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In 15 U.S. States, the Top-Selling Vehicle in 2021 Wasn’t a Pickup Truck

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In the trade, January is a month for being bombarded with sales figures looking back on the year just ended. When we analyze the numbers, a lot of different kind of stuff reveals itself, some of it even jumps out at us. There are always interesting discoveries behind the data.

There are obvious things, for instance that the Ford F-150 is the best-selling vehicle overall, once again – ahead of the other pickup trucks from the Big Three, the Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado, in that order. However, when you combine the sales figures of the Silverado (Chevrolet) and Sierra (GMC) models, you learn that GM actually sells more pickups overall than Ford.

No matter how you break it down, the fact is that pickups rule. However, model sales are not uniform across all states and regions. For example, in the U.S., there are 35 states where the best-selling vehicle was a pickup truck. No surprise there. The Ford F-150 dominated in 20 of those. Also no surprise. The Ram 1500 (6 states), Chevrolet Silverado (4), Toyota Tacoma (3), Nissan Frontier (1) and GMC Sierra (1) rounded out the list.

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Nissan Frontier, the top-selling vehicle... in Hawaii!
Photo: D.Heyman
Nissan Frontier, the top-selling vehicle... in Hawaii!

We won't name all 15 states in which the Ford F-150 led, but the outliers are what’s interesting here: the GMC Sierra outsold all others in Arkansas, while the Nissan Frontier proved to be the most popular vehicle in... Hawaii.

As for the 15 states in which a vehicle that’s NOT a pickup sold the most, here too you can find some interesting oddities and trends.

Honda CR-V
Photo: D.Boshouwers
Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V was a favourite in the Northeast, leading the sales hit parade in six states, including Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut, and New York. The Toyota RAV4, meanwhile, was the sales champion in three states: South Carolina, Massachusetts and Florida as well as Florida.

Toyota saw another of its vehicles top sales in more than one state: the Camry sedan, in North Carolina and Alabama. Yes, a sedan!

Toyota Camry
Photo: Toyota
Toyota Camry

After that, we note that four models managed to outsell all others in exactly one state. The one-hit wonders were the Toyota Highlander in Rhode Island, Honda Civic in California, Hyundai Tucson in Illinois and Subaru Crosstrek in, as you may have guessed, Vermont.

So why does the Tucson, for example, lead the way in Illinois, but only in Illinois? Why would the Highlander be the preferred choice in Rhode Island, but not in neighbouring Connecticut? Good questions.

One other thing that stands out is that there are two cars on the list: the Toyota Camry and the Honda Civic.

We'll be back at the beginning of the week with another dig through the sales data for North America.

Ford F-150 Raptor
Photo: Ford
Ford F-150 Raptor