The Toyota Camry was the best-selling car in the US during 2009, highlighting further Toyota's fall from grace over the past month.

According to figures released February 10 by auto analyst JATO Dynamics, the Toyota Camry outsold its closest rival, the Honda Accord, by over 60,000 units. The top five list was dominated overall by import brands, with the Toyota Corolla taking third place, Honda Civic fourth, and Nissan Altima sixth.

Overall car sales dropped by 20.5 percent during 2009, says JATO. Losses were particularly marked amongst US automakers but small- and medium-sized models saw less of a fall, suggesting that consumers were seeking to downsize.

"The recession of demand and simultaneous, sudden shift to smaller, more economical vehicles has been felt keenly across North America," said David Di Girolamo of JATO Consult. "This has created even more of an opportunity for those lower-volume, importing manufacturers who already offer such vehicles and puts even more pressure on the big, domestic auto makers."

Toyota has been hit by a series of recalls that have significantly damaged the Japanese brand's reputation. Tuesday it announced that it was recalling over 7,000 Camrys on top of the nine million other vehicles already recalled worldwide.

Neighboring Canada fared slightly better than the US market, with a drop in demand of 10.8 percent. Canada's most popular cars were also all Asian brands, however, with the Honda Civic topping the list.

The Mexican market, however, reported a dramatic fall in auto sales of 28.8 percent. Despite the runaway success of certain models such as the Seat Ibiza (up 28.3 percent), most models reported significant falls. Sales of the Ford Expedition SUV, for instance, more than halved year on year.

The Best Selling Cars in the US
1. Toyota Camry
2. Honda Accord
3. Toyota Corolla
4. Honda Civic
5. Nissan Altima

The Best Selling Cars in Canada
1. Honda Civic
2. Toyota Corolla
3. Mazda3
4. Hyundai Elantra
5. Hyundai Accent

The Best Selling Cars in Mexico
1. Nissan Tsuru
2. Volkswagen Jetta
3. Chevrolet Chevy
4. Volkswagen Gol
5. Nissan Tiida

Data from JATO Dynamics

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