We from Motor1.com have a passion for statistics. Because numbers sometimes say more than words. Twelve editorial teams from our network have now joined forces and collected the data on the world’s best-selling cars in 2021.
The ranking confirms the trends of recent years and highlights the differences in taste. While the US is still big on SUVs and pick-ups, European drivers tend to prefer smaller vehicles, although their size can vary greatly depending on the country.
Australia, Argentina and Brazil are all into medium-sized pickups, while in populous countries like Indonesia there is a clear preference for vans.
Compact sizes in Germany and France
A detailed examination of Europe reveals interesting results. The VW Golf was the most popular new car in Germany and Europe, but how JATO Dynamics found out, it has lost a lot of market share in the last three years. The share of domestic registrations in the overall market is 3.5%, the lowest level since 1980.
In addition to the general competition from SUVs, internal competitors such as the VW T-Roc and the new ID.3 have also been introduced in recent years. In Germany, for example, right behind the Golf we find the T-Roc and the Tiguan (also in an Allspace version).
In France – the second largest car market in Europe – the Peugeot 208 overtook the Renault Clio, but none could beat the strong growth of the Dacia Sandero (+44% compared to 2020 and +11% compared to 2019), which took third place in the ranking. It was the first time since 2004 that Peugeot’s small car outsold Renault’s.
Best selling cars in France.
Best selling cars in Germany.
Preferences in North America
As we know, the chip crisis and ongoing uncertainty from the pandemic have had a negative impact on auto demand over the past year. However, the markets of each country have changed little in terms of consumer preferences for vehicle types.
Ford’s F-Series, for example, continued to dominate the US light truck market with 726,000 units (the total includes the F-150, F-250, F-350 and F-450 models). In 2021, nearly 5 out of every 100 “light” vehicles sold in the US were a Ford F-Series. Of course, Dodge’s Ram series and Chevrolet’s Silverado series followed in second and third place. Their combined market share was 11.9% in 2021 – the fourth largest since 1980. Incidentally, the Ford F-Series was also the best-selling car in Canada with 111,332 units.
Best Selling Cars in the USA.
Pick-ups in Südamerika
Pick-ups were also popular in the south of the American continent. In Brazil – the largest car market in Latin America – the Fiat Strada topped the list with 109,107 units in 2021, accounting for 5.5% of the total market.
This was the best result for this small pick-up since its launch in 1996. The Fiat Strada has become a reference for fun and work in the middle class looking for an efficient and high-performing vehicle. Two city cars follow: the Hyundai HB20 and the Fiat Argo.
The best selling cars in Brazil.
The Fiat Cronos was the market leader in Argentina. This small, locally built sedan gained confidence thanks to its price, looks and wide availability. It ended the Toyota Hilux’s winning streak of the last three years.
The Hilux took second place. Followed by another pick-up: the VW Amarok. Despite its age (market launch in 2010), the VW was able to achieve an unbelievable third place.
The best selling cars in Argentina.
Big changes in the UK
The UK was probably the market with the most changes. For the first time since 2009, the Ford Fiesta didn’t take first place. The top spot went to the Opel Corsa, sold in the UK under the Vauxhall brand, which made it onto the podium for the first time since its launch.
While the Corsa became more popular, the Fiesta suffered severe losses. These are mainly due to the fact that the raised sister model Puma makes the Fiesta the customers disputed. Meanwhile, the Tesla Model 3 was already in second place, achieving its best result among the ten largest car markets in the world.
The best selling cars in the UK.
And in Italy?
Unlike in the UK, the top 3 cars in Italy have hardly changed. The Fiat Panda continued to dominate with 112,298 units, accounting for a 7.6% market share. Although volume increased by 1.2% in 2020, it fell by 18.8% in 2019.
The Panda, which despite its age (launched in 2011) is still the market leader, was followed by the Fiat 500 and the Lancia Ypsilon, which together accounted for 13.8% of all new cars in Italy. This is the best result since 2016.
The best selling cars in Italy.
SUVs in Spain
The top 3 in Spain consists of two SUVs. The Seat Arona and the new Hyundai Tucson. On the other hand, the Dacia Sandero took third place. For the first time since its launch in 2017, the Arona led the way in this market.
The big star, however, is the fourth-generation Hyundai. The improvements could position this C-SUV ahead of other popular models like the Nissan Qashqai (14,626 units), VW Tiguan (7,990) and Peugeot 3008 (16,831).
The best selling cars in Spain.
What about Hungary and Turkey?
In Hungary, the market was dominated by Suzuki. The brand was able to achieve a market share of almost 15% with the Vitara and the S-Cross. In fact, since 2016, the Suzuki Vitara has been the best-selling car in the country. Third place went to the Fiat 500, the best placement this city car has achieved since it entered the market.
Further east, the leaders in Turkey were more or less the same as in previous years. Thus, the Fiat Egea was confirmed at the top thanks to its sedan version, very popular with taxi drivers. This model has been a leader on the market since 2016. However, the Toyota Corolla has seen stronger growth since 2020. Will he manage to beat the Fiat 2022?
The best selling cars in Turkey.
The best selling cars in Hungary.
Lada dominates in Russia
As always, Lada products were the preferred vehicles in Russia. According to AEB, the Lada Vesta surpassed the Granta to become the country’s best-selling car with 113,700 units – up 6% from 2020. It was followed by the Granta itself, down 12%, and the Kia Rio, again in third place occupied place.
Indonesia – the second largest market in the Southeast Asia region after Thailand – confirmed its preference for vans. Last year almost 45% of new car sales were of this body type. In fact, the top 3 show their key position among consumers.
The best selling cars in Russia.
The best selling cars in Indonesia.