Compact Combat: Corolla, Civic Can't Shake Cruze From Top Sales Spot In September

The September 2011 sales results are in. And while the top spot has been occupied by the Chevy Cruze for the past five months now, we’re still getting used to the new pecking order. The top two spots are no longer guaranteed to the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, two compact car stalwarts that dominated the sales charts for more than a decade.

Chevy Cruze – 18,097 Sold

Once again, the Chevy Cruze is first place among all compact cars, a spot it has help since April. Chevy has steadily sold over 20,000 Cruzes each month for most of 2011, which comes close to the peak numbers the Corolla and Civic achieved during most of last year. The 18,097 units sold in September was the first time in five months where Cruze sales dipped below the 20,000 mark.

Toyota Corolla – 16,147 Sold

With 16,147 sold in September, the Corolla earns second place in the sales race. So what gives? While Toyota’s North American production recently reached normalcy, the company is understandably still in recovery mode from the unfortunate and devastating March disaster in Japan. However, the numbers don’t lie: the 20,000-plus units Chevy has achieved with the Cruze would’ve provided the Corolla some stiff competition even if Toyota were operating at wide open throttle.

Volkswagen Jetta – 15,023 Sold

The new Jetta debuted last September and has inched its way up the sales charts. VW sold 15,023 Jettas last month, which is a 39.5 percent increase compared to September 2010. While it occupied the number five spot from April to May, it now stands in third place on the sales podium.  Many have lamented the decontented interior, but the strategy and low price point seem to be working out in VW’s favor.

Hyundai Elantra – 14,386 Sold

The Elantra is also and new and improved model and it’s sales numbers prove it: Hyundai sold 14,386 units last month, a 43 percent increase compared to September 2010. That’s good enough for a fourth place spot. However, the Elantra has performed better, such as the months of May and June where it was second only to the Cruze.

Honda Civic – 13,724 Sold

Last but not least is the Honda Civic, with 13,724 units sold last month, a 26.4 percent decrease. Like Toyota, Honda recently returned to normal production, but its recovery has recently been compounded by storms in the east coast that have disrupted distribution of Civics to dealerships. “They’re selling them as soon as they get there,” said Alicia Jones, Honda Public Relations Specialist. The Civic enjoyed the top sales spot in April, the same month the new model debuted. Since then, it has experienced a steady drop to last place.

And many of you will like ask, "Where's the Ford Focus in all of this?" The Focus is right behind the Civic with 10,309 units sold, a drop of 24.1 percent compared to the numbers the previous-gen model posted in September 2010. Ford states that Focus inventories are still low since the new model launched in March.

Is this new pecking order here to stay? Do you think the Cruze, Jetta and Elantra are now equal to or better than the Corolla and Civic? Sound off below.

Sales Rankings Since April 2011:

April 2011:

  1. Honda Civic – 26,717
  2. Chevy Cruze -25,160
  3. Toyota Corolla – 24,215
  4. Hyundai Elantra -22,100
  5. VW Jetta -16,995
May 2011:
  1. Chevy Cruze – 22,711
  2. Hyundai Elantra – 20,006
  3. Honda Civic – 18,341
  4. Toyota Corolla - 16,985
  5. VW Jetta – 16,671
June 2011:
  1. Chevy Cruze – 24,896
  2. Hyundai Elantra – 19,992
  3. Toyota Corolla – 18,872
  4. Honda Civic – 17,485
  5. VW Jetta – 17,105
July 2011:
  1. Chevy Cruze – 24,468
  2. Toyota Corolla – 17,577
  3. VW Jetta – 15,713
  4. Hyundai Elantra – 15,181
  5. Honda Civic – 14,006
August 2011:
  1. Chevy Cruze – 21,897
  2. Toyota Corolla – 16,420
  3. Hyundai Elantra – 15,054
  4. VW Jetta – 14,500
  5. Honda Civic – 12,083
September 2011:
  1. Chevy Cruze – 18,097
  2. Toyota Corolla – 16,147
  3. VW Jetta – 15,023
  4. Hyundai Elantra – 14,386
  5. Honda Civic – 13,724
Source: Toyota, Honda, Chevrolet, Volkswagen, Hyundai

So, since it's not on the list, I'm assuming the Ford Focus has sold less than all of these cars? Or just didn't provide data?

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