2014 Nissan Rogue

The five top-selling brands in the automotive industry are usually Ford, Toyota, Chevy, Honda and Nissan, in that order. This lineup emerged intact when counting a year's worth of sales for 2013, and there was no reason to expect it would change at the beginning of 2014. But it did. Thanks to surging sales of its all-new Rogue, Nissan managed to pull ahead of Honda to become the fourth best-selling auto brand in January 2014, selling 81,472 units (an increase of 10.41 percent compared to January 2013) to Honda's 80,808 (a decrease of 3.96 percent).

The Rogue led the way for Nissan, contributing an additional 4,880 units in January compared to the same month last year – a 54.5-percent increase for a grand total of 13,831 units. But the Rogue had help, with the Frontier pickup adding an extra 2,307 units (an 87.9-percent increase), the Juke an extra 1,081 units (a 45.8-percent increase), the Altima an extra 1,051 units (a 4.9-percent increase) and the Maxima an additional 983 units (a 32.9-percent increase). Honda, meanwhile, was hurt by falling sales of the Accord (down 13.9 percent) and Pilot (down 7.6 percent), and stagnant sales of the Civic.

Honda, however, should take pride in the fact that it's luxury division, Acura, outsold Infiniti, Nissan's luxury division, last month – 10,823 units sold to 8,998. That margin of victory was large enough to keep the parent company of American Honda ahead of Nissan North America for the month of January.