Top car models in US, UK and Japan show hybrids, compacts still selling well

In October government programs continued to boost the sale of fuel-efficient cars in the UK and Japan, although the US has shifted back to its love for pickup trucks now that "cash for clunkers" has finished.

Many vehicles that are available in one part of the world are not available in other regions, but nearly all the major manufacturers are represented in the major markets of the US, UK and Japan.

With the US "cash for clunkers" program finished by late August, car dealerships were expected to be ghost towns in October, but that was definitely not the case, according to data released this month by the US-based website Cars.com.

The nation's biggest automaker, General Motors, posted its first positive monthly sales figures in 21 months, at +4 percent. Although it was crowded out by pickups like the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado, the Ford Fusion sedan actually became the nation's best-selling domestic car in 2009 last month (excluding trucks).
Seven of the top 10 best-selling vehicles in the US were made by Japanese auto giants Toyota or Honda.

Top 10 best-selling cars in the US in October 2009

1. Ford F-Series
2. Chevrolet Silverado
3. Toyota Camry
4. Toyota Corolla
5. Honda Accord
6. Honda Civic
7. Honda CR-V
8. Nissan Altima
9. Toyota RAV4
10. Toyota Prius

Car sales soared in the UK last month as their government's "cash for bangers" fund is not yet depleted, according to data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. With GM deciding not to sell Opel/Vauxhall last month, Detroit's automakers may actually have a friendlier home in Britain.

Top 10 best-selling cars in the UK in October 2009

1. Ford Fiesta
2. Vauxhall Astra
3. Ford Focus
4. Vauxhall Corsa
5. Volkswagen Golf
6. Peugeot 207
7. Renault Clio
8. Hyundai i10
9. Mini
10. Fiat 500

And in Japan the Prius hybrid was the top selling car for the sixth straight month in October, also aided by government incentive programs for environmentally-friendly vehicles, according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association.

The Honda Fit compact was the second most popular model, while the Toyota Vitz (known as the Yaris overseas) ran third. Honda's Insight hybrid, the company's answer to the Prius, fell to ninth after being atop Japan's leaderboard as recently as April.

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