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America’s First Top Model

By Holly

Have you ever wondered what the best selling vehicles are? Does the condition of the economy impact these sales? Or perhaps it has to do with the region of the country a person lives that determines more what a person drives. Let’s take a look at what consumer trends are driving these sales.

In 2014, the cost of gasoline started high with the national average at $3.28 gallon. As the year ended, that average fell to just over $2.00. Some states seeing well below that! Since 2011, the national average cost for a gallon of gasoline has hovered around $3.54, give or take, with 2012 seeing the highest average at $3.63/gallon. With these kinds of statistics, it may be instinctive to think Americans opted for the compact, fuel efficient sedans but that is not exactly the case.

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The next thing to consider when buying a vehicle depends on where one lives and their lifestyle needs. According the US Census Bureau, 10.8 million people commute an hour or more to work each way. And of that 10.8 million, 600,000 commute more than 90 minutes each way. However looking at the national commute average, we find it being 25.5 minutes. A large marginal difference when compared to the some 120 million full time employees in Nov. 2014. Less than 10% of employed Americans have extreme commutes.

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A final consideration consumers look at when purchasing a vehicle has to do with lifestyle needs. Family size, employment needs and recreational activities can persuade the average buyer to seek a certain type of vehicle.

The bigger the better? A very possible conclusion according to the buying trends over the last few years. In fact, the Ford F series pickups have repeatedly held the number 1 spot for the last 32 years! A trend that doesn’t seem to be fading any time soon. So despite the ups and downs of the economic climate, why do Americans gravitate toward this full size pickup truck? Perhaps it’s the versatility, the practicalities, or the essence of “America” that these vehicles represent. Home grown, dependable, hard-working, independent…Yes.

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*Ford F Series Then and Now* 1982-2015.

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But in case you are curious about what other vehicles rounded out the top 10 in 2014, here is a list provided by KBB.

  1. Ford Fusion
  2. Honda Civic
  3. Honda CR-V
  4. Nissan Altima
  5. Toyota Corolla
  6. Honda Accord
  7. Toyota Camry
  8. Ram Trucks
  9. Chevy Silverado
  10. Ford F Series