Pickups dominate America’s 10 best-selling autos in 2020

2021 Ford F-150 Limited


Look no further than last year’s best-selling auto industry vehicle for evidence of America’s love for pickups.

Led by trucks from Detroit automakers, pickups made up five of the industry’s top ten best-selling vehicles in 2020, despite rising prices and the coronavirus pandemic.

Ford Motor’s F-Series truck maintained its decades of sales dominance, followed by pickups from General Motors and Fiat Chrysler. The three best-selling pickups accounted for about 13% of the 14.5 million vehicles estimated in the U.S. last year

“Pickup trucks have been very successful. They handled this pandemic so well,” Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights at Edmunds auto research firm, told CNBC. “They’ve all boosted their respective businesses. The Detroit companies in particular have kept business afloat pretty well.”

When sales to commercial and other fleet customers stalled during the coronavirus pandemic, automakers touted retail customers who were buying pickups as fast as they could produce in 2020. After about a two-month shutdown, companies are still trying to replenish their North American crops last spring due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It was amazing. It was like pulling a rabbit out of your hat. I think automakers were basically wizards at truck sales this year,” said Jeff Schuster, president of LMC Automotive in America. “It’s been a remarkable year for trucks.”

Ford’s F-Series, which includes the F-150 and its larger siblings, remained America’s best-selling vehicle for the 39th consecutive year and the best-selling truck in the industry for the 44th consecutive year. GM’s Chevrolet Silverado regained its silver medal position after falling to third behind Fiat Chrysler’s Ram pickup in 2019.

Newcomers to the top 10 selling vehicles last year included GM’s GMC Sierra and the Toyota Tacoma, which outbid the Toyota Corolla compact car. Compared to 2019, the Corolla and Nissan Rogue dropped from the sales list, taking sixth place in 2019.

Here is the full list of America’s 10 Best Selling Vehicles in 2020:

1. Ford F-series (Sales of 787,422 units, 12.2% less than 2019)

Jim Farley, Ford CEO, takes off his mask at the Ford Built for America event at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant on September 17, 2020 in Dearborn, Michigan.

Nic Antaya | Getty Images

2. Chevrolet Silverado (594,094, plus 3.2%)

2019 Chevrolet Silverado LT Trail Boss

Source: General Motors

3. Ram pickup (563,676, minus 11%)

2019 Ram 1500

Mack Hogan / CNBC

4. Toyota RAV4 (430,387, minus 3.9%)

2018 Toyota Rav 4 exhibited at the 2018 New York International Auto Show on March 29, 2018.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

5. Honda CR-V (333,502, minus 13.2%)

6. Toyota Camry (294,348, minus 12.7%)

Toyota Camry TRD

Source: Toyota

7. Chevrolet Equinox (270,994, minus 21.7%)

A Chevrolet Equinox SUV is shown on the production line at SAIC-GM’s WIC manufacturing facility in Wuhan, China on April 7, 2017.

VCG | Getty Images

8. Honda Civic (261,225, minus 19.8%)

2021 Honda Civic Sedan


9. GMC Sierra (253,016, up 8.9%)

2021 GMC Sierra HD pickup


10. Toyota Tacoma (238,806, minus 4%)

2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD off-road

Source: Toyota

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