Mapped: The Best-Selling Vehicles in the World by Country
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The Best-Selling Vehicles in the World By Country

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The Best-Selling Vehicles in the World By Country

Each country has different preferences for goods, and vehicles are no different.

Consumers in a dense country might prefer smaller cars, while countries with wide expanses (and parking spots) open the way for larger trucks. Likewise, rugged terrain might call for vehicles that can adapt and scale quickly.

And it’s also a question of which manufacturer invested in the country. As the world’s largest automakers have raced to attract consumers in every corner of the globe, they built factories, renamed models, and even built specific cars to fit the tastes of individual countries.

This infographic from Budget Direct Car Insurance highlights the best-selling vehicles in the world, using 2019 year-end sales data.

What is the Most Popular Vehicle in Each Country?

Though the map might vary across the board, one thing is certain: Toyota’s dominance.

The Japanese automaker—which was also the most valuable automaker in the world for many years before being overtaken by Tesla—had the best-selling vehicle in 41 countries of the 104 countries tallied.

It also had the world’s best-selling vehicle in 2019, the Toyota Corolla, though the sedan only took the top spot itself in five countries.

CountryBest-Selling VehicleType
AlgeriaDacia SanderoSubcompact
American SamoaToyota TacomaTruck
AngolaToyota Land Cruiser J70SUV
ArgentinaToyota HiluxTruck
AustraliaToyota HiluxTruck
AustriaSkoda OctaviaSedan
AzerbaijanKhazar SD/LDSedan
BahrainToyota Land CruiserSUV
BelarusLada VestaSedan
BelgiumVW GolfHatchback
Bosnia and HerzegovinaSkoda OctaviaSedan
BotswanaToyota HiluxTruck
BrazilChevrolet OnixSubcompact
CanadaFord F-SeriesTruck
ChileMitsubishi L-200Truck
ChinaVW LavidaSedan
ColombiaRenault SanderoSubcompact
Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)Toyota HiluxTruck
CroatiaSkoda OctaviaSedan
CyprusToyota YarisSubcompact
Czech RepublicSkoda OctaviaSedan
DenmarkNissan QashqaiSUV
EcuadorChevrolet SparkSubcompact
EgyptChevrolet T-SeriesTruck
EstoniaToyota Rav4SUV
FijiToyota HiluxTruck
FinlandSkoda OctaviaSedan
FrancePeugeot 208 ISubcompact
GeorgiaRenault/Dacia DusterSUV
GermanyVW GolfHatchback
GreeceToyota YarisSubcompact
HungarySuzuki VitaraSUV
IcelandToyota Rav4SUV
IndiaMaruti AltoHatchback
IndonesiaToyota AvanzaVan
IranSaipa PrideSedan
IraqKia FrontierTruck
IrelandToyota CorollaSedan
IsraelToyota CorollaSedan
ItalyFiat PandaSubcompact
JapanHonda N-BOXSubcompact
JordanHyundai TucsonSUV
KazakhstanToyota CamrySedan
KenyaToyota HiluxTruck
KosovoDacia SanderoSubcompact
KuwaitToyota Land CruiserSUV
LatviaToyota CorollaSedan
LebanonToyota Land CruiserSUV
LesothoToyota HiluxTruck
LiechtensteinVW GolfHatchback
LithuaniaFiat 500Subcompact
LuxembourgVW GolfHatchback
MacedoniaKia SportageSUV
MalawiToyota HiluxTruck
MalaysiaPerodua MyviHatchback
MexicoNissan VersaSedan
MoldovaDacia LoganSedan
MonacoSmart FortwoSubcompact
MoroccoDacia DokkerVan
NamibiaToyota HiluxTruck
NetherlandsTesla Model 3Sedan
New ZealandFord RangerTruck
NorwayTesla Model 3Sedan
OmanToyota Land CruiserSUV
PakistanToyota CorollaSedan
PanamaToyota HiluxTruck
Papua New GuineaToyota Land Cruiser J70SUV
ParaguayChevrolet OnixSubcompact
PeruToyota HiluxTruck
PhilippinesToyota ViosSubcompact
PolandSkoda OctaviaSedan
PortugalRenault ClioHatchback
QatarToyota Land CruiserSUV
RomaniaDacia LoganSedan
RussiaLada GrantaSubcompact
SamoaToyota HiaceVan
Saudi ArabiaHyundai AccentSubcompact
SenegalMitsubishi L200Truck
SerbiaSkoda OctaviaSedan
SingaporeHonda Vezel/HR-VSUV
SlovakiaSkoda FabiaSubcompact
SloveniaRenault ClioHatchback
Solomon IslandsToyota HiluxTruck
South AfricaToyota HiluxTruck
South KoreaHyundai GrandeurSedan
SpainSEAT LeonHatchback
Sri LankaSuzuki AltoHatchback
Swaziland (Eswatini)Toyota HiluxTruck
SwedenVolvo S/V60Sedan/Wagon
SwitzerlandSkoda OctaviaSedan
SyriaHyundai TucsonSUV
TaiwanToyota CorollaSedan
ThailandToyota HiluxTruck
TongaToyota HiluxTruck
TunisiaRenault ClioHatchback
TurkeyFiat EgeaSedan
UkraineKia SportageSUV
United Arab EmiratesToyota Land CruiserSUV
United KingdomFord FiestaSubcompact
United StatesFord F-150Truck
UruguayRenault KwidHatchback
VenezuelaToyota FortunerSUV
VietnamToyota ViosSubcompact
YemenToyota Land CruiserSUV

As the best-seller in 16 countries, the Toyota Hilux truck (also known as the Toyota Pickup in North America) was the top vehicle in the most countries. It has a noticeably strong market share in the Southern Hemisphere, including in Argentina, South Africa, and Australia.

The other consistent factor was the strength of local manufacturers. Many countries with large automakers had local models as the best-selling vehicles, especially in Europe.

Country with Local Best-SellerVehicle
Czech RepublicŠkoda Octavia
FrancePeugeot 208 I
GermanyVW Golf
IndiaMaruti Alto
IranSAIPA Pride
ItalyFiat Panda
JapanHonda N-BOX
MalaysiaPerodua Myvi
RomaniaDacia Logan
RussiaLada Granta
South KoreaHyundai Grandeur
SpainSEAT León
SwedenVolvo S/V60
U.S.Ford F-150

Cars are the Best-Selling Vehicles in the World

So what do car consumers currently prefer? Currently, cars have a slight edge over trucks as the best-selling vehicles in the world.

Of the 104 countries with sales tallied for the study, smaller cars often classified as “passenger vehicles” (including sedans, hatchbacks, and subcompacts) made up the majority of best-sellers, with 57 of the best-selling vehicles by country.

Meanwhile, “light trucks” or “light commercial vehicles,” which include trucks, SUVs, and vans, were best-sellers in 47 countries.

Best-Selling Vehicles by Type

  • Hatchback: 12
  • Sedan: 25
  • Sedan/Wagon: 1
  • Subcompact: 19
  • SUV: 20
  • Truck: 24
  • Van: 3

But changing car consumption preferences are already making their mark. The electric vehicle (EV) Tesla Model 3 was already the best-selling vehicle in both the Netherlands and Norway, and other countries like China are increasing incentives for consumers to purchase EVs.

That’s not even factoring in the slowdown of travel during the COVID pandemic, more workers going remote, and the semiconductor strain on automakers. A truly post-COVID world will likely transform the map even further.

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Misc

How Has Car Safety Improved Over 60 Years?

Seatbelts first became mandatory in the US in 1968. Since then, new technologies have greatly reduced road fatalities.

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How Has Car Safety Improved Over 60 Years?

Did you know that in 2019, there were 6.7 million car accidents in the U.S. alone?

This resulted in 36,096 deaths over the year—an awful statistic to say the least—but one that would be much worse if it weren’t for seatbelts, airbags, and other modern safety devices.

In this infographic, we’ve visualized data from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation to show how breakthroughs in car safety have drastically reduced the number of motor vehicle fatalities.

Measuring Safety Improvements

The data shows the number of fatalities for every 100 million miles driven. From a high of 5.1 in 1960 (the first year data is available), we can see that this metric has fallen by 78% to just 1.1.

YearFatilities per 100 million miles
19605.1
19704.7
19803.4
19902.1
20001.5
20101.1
20191.1

What makes this even more impressive is the fact that there are more cars on the road today than in 1960. This can be measured by the total number of miles driven each year.

Vehicle Miles Driven

So, while the total number of miles driven has increased by 371%, the rate of fatalities has decreased by 78%. Below, we’ll take a closer look at some important car safety innovations.

1. The Seatbelt

The introduction of seatbelts was a major stepping stone for improving car safety, especially as vehicles became capable of higher speeds.

The first iteration of seatbelts were a 2-point design because they only looped across a person’s waist (and thus had 2 points of mounting). This design is flawed because it doesn’t hold our upper body in place during a collision.

Today’s seatbelts use a 3-point design which was developed in 1959 by Nils Bohlin, an engineer at Volvo. This design adds a shoulder belt that holds our torso in place during a collision. It took many years for Volvo to not only develop the device, but also to convince the public to use it. The U.S., for instance, did not mandate 3-point seatbelts until 1973.

2. The Airbag

The concept of an airbag is relatively simple—rather than smacking our face against the steering wheel, we cushion the blow with an inflatable pillow.

In practice, however, airbags need to be very precise because it takes just 50 milliseconds for our heads to collide with the wheel in a frontal crash. To inflate in such a short period of time, airbags rely on a chemical reaction using sodium azide.

The design of an airbag’s internal mechanism can also cause issues, as was discovered during the Takata airbag recall. As these airbags inflated, there was a chance for them to also send metal shards flying through the cabin at high speeds.

Dual front airbags (one for each side) were mandated by the U.S. government in 1998. Today, many cars offer side curtain airbags as an option, but these are not required by law.

3. The Backup Camera

Backup cameras became a legal requirement in May 2018, making them one of the newest pieces of standard safety equipment in the U.S. These cameras are designed to reduce the number of backover crashes involving objects, pedestrians, or other cars.

Measuring the safety benefits of backup cameras can be tricky, but a 2014 study did conclude that cameras were useful for preventing collisions. A common criticism of backup cameras is that they limit our field of vision, as opposed to simply turning our heads to face the rear.

Taking Car Safety to the Next Level

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), having both seatbelts and airbags can reduce the chance of death from a head-on collision by 61%. That’s a big reduction, but there’s still plenty of room left on the table for further improvements.

As a result, automakers have been equipping their cars with many technology-enabled safety measures. This includes pre-collision assist systems which use sensors and cameras to help prevent an accident. These systems can prevent you from drifting into another lane (by actually adjusting the steering wheel), or apply the brakes to mitigate an imminent frontal collision.

Whether these systems have any meaningful benefit remains to be seen. Referring to the table above shows that fatalities per 100 million miles have not fallen any further since 2010.

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Misc

Ranked: The 35 Vehicles With the Longest Production Runs

Successful cars come in many shapes and sizes. See which ones have stood the test of time in this infographic.

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Visualizing the Longest Vehicle Production Runs

Over the automotive industry’s 100+ year history, companies such as Ford, Chevrolet, and Mercedes-Benz have produced some truly iconic cars.

Whether they’re designed for excitement, luxury, or just simple transportation, these vehicles offer a set of features that make them highly desirable to consumers. The most successful models will undergo numerous revisions over time, sometimes sticking around for many decades.

To learn more, this graphic from Alan’s Factory Outlet lists the 35 vehicles with the longest production runs of all time. Here are the top 10 below.

BrandModel NameClassProduction Run (years)
🇺🇸 ChevroletSuburbanSUV86
🇺🇸 FordF-SeriesPickup truck74
🇩🇪 VolkswagenTransporterVan71
🇯🇵 ToyotaLand CruiserSUV70
🇺🇸 ChevroletCorvetteSports car68
🇩🇪 Mercedes-BenzS-ClassSedan67
🇯🇵 ToyotaCrownSedan66
🇯🇵 NissanSkylineSedan64
🇬🇧 MiniMiniHatchback62
🇩🇪 Porsche911Sports car58

As we can see, successful models come in many shapes and sizes, and from a variety of manufacturers. Below, we’ll take a deeper dive to learn more about what makes these cars special.

Ford F-Series

Ford began selling its first pickup truck in 1925, which was essentially a Model T with a flatbed in the rear. This layout was very useful because it enabled people to transport cargo, raw materials, and other items with relative ease.

Then, in 1948, Ford introduced the F-series pickup. The truck became one of Ford’s most well-known and profitable models, and is currently in its 14th generation.

While the fundamental shape of the F-series hasn’t changed, Ford’s best-selling model owes much of its success to its constant innovation and technological improvements.

In 2015, the F-150 became the first fullsize pickup to feature an all-aluminum body. This reduced the truck’s weight by as much as 500 pounds, resulting in better fuel economy and driving dynamics.

Ford is also credited with bringing turbocharged engines into the mainstream (within the pickup segment). This first-mover advantage gave the F-Series a competitive edge in terms of fuel efficiency and torque.

Chevrolet Corvette

First introduced in 1953, the Chevrolet Corvette is regarded as America’s most iconic sports car. It has a reputation for offering similar performance as its more expensive foreign rivals, and combines unique styling elements with a successful motorsport background.

For most of its history, the Corvette was a rear-wheel drive coupe with a V-8 engine placed in the front. It also featured pop-up headlights for several generations, but the design was eventually phased out due to stricter regulations.

Evolution of the Corvette

Chevrolet drastically changed the formula of the Corvette for its eighth generation, which launched in 2020. The engine is no longer in the front of the car, but instead, placed directly behind the occupants.

C8 interior cross section

This mid-engine layout results in a Corvette with significantly different proportions than its predecessors. Because a bulk of the car’s weight is now located more centrally, the C8 should (in theory) offer better traction and balance.

Few cars have undergone such large changes to their fundamental design philosophy, but the move appears to have worked—production is far from meeting demand.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

The S-Class from Mercedes is widely recognized as the global benchmark for full-size luxury sedans. Since its introduction in the 1950s, the S-Class has continuously introduced new innovations that improve comfort and safety.

  • The 1959 S-Class (dubbed W111) was the first production car with crumple zones front and rear. Crumple zones are structural elements that absorb the impact of a collision.
  • The 1978 S-Class (W116) introduced electronic anti-lock brakes (ABS). This system prevents tires from locking up under sudden braking and is included on every modern car.
  • The 1991 S-Class (W140) was the first car to feature double-glazed windows, which improves insulation while reducing road noise.
  • The 2021 S-Class (W223) introduced the world’s first rear-seat airbag.

One of the most important aspects of a luxury car is its interior, and the S-class has come a long way since its first iteration.

The interior of the latest S-Class features active ambient lighting that can visually reinforce any warnings generated by the car’s driving assistance systems. The cabin also features MBUX Interior Assist, which can read motion commands (such as hand movements) by the driver.

The car’s center console is dominated by a single large screen—a trend that was first introduced by the Tesla Model S.

Big Changes in Store

Global governments have announced a ban on the sale of new gasoline cars by as early as 2030. This foreshadows a great shift towards battery power and gives automakers the opportunity to reimagine their most iconic models.

For example, the Ford Mustang Mach-E is an all-electric SUV that borrows both the name and styling of the brand’s famous pony car. The company also recently launched an electric version of the F-150, called the F-150 Lightning.

German brands are taking a different approach by creating a completely new range for their EV models. This includes the Audi e-tron, BMW i, and Mercedes EQ lineups. This implies that their existing gasoline-powered models could be coming to an end.

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