It was a year of rebuilding in the automotive industry in more ways than one. Overall, automakers were overcoming a disastrous U.S. economy, and a tsunami in March dealt Japanese automakers a tremendous blow to production of popular cars. Those two storylines directly impacted the top 10 cars of the year in terms of sales.
While the Toyota Camry remained the best-selling car in the country in 2011, the rest of the top four sellers from 2010 — Honda Accord, Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, respectively — tumbled down the list with the Civic falling off the top 10 completely, though it was the 12th best-selling car of 2011 and the Honda CR-V was the 13th.
A redesigned Civic was launched at possibly the worst time after the tsunami in Japan, leaving many dealers with inventory shortages for months.
Nissan wasn’t as negatively impacted by the tsunami, leaving room for the Nissan Altima to land the second spot in terms of car sales. The Ford Escape and Ford Fusion follow the Altima on the list, and Chevy’s surprising Cruze compact made the list at No. 10.
Trucks still ruled the top two spots, however, with the Ford F-Series and Chevy Silverado seeing sales grow year over year by 10.7% and 12.2%, respectively.