Top Selling Small Cars in U.S.
Toyota Motor Co. and Honda Motor Corp. have long controlled the U.S. small car market, but General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. are trying to make a comeback. These were the top-selling small cars for the first nine months of this year.
Vehicle 2007 sales
1. Toyota Corolla 291,981
2. Honda Civic 254,955
3. Chevrolet Cobalt 152,895
4. Ford Focus 133,043
5. Mazda 3 95,336
6. Nixxan Sentra 83,724
7. Dodge Caliber 80,352
8. Volkswagen Jetta 74,459
9. Hyundai Elantra 73,890
10.Toyota Yaris 68,465
Source; Ward's AutoInfoBank
Ford and GM research shows that small-car buyers will no longer tolerate flimsy seats, cheap plastic dashboards, noisy engines and bumpy rides. They also want sleek body styles and performance comparable to larger cars - all in a fuel efficient package.
The Focus, a refined version of the old car that debuted in 1999, is quieter, faster and more effecient than its predecessor. It and the Astra have interiors that rival larger luxury cars, and the Focus is the first car to get "Sync", a Microsoft system that allows people to control phones and personal music players with voice commands.
But the coming generation of Detroit's small cars still will have a tough time breaking into the market controlled by the Civic and Corolla.
The new Focus, while vastly improved, looks like the tired old model. It doesn't look different enough from the previous model to get people to see that it's different from the other car.
The Astra, essentially the same car as Europ's successful Opel Astra, will come in three and five door models.
While the domestics race to put out better compacts, Toyota isn's standing sill. A new version of the top-selling Corolla is coming early next year 2008.