The 10 Best Selling American Cars in History
What Is The Best Selling American Car Of All Time?
Updated October 3, 2018
American automobile manufacturers have been releasing amazing muscle cars over the past few years and appear to be experiencing a resurgence of sorts. Cars such as the Dodge Hellcat, Chevrolet Camaro Z28, Corvette z06 and others appear to be winning the horsepower wars with very powerful cars that represent tremendous value when looking at horsepower per dollar.
American vehicles and auto manufacturers are mentioned many times in the record books for their accomplishments. One of the most distinguished measures has to do with records about production. While an American vehicle holds the number two spot for the highest production numbers in the World, who is on the list for the top selling American cars in history?
Without further ado, here is the list:
Ford F-Series Pickup Truck (1949-Present)
36 million units sold
The best-selling American car of all time is not a car, but rather a truck. It is still going strong almost 70 years after its introduction. With a reputation as a work horse, many Ford trucks have been purchased as a work vehicle for rugged tasks. It’s durability, reliability and utility has made the F-Series is the second best-selling brand in the World, second only to the Toyota Corolla.
Ford Escort (1968-2003)
20 million units sold
The Ford Escort was introduced in Europe in 1968. Europeans immediately took to its sleek design and economy. Since its release, the Ford Escort has found tremendous success in motorsports in Europe and throughout the World. In 1981, the Escort was released in the United States as a replacement to the Ford Pinto. While Americans embraced the Escort, Europeans had much more enthusiasm for the vehicle than American consumers. Of the total vehicles sold, Ford claims that more than half of sales were in Europe.
Ford Model T (1908-1927)
16.5 million units sold
Before the Model T, only the rich could own an automobile. Henry Ford’s contribution was not only the Model T, but the assembly line as well. The result was a car people could afford. Priced at $825 when it first came out, (approaching $22,000 in 2016 prices), the Model T was priced one-third the price of other cars in the day. As a result, it is obvious why the Model T is on this list.
Chevrolet Impala (1958-Present)
15 million units sold
When the Impala was first released, it caught the eye of performance enthusiasts and had quite a following. In recent years, it has had a reputation for no-frills transportation. The Impala is a staple of rental car, police and taxi fleets throughout the United States. The Impala is in its 10 generation and continues to sell very strongly, especially as a fleet vehicle.
Ford Fiesta (1976-Present)
15 million units sold
The Fiesta is about economy and budget. It is primarily targeted at young, first time car buyers or people seeking an economical vehicle. Fiestas start at around $15,000 and go up from there. The Fiesta is truly a global car in that most Fiestas are produced in Germany. Assembly lines producing much smaller numbers exist in China, Thailand, and Mexico.
Oldsmobile Cutlass (1961-1999)
11.9 million units sold
Over the years, the Oldmobile Cutlass has been available in many different body styles including a two door, four-seater, four door sedan and station wagon. Additionally, the Oldsmobile Cutlass has been produced as compact vehicle all the way to high performance muscle car. Like the Mustang and Olds 88, the Cutlass holds a special place in American culture. Its most popular nameplate is the Cutlass Supreme, a mid-sized, mid-priced car that was the best selling passenger car in the United States in 1976.
Ford Focus (1998-Present)
10 million units sold
Emerging first n 1998, the Ford Focus is on track to be at the top of this list in the next few years if things continue as they have been. Ford claims that the Focus has been the most popular name-plate in the World since 2012, based on vehicle registrations. A big part of the Focus’ success is attributed to its fuel economy of 40mpg. As long as our economy remains challenged, the Focus will continue to sell well.
Ford Mustang (1964-Present)
9.4 million units sold
First revealed at the New York World’s Fair in 1964, the Ford Mustang went on sale at dealerships that same day. Buyers flocked to dealers with their checkbooks in hand, buying 685,989 Mustangs by the end of 1965. The Mustang is indelibly linked to American culture. It has been symbolized in song and cinema alike since its release. To this day, there are many car clubs around the World focused exclusively on the Ford Mustang. Its influence can be found in many leading muscle cars from the era including the Camaro, Firebird, Challenger, AMC Javelin and Plymouth Barracuda. Vehicles influenced that are not muscle cars include the Toyota Celica and Mercury Capri.
Oldsmobile 88 (1949-1999)
8.8 million units sold
Towards the end of its production run, Oldsmobile and the Oldsmobile 88 were very popular amongst more mature buyers. However, when the Oldsmobile 88 was first introduced, it appealed very strongly to the younger generation. In fact, the Olds 88 is widely regarded as the first muscle car. At the time, it dominated NASCAR and also found its way into the popular culture. As time went on, the Olds 88 was renamed the Eight-Eight and became associated with larger, more luxurious models targeted at older buyers. As Oldsmobile’s luster faded in the 80s and 90s, so went the 88.
Ford Taurus (1986-Present)
7.8 million units sold
The Ford Taurus entered production in the mid 1980s with great expectation. Ford’s first vehicle with front wheel drive, the aerodynamic shape of the Taurus was well received by consumers in the marketplace. By the 1990s, it was the best selling car in the United States, dominating sales between 1992 and 1996. Because of the emerging popularity of imports such as the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, sales of the Taurus waned. At the time, Ford was also focused on building profitable trucks and SUVs, rather than the Taurus.. As would be expected, sales plummeted and production stopped in 2006. A year later, Ford reversed their position and the Taurus was once again in dealer showrooms. The Ford Taurus is currently in its sixth generation. Because of the increase in competition in the marketplace, sales of the Taurus are only a fraction of what they were in their heyday in the 90s.
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