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Toyota Camry Surges Past Ford F-150 to US Top Spot

After three years filled with recalls, limited supply, and a much needed redesign, the Toyota Camry has become the top selling vehicle in the U.S. Experian Automotive analyzed new vehicle registrations during the first half of this year and found 209,000 new Toyota Camry's in the U.S. compared to 202,000 Ford F-150 pick-up trucks. A year ago, Experian listed the F-150 as number one ahead of the Camry.

The Toyota logo is displayed on the grill of brand new Toyota RAV4s on the sales lot at City Toyota in Daly City, California.
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The Toyota logo is displayed on the grill of brand new Toyota RAV4s on the sales lot at City Toyota in Daly City, California.

When you combine all of the F-Series models (F-150, F-250 and F-350) the Ford pick-up is still considered the top selling model in the country, as it has been for more then 30 years.

Toyota's Push to Keep Camry Rolling

Three years ago, the Camry's dominance of the U.S. car market looked to be coming to an end. Massive recalls following investigations into unintended acceleration claims tarnished the image of Toyota and its bread and butter car. The Camry, long known for its safety and reliability, fell from its perch of unquestioned superiority. On top of that the Camry's design began to look stale and old when compared to new or re-designed mid-size cars from Chevy, Ford, Nissan and Hyundai . Then, as Toyota got past the recalls it was hit by supply shortages following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Top 10 in the US (First half 2012):

  1. Toyota Camry (209,000)
  2. Ford F-150 (202,000)
  3. Honda Civic (158,000)
  4. Nissan Altima (154,000)
  5. Honda Accord (150,000)
  6. Toyota Corolla (148,000)
  7. Honda CR-V (144,000)
  8. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (140,000)
  9. Ford Fusion (140,000)
  10. Chevrolet Malibu (135,000)

So why is the Camry now number one? Part of the increase in sales is due to the car being redesigned in late 2010. In addition, Toyota has ramped up its marketing of the Camry in the last year.

The F-150 was the most popular new vehicle registered in 19 states between January and June according to Experian Automotive. As it has been for years, the Ford pick-up's dominance covers most of middle America from Utah to Iowa, North Dakota to Texas. In fact, 17 percent of the F-150 sales came in the lone star state. The Camry was the top selling vehicle in 13 states, mostly on the Pacific Coast and Southeastern U.S. 13 percent of the Camry models sold in the U.S. Were in California. The Honda CR-V and Chevy Malibu were each the top selling model in 4 states.

___________________________ Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.comand Follow me on Twitter @LeBeauCarNews

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