An SUV tops automobile sales charts for initial time

The SUV is strictly king.

For a initial time in decades a sedan is not a best-selling prolongation car in a United States. In 2017 that respect went to a Toyota RAV4 competition ute as it outsold a Toyota Camry sedan, reigning champ for a final 15 years.

The compact, five-door RAV4 rose to No. 1 with 407,594 crossovers sole final year — a benefit of 15.7 percent — eclipsing Camry by 20,513 in sales. The midsize sedan saw an annual sales decrease of 0.4 percent. Camry wasn’t even runner-up as another SUV, a Nissan Rogue, gave Team Ute a 1-2 finish with a 22.3 percent benefit to 403,465 units sold.

The best-selling car in America for a 36th year in a quarrel is Ford’s F-Series pickup, followed by dual other full-size pickups, a Chevy Silverado and Ram 1500.

“With a strength of a SUV market, it’s no warn that RAV4 was not usually a best-selling model, yet a best-selling non-pickup lorry in a industry,” pronounced Jack Hollis, organisation clamp boss and ubiquitous manager, Toyota Division.

The RAV4’s fulfilment crowns a duration arise of SUVs from their common beginnings as truck-based light trucks in a early 1990s to a widespread form of travel today. Less regulated for fuel potency than cars following a introduction of sovereign gas-mileage laws in a mid-1970s, SUVs gradually gained preference as automakers separated gas-gulping hire wagons while business still craved five-door utility.

Midsize sedans have prolonged ruled a sales charts going behind to a mid-1960s when a Chevy Impala sole over 1 million copies. Chevy and Ford traded a climax until 1991 when Japanese-maker Honda Accord quickly pennyless a duopoly.

The Camry asserted itself in 1997 over a Ford Taurus, and has hold a stick position ever given (save 2001 — Accord again).

The RAV4 was initial introduced in 1994 following a success of SUV trailblazers like a unibody Jeep Cherokee and truck-based Ford Explorer. By 2007, a supposed light lorry shred has upheld cars in recognition with 53 percent of a market. But a Great Recession quickly incited a tables as cash-strapped business incited behind to cheaper, sippier sedans.

Since 2010, however, SUVs have returned to a front as scarcely each manufacturer — even opening makers like Porsche and Maserati — has rushed to build higher-riding, five-door SUVs with unibody construction that are both some-more car-like in doing and in fuel efficient. Light lorry sales in 2017 scarcely crested 60 percent of a marketplace while sedan sales plummeted.

Honda also saw a once long-lived best-seller, a Accord, eclipsed by a CR-V ute for a second year in a row. Chevy and Ford tiny crossovers healthily outsold their newcomer cars stablemates, yet a RAV4, Rogue, and CR-V have been means to interpret their sales care in midsize sedans to compress SUVs.

The decrease of sedan sales has brought a reassessment of a marketplace from Detroit automakers. Japanese manufacturers are still bullish on cars, however, with both Toyota and Honda introducing an all-new Camry and Accord, respectively, for 2018.

“Our cars are doing really well,” says Honda America PR arch James Jenkins. “Civic continues to browbeat a compress shred and we are anxious with a launch of a new Accord. We are entirely committed to newcomer cars and will continue to pull that shred relocating forward.”

Henry Payne is automobile censor for The Detroit News. Find him during or Twitter @HenryEPayne. Catch “Car Radio with Henry Payne” from noon-1 p.m. Saturdays on 910 AM Superstation.

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