Best Performing Automotive Models, Brands and Segments

December 2021

This briefing examines the best performing automotive models, brands and light vehicle segments globally and regionally. The automotive industry has been going through a rough patch over the last few years, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the current semiconductor shortage which are constraining sales volumes. The industry has been transforming over the last decade with brands focusing more on SUVs and Crossovers and non-internal combustion engine vehicles.

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Key Findings

Toyota Corolla is the most popular light vehicle model

In 2021, the Toyota Corolla is expected to remain the world’s most popular light vehicle model for the eighth year in a row. Asia Pacific is expected to account for 58% of all Toyota Corolla sales in 2021, followed by North America with 23%.

SUVs and crossovers dominate

SUVs and crossovers have surged in popularity and 2021 is expected to be another good year. In 2021, 41% of all light vehicle sales are expected to be SUVs and crossovers. The Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V are forecast to be the second and third most popular models in 2021.

Electric models are surging in popularity

Car manufacturers are making the swift transition to alternative fuel vehicles, especially electric powertrains. The Wuling Hongguang is expected to become the third most popular model in Asia with the arrival of the mini EV. Tesla is similarly performing well with its large SUV and crossover, Model Y, forecast to record a 300% y-o-y increase in 2021 sales.

Consumer tastes differ by region for vehicle types

Light vehicle sales differ by region based on vehicle segments and this is important for car manufacturers to understand. In North America, larger vehicles dominate such as large SUVs and crossovers, while in Western Europe, smaller models are more popular.

Scope

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Key Findings

Key findings
Light vehicle sales overview in 2021
Top 10 largest markets to concentrate three quarters of all light vehicle sales globally in 2021
SUVs and crossovers continues to be the most popular light vehicle category in 2021
10 largest brands and share of vehicle sales by segment
Global ranking of the best-selling light vehicles models
Toyota Corolla forecast to be the most popular model for the eighth year in a row in 2021
Toyota expected to be the most popular brand for cars in 2021 despite semiconductor woes
Electric models showing good progress as sustainability drive curbs fossil fuel powertrains
Asia Pacific shifts away from medium cars to SUVs and crossovers
Toyota is the most popular brand in Asia Pacific
10 largest brands and share of vehicle sales by segment in Asia Pacific
Ranking of the most popular light vehicle models in Asia Pacific
Toyota Corolla expected to retain the lead in 2021 despite strong showing of other models
North American market increasingly dominated by SUVs and crossovers
North America is a key market for large SUVs and crossovers and pick-ups
10 largest brands and share of vehicle sales by segment in North America
Ford’s F-Series expected to maintain lead for 12th year in a row
Pick-ups dominate the North American market; SUVs and crossovers poised for growth
SUVs and crossovers to overtake small cars as the largest segment in Latin America
Fiat’s control of the Latin American market is under threat from brands with strong SUV sales
10 largest brands and share of vehicle sales by segment in Latin America
Chevrolet Onix expected to lose out to Fiat Strada in 2021 as the top model in Latin America
Four Fiat models to make the top 10 in Latin America in 2021
SUVs and crossovers take the lead in Western European market
Volkswagen remains an undisputed sales leader in Western Europe
Ranking of the most popular light vehicle models in Western Europe
10 largest brands and share of vehicle sales by segment in Western Europe
Volkswagen Golf retains sales lead in 2021, but is challenged by the SUV trend
Model upgrades help to boost sales in Western Europe
SUVs and crossovers dominate in the Eastern European market
Popularity in Russia helps Lada to lead sales
10 largest brands and share of vehicle sales by segment in Eastern Europe
Ranking of the most popular light vehicle models in Eastern Europe
Recovering Russian new car market drives Lada’s sales growth
Economic recovery and new models help to drive sales
SUVs and small cars remain popular in the Middle East and Africa region
Toyota remains the most popular brand in the region
10 largest brands and share of vehicle sales by segment in the Middle East and Africa
Ranking of the most popular light vehicle models in Middle East and Africa
Upgraded models and economic recovery drive sales growth
Market leaders show strongest performance in 2021
Key business takeaways
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