The United States, car-buying-wise, is like a colossal sandwich. A big, delicious F-150 sandwich on Toyota bread, garnished with some Nissan relish and a touch of Subaru and Honda sauce. Oh, and there's a slice of Silverado and some other Ford chunks in there, too.
There's a lot of interesting things about this map: only 11 models make up the best selling cars for 50 states, there are no Europeans in there at all, just American and Japanese brands, and GM, the biggest car company, is surprisingly spare on the list.
Also interesting is that while there's only one hybrid on the list (Prius, duh), seven of the cars do have or are about to have hybrid options (Altima, Accord, Fusion, Escape, Silverado, Camry, Outback), which is pretty telling that we're not far from hybrid cars conceivably becoming the norm.
Things are clearly regionally-based, beyond just state lines, which makes anomalies like Oklahoma interesting. Surrounded by all those F-150s, how did the Sooners end up buying so many Altimas? I guess there's plenty of big trucks around to borrow if they move or something.
The Washington-Vermont-upper-corner-state alliance is also in full force here, forming Subaru's strongholds. I'd have thought Colorado would have gone Outback as well, but the F-150 just barely edged them out. Hawaii, Illinois, and California are the only states to have a unique best seller, with the Tacoma, Fusion, and Prius, respectively. That makes sense, since I know everyone thinks of Illinois as the Hawaii of the Midwest, right?
The data to make this map is mostly from late 2012, with other updated sources in there as well from the beginning of 2013. It changes a little month-to-month but this gives you a glimpse of recent history. I was inspired by this map of state brands from Gizmodo.
It's interesting to see this all visually, though personally I'd like to see a much more patchwork sort of map, with each state having a very idiosyncratic choice. Also, just for fun, I made this map of the least popular new cars sold in each state. I did the research all by myself, and I stand by it.
There's still some 9-5s for sale out there, and they're technically "new" since they've never actually had a private owner. I'm sure if everyone who wants to buy one moves to the same state, you could change the look of the least-popular map. Give it a shot!