2015 Auto sales set all-time record

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Low gas prices lead to boom in truck, crossover sales as cars decline. At 17.5 million sold, 2015 beats 2000 record of 17.4 million.

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February 18, 2016

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General Motors

3.1 million; up 5%

Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon small pickups

70.2% of sales growth

Returning to small trucks provided GM with massive gains, up 10x from 2014.Add in an 11.2% gain in big pickups, and trucks offset declines in GM cars.

Toyota

2.5 million; up 5.3%

Small, mid-sized crossovers

64.2% of sales growth

Toyota posted only marginal declines for cars and small gains for bigger vehicles in 2015. Best performers were the Rav4 (17.8%), Highlander (8.8%), and 4Runner (26.2%).

Ford

2.6 million; up 5.3%

Commercial vans

40.6% of sales growth

With inventories for the redesigned F-150 down for most of the year, the Transit commercial van picked up the slack, growing nearly 5x during the year.

Fiat Chrysler

2.2 million; up 7.3%

Jeep Renegade

39.8% of sales growth

“All hail the new kids.” Buoyed by the song “Renegades” by the X Ambassadors, the small vehicle pushed Jeep sales up 25%, helping FCA grow despite poor car sales.

Volkswagen

551,642; up 0.5%

Volkswagen Golf

93.9% sales growth

VW sales fell nearly 5%, but gains at Audi from the Q3 small crossover and A3 small sedan offset the losses. The Golf was the VW brand’s bright spot.

Honda

1.6 million; up 3%

Honda HR-V

91.9% of sales growth

With the Accord sedan down 8.4%, a bright spot was the small crossover that went on sale in May. Overall sales broke Honda’s 2007 all-time record.

Hyundai/Kia

1.4 million; up 6.2%

Hyundai Elantra

24.1% of sales growth

Growth came from crossovers, but the Elantra gained while other compacts fell, passing Ford’s Focus and Chevy’s Cruze to come in third in its class.

Nissan

1.5 million; up 7.1%

Nissan Rogue

89.8% of sales growth

Nissan’s No. 2 vehicle, Rogue sales boomed by nearly 88,000 units, making it the poster child for growth in the small crossover market.

Best-selling car of 2015

Toyota Camry; 429,355; up 0.2%

Best-selling Truck of 2015

Ford F-Series; 780,354; up 3.5%