In a shock to absolutely no-one, SUV and crossovers continue their rise across much of the globe

JATO Dynamics says global car sales totalled 44 million during the first six months of 2018, up 3.6 per cent on the same time last year, with SUV sales up 14 per cent to at least 14.95 million units.

Analysts from the firm crunched the numbers from 57 markets, including 29 countries in Europe, China, the USA, Canada, Russia, Japan, South Korea, India, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific. It should be noted some large countries and regions, including the Middle East, the Philippines, Central America, and all of Africa aren't accounted for.

The company says the podium places for the title of most popular model are occupied by the Ford F-Series (534,827), Toyota Corolla (478,122), and Volkswagen Golf (431,836).

Completing the top 10 are the Honda Civic (412,664), Toyota RAV4 (395,816), Nissan X-Trail/Rogue (392,489), Volkswagen Passat/Magotan (356,566), Honda CR-V (339,081), Honda HR-V/XR-V/Vezel (334,917), and Chevrolet Silverado (326,427).

The first luxury model to appear on the list is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (244,377) in 20th spot. Its immediate rivals, the Audi A4 (44th at 189,684), and BMW 3 Series (45th at 188,634) appear way down the list, and below the more expensive E-Class (36th at 208,797).

South Korea's first entry on the list is the Hyundai Elantra/i35/Avante (16th at 287,492), while the Wuling Hong Guang (19th at 245,137) is the world's most popular people mover.

In percentage terms, the fastest growing models on the list are the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace (up 183 per cent to 201,437), Jeep Compass (up 140 per cent to 213,543), and Baojun 510 crossover (up 111 per cent to 216,742).

Australian favourites, such as the Toyota Hilux (39th with 202,132), Mazda 3 (38th with 202,424) and CX-5 (21st at 239,450), are popular elsewhere, but just not as fervently embraced.

It should be noted some of the excluded markets, such as the Philippines, Central America and Africa, would likely see the numbers for Japanese and European manufacturers improve.

According to JATO, during the first half of this year, 12.23 million cars and light trucks were sold in China, 8.62 million in the USA, 9.77 million in Europe, 2.83 million in Latin America, 2.69 million in Japan, 2.28 million in the Asia-Pacific, 1.98 million in India, 1.04 million in Canada, 884,000 in South Korea, and 850,000 in Russia.

Global crossover and SUV sales are up 14 per cent, but demand isn't universal. In the USA, Canada, Russia and China, SUVs make up between 42 and 45 per cent of the overall car market. Europe and South Korea lag behind with, respectively, a 33 and 34 per cent take up rate.

In Japan, probably due to the popularity of kei-class tall hatches, SUVs only accounted for 12 per cent of car sales. In price sensitive regions, such as Latin America (22 per cent), India (23 per cent), and the Asia-Pacific (27 per cent), more traditional vehicles still dominate.