acura RDX
34,654
29,86516.0%

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Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.