From Ford to Chevrolet, there are certainly plenty of American car brands on the market. But alongside the domestic options, there are also a number of foreign brands that regularly rank among the top selling cars in the United States. What are the top foreign brands? These were the seven most popular foreign car companies in 2019, based on the total number of vehicles sold.
With just over two million units sold in 2019, the Japanese company Toyota was the second most popular automobile brand in America (behind Ford) and by far the most popular foreign brand. Specializing in a wide range of cars, from sedans like the Camry to pickup trucks like the Tacoma, Toyota has found how to meet Americans’ vehicular needs. The Japanese company is currently the second largest automaker in the entire world.
Another Japanese automaker, Honda lands second on the list with almost a million and a half vehicles sold in 2019. Their sedans (the Civic and Accord) and small SUVs (such as the Pilot) dominate American markets and have become cultural mainstays. Honda has a special niche with motorcycles, and has been the largest global motorized bike producer for years. Beside vehicles, Honda also makes a number of other engine-related products, including marine engines, generators, and garden equipment. In the US, however, their cars remain their claim to fame.
Another Japanese company at the top of the list, Nissan sold about 1.2 million cars in the United States in 2019. The Nissan Altima, a stylish and high-quality sedan, is the most famous of the brand’s many models. Currently the worldwide leader in producing electric cars, Nissan is intent on leading the push for climate-savvy vehicles, and the company has announced that all cars will be hybrids starting in 2021.
Rounding the list of Japanese companies topping the list is Subaru, having sold over 700,000 cars in 2019. Subaru Foresters have become synonymous with convenience and the outdoors, as their ample storage space makes them perfect for bringing equipment and supplies on the road. The Outback, slightly smaller than its cousin the Forester, is a sleek model that keeps the station wagon in vogue.
A South Korean company, Hyundai sold just short of 700,000 units in 2019. Well not quite as popular as many of the Japanese brands, Hyundai has still become a major player in the American automobile market. Hyundai is best known for its small sedans, with the Sonata renowned for its safety and the Elantra winning accolades for its slick design.
Another South Korean company, Kia sold Americans just over 600,000 vehicles in 2019. The Kia Optima has long been a popular model of sedan, while the Sportage and the Serento are high-selling small SUVs. Kias have been lauded by international auto industry leaders, with Kia cars having won the annual International Car of the Year Award since 2019. With such global acclaim, it’s almost a wonder Kia isn’t higher up this list.
The only European brand cracking this list, the German automaker Volkswagen sold over 360,000 cars stateside in 2019. With a long history beginning in the Nazi regime, the “People’s Car” has become a mainstay around the world. The unique appearances of the Volkswagen Beetle and the Volkswagen Bus have made them culturally iconic in the United States. The Jetta and the Passat are now popular sedans, and Volkswagen has become the biggest automaker in the world. In recent years, the company has made electric cars an increasingly central focus.
Cars are not just driven all around the world. They are also made around the world. These seven brands have come to dominate the US market along with traditional American automakers. There are of course other foreign brands commonly purchased in the USA, from luxury potions like Porsche to the Swedish-made Saab. The seven listed above, however, are the true heavy hitters in the American automobile sales.