It's been proven on more than one occasion that the automotive market is far more difficult to predict than it would seem. While 2008 saw record gasoline and oil prices, as well as an enormous economic slump, nearly half of the top 10 best-selling vehicles in the U.S. in 2008 were trucks and SUVs. Today, we look at the best and worst performing vehicles of 2008 in terms of change in sales, and the numbers are, again, surprising.
Yesterday, we revealed to you The Top 10 Best-Selling Vehicles of 2008 in the U.S. Despite all the recent noise from Congress about how U.S. consumers are demanding small, efficient, and green cars, the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado trucks took their usual first and second place spots in terms of raw sales numbers. They were followed by a number of midsize sedans, with the list rounded out by the Dodge Ram and Honda CR-V crossover.
Today, we're looking at the numbers differently, but as you'll see, the results are somewhat similar in terms of the trends they show. First, we looked at the best-performing vehicles of 2008 in the U.S., which we've ranked by the greatest positive percentage change in sales volume in 2008 over 2007 numbers. To keep the list as realistic as possible, we've left off vehicles that were introduced at the end of 2007, as the bulk of their total sales came in 2008 and skewed the numbers. These include the Audi A5 (+905.1%), the Infiniti EX (+4,120%) and the Dodge Journey (+43,108%). We've also left out low-volume supercars, as their small numbers make for greater changes in percentages. These include the Dodge Viper (+169%) and the Audi R8 (+275%).
Second, we broke down the worst-performing vehicles of 2008 in the U.S., as determined by the negative percentage change in vehicle sales between 2007 and 2008 numbers. Here again, we've left out low-volume vehicles, as there are many specialty brands being sold in the U.S. If, for example, only one Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione was sold in the U.S. last year, it says little about the actual success or failure of that vehicle.
Below are the best- and worst-performing vehicles in the U.S. in 2008, in terms of sales change between 2007 and 2008:
The Best-Performing Vehicles of 2008:
1. Nissan Rogue (+310.2%)
2. Lexus LX (+219.7%)
3. Scion xD (+151.9%)
4. Volvo C30 (+105.7%)
5. Volkswagen R32 (+76.9%)
6. Mazda5 (+60.0%)
7. Buick Enclave (+52.7%)
8. Honda Fit (+40.9%)
9. Chevrolet Malibu (+38.9%)
10. Jeep Patriot (+38%)
The Worst-Performing Vehicles of 2008:
1. Jeep Commander (-56%)
2. Mercury Mountaineer (-55.6%)
3. Dodge Durango (-53%)
4. Hummer H3 (-52.4%)
5. Volvo S60 (-51.6%)
6. Tie: Hummer H2 and Dodge Nitro (-51%)
7. Tie: Mazda B-Series and Nissan Armada (-50.4%)
8. Lexus SC (-49.6%)
9. Dodge Dakota (-49%)
10. Tie: Toyota FJ Cruiser and Nissan Titan (-48.2%)