The Ford F-Series leads in Canada – but what vehicles are best sellers around the world in 2017?
Canada: Ford F-Series
Canada’s best-selling vehicle line since 2009, the Ford F-Series set a record with 155,290 sales in Canada in 2017. That equals roughly eight out of every 100 new vehicles sold in Canada.
United States: Ford F-Series
As in our home and native land, the U.S. new vehicle market finds its top seller in the Blue Oval showroom. The Ford F-Series jumped 9 percent to 896,764 sales in the U.S. in 2017, the best year for F-Series sales since 2005.
Mexico: Nissan Versa
While Canadians and Americans are beginning to grow accustomed to greater and greater Nissan market share, Nissan has been a dominant force in Mexico for decades. The top-selling vehicle at the top-selling brand is therefore Mexico’s top seller, the Nissan Versa. And while the Ford F-Series is the dominant pickup truck elsewhere in the NAFTA zone, Mexicans prefer midsize Nissan pickups.
Argentina: Volkswagen Gol
No, it’s not a typo. In Argentina, the best-selling vehicle is the Volkswagen Gol, not Golf. Think of the Gol as a close relative of the fifth-generation Volkswagen Polo, a car which has since been replaced. That’s akin to Canada’s best-selling vehicle being a previous-generation Hyundai Accent.
Australia: Toyota Hilux
Around the world, Toyota pickup trucks have an undying reputation for rugged durability. Sized similarly to the Toyota Tacoma – though it’s not the same truck – the Toyota Hilux is a top seller in a wide variety of markets. In Australia, the Hilux’s closest challenger is the Ford Ranger, which will finally go on sale in Canada for the 2019 model year.
Brazil: Chevrolet Onix
For a third consecutive year, the best-selling vehicle in Brazil’s improving market is the Chevrolet Onix, a Sonic-sized hatchback. Primarily a South American car, the Onix is assembled in Brazil. The Onix is marketed in sedan form as the Prisma.
China: Wuling Hongguang
With over 530,000 sales in 2017 – equal to about a quarter of the entire Canadian market – the Wuling Hongguang was once again the best-selling vehicle in the planet’s largest market. A practical minivan, the Hongguang’s Wuling associations make it part of GM’s high-volume Chinese operations.
Czech Republic: Skoda Octavia
For a ninth consecutive year, the best-selling vehicle in the Czech Republic is a product of the Czech Republic: the Golf-related Skoda Octavia. Skoda is part of the Volkswagen empire, and a steadily growing part of the VW Group, as well. The Octavia was the first of four top-selling Skodas, which own the podium, and then some.
France: Renault Clio
Finishing nearly 20,000 sales ahead of the next-best-selling Peugeot 208, a direct competitor for the subcompact Renault, the Renault Clio stood firm in 2017 as France’s most popular vehicle. Ranked third in France last year was the country’s top-selling SUV, the second-generation Peugeot 3008.
Germany: Volkswagen Golf
Generating three times the volume of the second-ranked vehicle, the Volkswagen Golf continued as Germany’s best-selling vehicle in 2017. It’s a streak that dates to 1980 in the Golf’s home market, where the state of Lower Saxony is a part owner of the company.
Greece: Toyota Yaris
In Canada, the Toyota Yaris is far less popular than it was a decade ago. 83-percent less popular, to be precise. In Greece, the Toyota Yaris has been the best-selling vehicle in each of the last five years.
India: Maruti Alto
Known as the Suzuki Maruti Alto, this subcompact Indian-built car averaged over 21,000 monthly sales in India. Its next closest competitor – also a Maruti Suzuki – averaged fewer than 19,000 sales per month. In fact, Maruti Suzuki products claimed all five of the top positions.
Ireland: Hyundai Tucson
No auto market in Europe took a harder hit in 2017 than the Republic of Ireland. The Irish market tumbled 10 percent, year-over-year. Moreover, the top-selling vehicle, Hyundai’s Tucson, took a 34-percent hit. Nevertheless, the Tucson topped the leaderboard for a second consecutive year.
Israel: Kia Picanto
In Israel, all four of the top-selling models in 2017 posted double-digit percentage losses. That includes the Kia Picanto, the top-selling model in Israel, which reclaimed a position it previously held in 2013 and 2015.
Italy: Fiat Panda
Not only is the Fiat Panda the best-selling vehicle in Italy, it’s the best-selling vehicle by a long shot. The Panda’s closest competitor, the Lancia Ypsilon (also a part of the Fiat Chrysler empire), was outsold by the Panda by more than two-to-one. Incidentally, the third-ranked model is another Fiat, the Tipo.
Japan: Toyota Prius
Challenged most closely by the car we know as the Nissan Versa Note, the Toyota Prius maintained its position in its home market of of Japan in 2017. The Honda N-Box was the top-selling Kei car. And for the first time in history, a utility vehicle, the Toyota C-HR (which earns SUV status) claimed monthly top seller honours, albeit only in April.
Norway: Volkswagen Golf
While rapidly evolving, the Norwegian market is stable at the top. The Volkswagen Golf has been Norway’s best-selling vehicle in each of the last ten years. But as a sign of the distinct Norwegian market, the Tesla Model X ranks fourth overall; the Tesla Model S ranks ninth.
Philippines: Toyota Fortuner
The Philippines was one of the world’s three fastest-growing markets in 2017, and the vehicle that leads the fast-growing market is the Toyota Hilux-based Toyota Fortuner SUV. Launched less than three years ago in second-gen form, the 4Runner-sized Fortuner is now assembled in Argentina, Thailand, Pakistan, and Indonesia. The Fortuner is joined in the Philippines by three other Toyotas in the top four.
Romania: Dacia Logan
With more than 17,000 sales, the Dacia Logan was the best-selling vehicle in its home market of Romania in 2017. Dacia, a Renault/Nissan-owned company, positions two other models, the Duster and Sandero, as the second and third-best-selling vehicles in Romania.
Russia: Lada Vesta
In 2016, for the first time since 1970, an import brand vehicle took control as Russia’s best-selling vehicle. The Sonata-related Hyundai Solaris gave way to the Lada Vesta in 2017, though Hyundai and Kia still rank as the No.2 and No.3 top brands.
South Africa: Toyota Hilux
After three years of decline, South African auto sales improved in 2017. By a wide margin, South Africa is the largest auto market in Africa. The Toyota Hilux is the best-selling vehicle in South Africa, where it’s known as a bakkie. The Volkswagen Polo, Toyota Corolla/Auris/Quest, and Renault Kwid are among the most popular cars.
South Korea: Hyundai Grandeur
Doubling its volume, the Hyundai Grandeur took over from the Hyundai Porter commercial-oriented truck as South Korea’s best-selling vehicle in 2017. The Porter ranked second, followed by two more Hyundais and then Kias. The Grandeur is essentially the Hyundai Azera that was discontinued in Canada nearly a decade ago.
Spain: Seat Leon
For a fourth consecutive year, the Seat Leon was the best-selling vehicle in Spain in 2017, the best year for Spanish auto sales since 2007. Rental cars continue to be a vital component in the Spanish auto market, representing nearly a fifth of the market.
Sweden: Volvo XC60
It’s not unusual to see a Volvo end the year as the best-selling vehicle in Sweden, Volvo’s home market. After all, Volvo owns roughly a fifth of the Swedish market. But 2017 was the first year for the Volvo XC60, which transitioned into a new generation last year. The Volvo 90 Series – S90 and V90 – ranked second.
Taiwan: Toyota Corolla
In the dense Taiwanese market, Toyotas are the dominant force. Toyota sold nearly 15,000 Sientas, more than 22,000 RAV4s, and nearly 40,000 copies of the Corolla Altis. Japanese-branded vehicles also claim the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth positions on the best sellers list.
Turkey: Fiat Egea
Boosted by an additional bodystyle, the Renault Megane ranked second in Turkish auto sales in 2017, but the Fiat Egea is tops for a second consecutive year. Although auto sales in Turkey declined in 2017, it was still the country’s third-highest-volume year in history.
UAE: Nissan Patrol
In the United Arab Emirates and numerous gulf states, high-end large SUVs are often destined for success. So it is with the Nissan Patrol, a vehicle which operates in Canada as the second-generation Nissan Armada. In the UAE, the Patrol range even includes a performance-oriented Nismo version.
United Kingdom: Ford Fiesta
2017 was the ninth consecutive year of British sales leadership for the Ford Fiesta. For more than four decades, one Ford or another has been the UK’s top-selling vehicle. For the Fiesta, best seller status only tells part of the story. It’s the degree to which the Fiesta dominates that turns heads. The Fiesta beat its nearest rival, the Volkswagen Golf, by a 27-percent margin in 2017. The Ford Focus ranked third overall.
We’re well aware of Canada’s leaders: the Ford F-Series is Canada’s best-selling vehicle line, the Honda Civic led all cars in 2017, the Toyota RAV4 was tops among SUVs.
But what about the rest of the world? We’ve compiled a list sampling vehicles from different markets on each continent, including all of the most major automobile markets in the world. Suffice to say, because of tax, regulatory, and density differences, tastes vary wildly. Best sellers are sources by a variety of publications, including Focus2Move, BestSellingCarsBlog, Automotive News, and the SMMT.