Fewer people bought cars in 2020 than usual, but some of the world’s largest automakers have weathered the pandemic year surprisingly well.
Drivers in the United States, as they have done every year for nearly four decades, have bought more Ford F-Series trucks than any other type of car. Those in countries like Argentina and Australia preferred Toyota pickup trucks, and Swiss drivers generally opted for a mid-size sedan made by Czech brand Skoda. That’s all according to data from the BestSellingCarsBlog.com website, which analyzed the car brands that dominated sales in different countries around the world last year.
Toyota topped all other auto brands in 2020 global sales, overtaking Volkswagen to regain the title of the world’s best-selling auto brand for the first time in five years. Toyota sold more than 9.5 million vehicles in 2020, down 11.3% from 2019 , but a less steep drop than Volkswagen’s 15% drop to 9.3 million cars sold in 2020.
Globally, Toyota also sold the most cars in 44 different countries around the world, according to data compiled from BestSellingCarsBlog.com by the AutomotiveTouchup site. Volkswagen finished second again, leading the standings in 14 countries.
The Toyota truck with global reach
While Toyota’s hugely popular Corolla sedan (over 1.1 million cars sold in 2020) and the Rav4 compact SUV (995,000 sold) were the two best-selling individual cars in the world in 2020, a surprise Toyota vehicle s he rose to the top of the country counts this year.
It would be the Toyota Hilux, a mid-size pickup truck sold in many markets around the world. The truck, which is often used in off-road racing competitions like the Dakar Rally in Senegal, starts at around $ 23,500 and was the best-selling vehicle of 2020 in 14 countries, including Argentina, the Australia, Panama, South Africa and Fiji. The Hilux hasn’t been available in the United States since the 1990s, when Toyota introduced its Tacoma pickup, but it has a reputation for being virtually indestructible (Toyota calls it the “toughest pickup in the world.” world “).
Another surprise for some American drivers: The Skoda Octavia featured prominently among the most popular cars in the world, although it was not available in the United States either. The family sedan is manufactured by Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-based Skoda Auto, a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group. It’s available across most of Europe with a base price of nearly $ 25,000 and was the best-selling 2020 car in six countries, including Austria, the Czech Republic and Switzerland.
Overall, Toyota and Volkswagen have dominated the world rankings. The Toyota Corolla was the best-selling car in six different countries, including Ireland, Finland and Taiwan. The Rav4 was the best-selling car in five different countries, including Estonia, Iceland and Ukraine. Drivers from six other countries, including Bahrain and Yemen, preferred Toyota’s Land Cruiser SUV.
By comparison, Volkswagen-owned brands were the most popular cars in 14 countries, including Germany (the VW Golf), Norway (Audi’s E-Tron electric SUV) and the Netherlands (the electric sedan VW ID.3).
Local flavors in major countries
In many of the world’s largest countries, local auto makers reigned supreme. Ford’s F-series trucks, including the F-150, dominated the North American market, even during the pandemic: Sales fell more than 12% in the United States in 2020, but trucks fell. still better sold than any other vehicle model in the United States and Canada last year.
Today, Ford is counting on this long-standing success to enter the burgeoning electric vehicle market at full speed. In May, the Dearborn, Mich.-Based company unveiled its all-electric version of the F-150 truck, at a time when many of the world’s largest automakers are stepping into a future with more electric vehicles on the market.
In Russia, the best-selling car in 2020 was the Lada Granta, a subcompact car manufactured by the Russian company Avtovaz (formerly Volga) and the French group Renault. The Lada Granta is a particularly affordable car, costing only the equivalent of almost $ 7,000. Meanwhile, the best-selling car in India was the Maruti Swift, an equally affordable subcompact hatchback that starts at the equivalent of around $ 7,800. It is manufactured by an Indian subsidiary of the Japanese company Suzuki Motor Corp.
Register now: Be smarter about your money and career with our weekly newsletter
From Tesla and Rivian to Ford and GM: Take a look at the electric trucks automakers are planning
New and used car prices are sky-high, here’s how to find a good deal