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Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: January 2017

img2105929901 1476306913638 jpg 2017 Honda CR-V | photo by Aaron Bragman

CARS.COM — The new year certainly didn’t begin with a bang. With the top seven automakers reporting, new-car sales dipped 3.5 percent in January. One segment drove much of the decline: mid-size family cars, which shoppers dumped like last year’s leftovers. The class tumbled 20.9 percent versus an also-weak January 2016 as popular models like the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion didn’t even make the top 10.

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In fact, just one family car did: the Toyota Camry, and it was No. 10 at that. We analyzed 63 months of past sales data, and Toyota’s popular sedan has never fallen once to No. 10. In fact, it’s been a top-five seller for all but five of those months. But the No. 10 finish has been a few months coming: From August to December 2016, the Camry slipped from the top-five sales ranking four out of five times as compact SUVs flooded the highest ranks instead.

Flood they still did. Shoppers snapped up the Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue, up 52.5 percent and 45.5 percent respectively, to land the pair in the top non-pickup-truck slots for the second month in a row.

Pickups had a strong month. With new-home construction finishing 2016 at a solid pace, shoppers kept full-size models easily atop the list in January, with the Ford F-Series up 12.5 percent to remain the month’s best-selling model by a big margin. F-Series sales helped lift full-size pickups to a 4.1 percent gain for the month, with mid-size pickups up 2.5 percent.

The industry’s overall decline was expected, but analysts are hardly panicking. Government wage indexes showed the smallest quarterly increase since mid-2015, but the post-election stock market has generally benefited investors and consumer confidence remains strong. Unemployment is still low, too.

Two analysts expressed measured optimism at January’s auto sales.

Chris Hopson, a forecasting manager for IHS Markit, called the results “in-line with the year-ago level and a decent start to the new year” in a commentary today. And senior analyst Stephanie Brinley called the coming year a “healthy environment overall” despite an expected small decline.

Here are January’s top 10 best-selling cars:

img2115531967 1485981095209 jpg chart by Paul Dolan


Photo of Kelsey Mays
Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price. Email Kelsey Mays

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