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2005 Bestsellers. . .So Far

Trucks continue to dominate U.S. vehicle sales during the first nine months of 2005

Full-size pickup trucks continue to be the most popular vehicles with American buyers. Sales for the first nine months of calendar 2005 show the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado as the two top sellers in the country, with the Dodge Ram coming in fourth, according to sales information published by the Automotive News Data Center.

The F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle in America for 22 years, and the truck had its best sales year ever in 2004 with 939,511 units sold. In the first nine months of 2005, 694,690 units of Ford’s full-size pickup have been sold.

Although trucks currently sit atop the best-seller list for the first three quarters of 2005, September showed a dramatic drop in sales for these large vehicles. Comparing September 2005 to September 2004, the F-Series was down 30 percent and the Silverado was down more than 37 percent.

An “Employee Discount” promotion boosted sales for GM by 46.9 percent in June, and the world’s largest automaker extended this deal through the end of September. Similar programs were offered by Ford and Chrysler with similar results for the summer.

The Ford Explorer, which for years has been the best-selling sport-utility vehicle in the country, holds onto that position for the first nine months of 2005. The Chevrolet TrailBlazer is the only other SUV listed in the top ten.

Without being part of any employee discount program, the Toyota Camry (including the Camry Solara) is currently the best-selling passenger car in America, staying ahead of the second place Honda Accord by about 45,000 units. Camry remains the third-best-selling vehicle overall. Following Accord in passenger car sales is the Honda Civic, which is sixth overall, and the Nissan Altima, which is eighth overall. Rounding out the top passenger cars is the Toyota Corolla in the tenth spot.

Note that all trucks and SUVs in the top ten are from domestic automakers, while all the passenger cars happen to be import brands. Here are the top ten bestsellers so far with total sales figures for the first nine months of 2005, based on data published by Automotive News:

Ford F-Series, 694,690;

Chevrolet Silverado, 570,278;

Toyota Camry, 336,349;

Dodge Ram, 318,812;

Honda Accord, 292,398;

Honda Civic, 233,838;

Nissan Altima, 205,145;

Ford Explorer, 196,878;

Chevrolet TrailBlazer, 190,964;

Toyota Corolla, 188,263.