* See the Top 15 best-selling models by clicking on ‘Read more’ at end of post! *
Launched in 1980, the Ford Escort Mk III was an instant hit in the UK and took the lead of the models ranking as early as 1982, only the second time the Escort nameplate sells better than the Ford Cortina. The Escort kept the pole position in 1983, starting a new leadership era that would go on until the late 90s. It beat its volume record twice at 166,942 units in 1982 and 174,190 in 83.
Launched in September 1982 to replace the Cortina, the Ford Sierra does just that, landing directly in 2nd place in 1983 with an excellent 159,119 sales figure. It is only the 4th model since 1965 to pass the annual 150,000 sales mark in the UK. The Metro, now sold by both Austin and MG, climbs onto the podium in 1982 and stays there in 83 at 137,303 units, its highest ever volume. The Vauxhall Cavalier continues to progress, up to #5 in 1982 (+198%) and #4 in 83 (+27%). In the meantime, the Ford Fiesta drops to #4 in 82 then #5 in 83 even though its sales improve.
Excellent performance of the Austin/MG Maestro, replacing the Allegro in the Top 10 and landing directly at #6 in 1983. The Triumph Acclaim, in fact a rebadged Honda Civic, makes a brief appearance in the Top 10, #7 in 1982 and #8 in 83. The Volvo 340 is the best selling foreign model in 1982 at #8, its first time in the Top 10. It is replaced in 1983 by the Nissan Sunny (#9).
1982 and 1983 Top 15 Ranking Tables: see ‘Read more’ below the Volvo 340 pic.