Ask an American what type of vehicle they prefer and most will say “SUV” or “crossover.” Increasingly that’s true around the globe, too. With more fuel-efficient engines and lots of flexibility, utility vehicles are fast becoming the world’s favorite family car.
SUV sales rose 12% globally in 2017, outpacing the overall industry, which rose 3%. Traditional passenger car sales, meanwhile, fell 2%, according to industry consultant LMC Automotive. And that trend’s been happening for a while: Since 2013, SUV sales are up 87% and car sales are down 8%, says LMC.
The market shift is unmistakable, but for now, at least, small, economical sedans still outsell SUVs on a worldwide basis.
The most popular car in the world – of all time, in fact, – is the Toyota Corolla, with more than 43 million units sold worldwide since 1966. It’s built at 16 plants worldwide, including Toyota plants in Mississippi and Canada. Toyota sold 1,160,495 units of the efficient and reliable compact in 2017, easily beating the Honda Civic and Volkswagen Golf, ranked 2nd and 3rd, which sold 833,017 and 788,044 vehicles, respectively, according to LMC data.
But it’s worth noting that an SUV, Toyota’s RAV4, almost broke into the top three with global sales of 786,580 units. Two other SUVs, the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, also made the top 10. Ford’s F-Series pickups were also among the top sellers, primarily due to their popularity in North America.
“Globally, small cars still win when you look at the volume because they dominate many markets,” said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of global forecasting at LMC. But the growth of SUVs is a worldwide trend that’s picking up steam. “Back in 2013 when we did this, there were only four SUVs in the top 20. In 2017, that number grew to seven and we see continued growth ahead.”
Other SUVs in the Top 20 include the Nissan Qashqai (No. 12), Hyundai Tuscon (No. 16), Volkswagen Tiguan (No. 17) and China’s Great Wall Motors’ Haval H6 (No. 20).
Click here for a full list of the world’s 20 most popular vehicles. – Written by ,