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12 of The Best Selling Cars in the World 

The best selling cars in Canada and around the world might surprise you.

If you’re looking for information about the best selling cars in Canada and around the world you’ve come to the right place. Something to keep in mind: The “top selling” rank is calculated by different metrics depending on the Country or organization behind the statistics. Some vehicles achieve a first place finish by the number of car sales registrations during the calendar year, while others claim top spot from the amount of vehicles manufactured during the model year.

Either way, when best selling car statistics are taken with a grain of salt and a little leeway, it’s interesting to see which brands receive top sales honours in Canada as compared to other countries.

Top Selling Car in Canada: Honda Civic

The published numbers declared the Ford F-Series as the top selling brand in Canada in 2014. In the car category, the Honda Civic continued its long reign as small car king and is poised to remain in the top three throughout 2015. Other top selling cars with strong sales during the first three months of 2015 include the Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla.

Honda Civic

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Top Selling Car in USA: Toyota Camry

Although light duty trucks offered by Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge took the top three vehicle spots in the first quarter of 2015 south of the border, the top three cars purchased by Americans were a little different from Canadian choices. U.S. car buyers selected the Toyota Camry as the front runner while its smaller cousin the Toyota Corolla ranked second. The Nissan Altima’s third place finish rounded out the import’s podium sweep in the top selling car in America category.

 Toyota Camry

Top Selling Car in Italy: Fiat Panda

The Italian Association of the Automobile Industry released a report earlier this year which showed signs of recovery after a six year decline in vehicle sales. The Italian car market grew by 4% and reported 1.3 million registrations, a total equal to 1979 car sales. The top selling car in Italy was the Fiat Panda followed by another offering from Fiat , the Punto. As a matter of interest, Fiat had the 3rd ranking top car in Italy as well with the 500L.

Fiat Panda

Top Selling Car in India: Maruti Suzuki Alto

The top three best selling cars in India belong to Maruti Suzuki with the Alto on top followed by the Swift and Dzire models. Experts say every second car sold in India is a Maruti, thanks to a nation-wide network of supporting service and parts facilities. India’s auto industry has struggled over the past several years and the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers say, ” India’s automobile industry is set to miss the ambitious targets set in the Automotive Mission Plan for 2006-16 by a significant margin on account of slowing global demand and a sluggish domestic market.”

Suzuki Alto

Top Selling Car in Japan: Toyota Aqua

The top selling vehicle brands in Japan for the first quarter of 2015 were the same top three of 2014: Toyota (1), Honda (2) and Nissan (3). The number one selling car in Japan is currently the Toyota Aqua, a domestic hybrid that shares the same platform and utilizes the same powertrain as the Toyota Prius. The success of the mini car category in Japan may suffer some significant losses moving forward as buyers will have to absorb a large tax increase, which is already having an effect on sales numbers according to industry experts.

 Toyota Aqua

Top Selling Car in Sweden: Volvo V70

Sweden’s top five cars belong to just two brands: Volvo and Volkswagen. The only North American brand to crack the top 20 was the Ford Focus at 16th. The Volvo V70 ranked number one, as it has since 1996, and offers three different diesel engines and claims an eco-friendly 3.9l/100km on the highway when equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox.

Volvo V70

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Top Selling Car in Russia: Hyundai Solaris

Russia’s new car market has not performed well as of late. Economic sanctions over the Ukrainian crisis and a devalued currency are said to be two of the contributing factors to a 40% drop in new vehicle sales throughout the past year. Russia’s well known domestic brand, Lada, fell to second place in the latter part of 2014 to Kia’s Rio. This year the Hyundai Solaris is Russia’s top selling nameplate and thanks to new Government subsidies, a boost in auto sales is expected to round out the 2015 calendar year.

Hyundai Solaris

Top Selling Car in U.K

The U.K.’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reported more vehicle registrations so far in 2015 than any year prior and credits the abundance of finance incentives as the root cause of the boom. Ford received the highest ranking in the first quarter of 2015 with two models in the top three: Ford Fiesta followed by the Ford Focus. Vauxhall, a U.K. General Motors brand, seized third spot with the supermini Corsa Hatchback.

Ford Fiesta

Top Selling Car in Germany

Touted as the bestselling car in Europe, Volkswagen Golf purchasers proved German car buyers are loyal to their domestic brands with the top four spots all belonging to German manufacturers. Although buyers chose Volkswagen three times more than any other brand, second place belonged to Germany’s own Mercedes, Audi came third, and the beloved BMW brand placed fourth. Volkswagen added to the Golf line up with a new e-Golf (EV) version at the Frankfurt International Auto Show in September of 2014.

Volkswagen Golf

 Top Selling Car in South Africa

South Africa’s new car buyers preferred Toyota over any other brand in the first three months of 2015, with three models in the top ten followed by Ford in second and Volkswagen in third. The Toyota Hilux, a compact pick-up , was the top selling vehicle overall. Top car honours went to the VW Polo Vivo, a vehicle manufactured domestically and offered for sale around the world with a few exceptions.

Toyota Hilux

Top Selling Car in Brazil

The Fiat Palio was the bestselling car in Brazil last year followed by the Volkswagen Golf.  Brazil’s economy experienced a slowdown in 2014 and according to the Wall Street Journal new car sales were down by 7.1% . Nonetheless, Brazil’s year-end total was declared successful with over 3.5 million new cars registered. For a little perspective, the U.S. sold just over 16 million vehicles in 2014 while China sold 24 million vehicles overall; 19 million of the total sold were cars.

Fiat Palio

Top Selling Car in China

In the China Passenger Car Association’s Best Selling Sedans in 2014 list, Volkswagen was awarded three of the top four spots with almost 1 million units sold between three models: VW Lavida Sedan, VW Sagitar and VW Jetta. Japanese domestic brands on the rise and experiencing tremendous sales growth; 21% increase this year as compared to a much smaller, single digit growth rate for foreign manufacturers. As a result, China’s domestic vehicle brands hold eight out of ten top selling spots in the first quarter results of 2015.

First Quarter (Q1) 2015 Vehicle Sales by Country


Country 2015 Q1 New Vehicle Sales (Jan – Mar 2015)
Canada 368,563
USA 3.9 million
Italy 377,629
India 706,200
Japan 1.3 million
Sweden 67,803
Russia 383,700
U.K. 734,588
Germany 757,630
South Africa 152,689
Brazil 649,000
China 4.9 million

Global car sales on track to hit 74 million units in 2015

If numbers tell a story, then the rest of 2015 will be an interesting one as far as world car sales goes. With the top three Countries already at 10 million units for the first quarter of 2015, it’s hard to imagine how a finite resource can continue to fuel so many internal combustion engines year after year. That being said,   the Scotiabank Global Auto Report forecasts world auto sales to be in the neighbourhood of 73 million units by the end of 2015. That’s a lot of gas.

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