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U.S. car sales 1951-2018

U.S. car sales from 1951 to 2018 (in 1,000 units)

by I. Wagner, last edited Sep 3, 2019
U.S. car sales 1951-2018 How many cars are sold in the U.S.? The number of passenger cars sold in the U.S. stood at a little over 5.3 million units in 2018. Total car and light truck sales were 17.2 million in the United States and around 78.6 million units worldwide in 2018.

Focus on fuel economy

The U.S. auto industry had one of its worst years in 1982, when customers were beginning to feel the effects of the 1973 oil crisis and the energy crisis of 1979. Since light trucks would often be considered less fuel-efficient, cars accounted for about 77 percent of light vehicle sales back then. Thanks to improved fuel economy for light trucks and cheaper gas prices, this picture had completely changed in 2018. Between 2013 and 2018, prices for Brent oil roughly dropped by 43 U.S. dollars per barrel. The decline occurred in tandem with lower gasoline prices, which came to about 2.72 U.S. dollars per gallon in 2018 - and cars only accounted for just over 30 percent of light vehicle sales that year.

Most sought-after models

The best-selling car models in the U.S. include Japanese cars such as the Toyota Camry and the Honda Civic, while the Ford F-Series and the Chevrolet Silverado topped the list of the best-selling light trucks in the United States in 2018.
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U.S. car sales from 1951 to 2018 (in 1,000 units)

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