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Archive for January, 1997

Belgium 1996: VW Polo up to #2, Renault Megane #4

January 30th, 1997 No comments

VW Polo

* See the Top 50 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to STAC *

While the pole position is no surprise this year in Belgium – the VW Golf leads by far with 23,709 sales and 5.5% share – it’s the rest of the models ranking that is full of unexpected events… The VW Polo shoots up to 2nd place at 16,090 units and 3.8%, making the 1996 Belgian models ranking a 1-2 Volkswagen. The Opel Astra is kicked down to third position with 15,774 sales and 3.7%.

Renault Megane

Instant success for the Renault Megane directly at #4 with 15,361 units and 3.6%, ahead of the Ford Fiesta, Escort and Mondeo. Other great performing models include the Opel Vectra at #9, the Audi A4 at #10, the Peugeot 406 at #16, the Mercedes E-Class at #18, BMW 5 Series at #24 and Audi A6 at #26.

Previous post: Belgium 1994: VW Golf leads, Ford Mondeo up to #2

Next post: Belgium 1998-2001: VW Golf in the lead

Full Year 1996 Top 50 Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Belgium, Luxembourg

Portugal 1996: Fiat Punto on top, Honda Civic up to #8

January 30th, 1997 No comments

Fiat Punto

* See the Top 50 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to STAC *

For the first time since 1992, the Portuguese new car market is on the up in 1996 at +8% to 217,913 registrations. It’s the second consecutive year of reign for the Fiat Punto, thanks to 24,829 sales and 11.4% share. The Opel Corsa ranks 2nd at 21,115 units and 9.7%, ahead of the Ford Fiesta with 14,270 sales and the Renault Clio at 14,081 units, both at 6.5% share. The VW Polo gains one more spot at a very solid 5th position with 12,904 sales and 5.9%, while the Peugeot 106 drops one to #6.

Honda Civic

The Renault Megane makes a thunderous arrival in the Portuguese Top 10 at #7 thanks to 7,698 units and 3.5%, the Honda Civic brilliantly breaks into the year-end Top 10 in Portugal for the very first tim at #8 with 6,992 sales and 3.2%, the Fiat Bravo/a shines at #10, the Citroen Saxo lands directly at #11, the Audi A4 ranks 17th, the Lancia Y is #19 and the Hyundai Accent is #32.

Previous year: Portugal 1995: Fiat Punto takes the lead at 14% of the market

Next year: Portugal 1997: Opel Corsa reclaims pole position, Fiat Marea #17

Full Year 1996 Top 50 Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Portugal

Brazil 1996: Fiat launches Palio to challenge Gol domination

January 29th, 1997 No comments


Fiat Palio in Quatro Rodas, 1996

The VW Gol has been dominating the Brazilian market for nearly 10 years, its reign only interrupted by the Fiat Uno in 1994. However the Fiat Uno is now 13-years old, so Fiat orchestrated its biggest launch in Brazil early in the year when it launched the Palio with for firm objective to become Fiat’s first world car and dislodge the Gol from its Brazilian throne. It would become the Gol’s only true challenger in Brazil over the next 15 years! More on the Fiat Palio here.

The Fiat Palio first appeared in the Brazilian rankings in April 1996 when it sold 2,439 units (#10). It quickly climbed the ranking, selling 6,428 units in May (#4), 10,478 in June (still #4) and 20,367 in July (#2), peaking at 26,860 in November. The Palio would however have to wait until late 1997 to reach the monthly #1 spot for the first time.

In the meantime, the VW Gol managed to pass the 30,000 monthly sales mark for the very first time in Brazil in May 1996 at 31,650. It would pass this mark again 5 more times during the year, peaking at 34,767, its best ever figure to date, in August.

Before the arrival of the Palio, the Fiat Uno, still #2 over the full year at 203,249 sales, lodges some impressive numbers, probably boosted by generous offers to clear stocks: 27,589 sales in March, 26,126 in May and 26,079 in June. The Chevrolet Corsa takes the 3rd spot at 190,462 sales and the Ford Escort is #5 at 60,712 units.

Full Top 20 Ranking Table, 1996 Gol-Palio sales comparo and vintage magazine covers and articles below.

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Categories: Brazil

Norway 1996: VW Golf #1, Hyundai Accent #10

January 29th, 1997 1 comment

Hyundai Accent

* See the Top 50 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to STAC *

Norwegian new car sales continue their impressive progression to 124,000 units in 1996. The VW Golf stays on top with 7,949 sales and 6.4% but is now followed by the Toyota Corolla at 7,429 units and 5.9%. The Ford Mondeo rounds up the podium with 5,600 sales and 4.5%. The Ford Escort and Opel Astra rank #4 and #5 respectively, while the Opel Vectra is up 124% on ’94 to land at #6 with 4,417 units and 3.5% and the VW Polo is up a mammoth 473% to #8.

For the first time in Norway, a Korean model breaks into the year-end Top 10: the Hyundai Accent ranks #10 with 3,560 sales and 2.8%, a 842% progression on ’94… Notice also the Audi A4 directly #11, the Ford Fiesta up 290% to #12, the Renault Megane at #15, the Hyundai Lantra up 553% to #19, the Volvo S40/V40 at #21 and the Peugeot 406 at #22.

Previous post: Norway 1993-1994: VW Golf and Ford Mondeo strong

Next post: Norway 1990-2000: VW Golf, Toyota Corolla and Opel Astra on top

Full Year 1996 Top 50 Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Norway

Italy 1996: Fiat Punto and Bravo/Brava dominate

January 28th, 1997 1 comment

Fiat Punto

* See the Top 50 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to STAC/Flavio *

Unsurprisingly, the Fiat Punto continues to dominate the Italian market in 1996 with 16.6% share and 286,723 sales. The Fiat Bravo/Brava deliver what would end up being their best year in the country with 123,081 units and 7.1% cumulated market share, peaking at 8.8% in March and 8.5% in April, however they are counted as separate models by UNRAE.

Fiat Bravo

As a result the Ford Fiesta ranks 2nd overall with 83,515 sales and 4.8%, up 18% on 1995, and the Fiat Cinquecento rounds off the podium at 4% share, down 16%. The VW Polo excels at #4, up 16% and the new Lancia Y, replacing the Y10, is an instant hit in Italy, reaching #5 in April 1996 at 4% share and finishing the year at #7 with 3.3% share.

Innocenti Mille

Notice also the Alfa Romeo 145/146 at #12, the Fiat Panda down to #15, the Audi A4 up to #16, the Renault Megane up to #17, the Nissan Micra at #21, the Lancia Kappa at #26 with 15,713 sales, the Opel Tigra at #30 and the Innocenti Mille, a rebadged version of the Fiat Uno (itself discontinued in 1994) at #45 with 7,979 units.

Previous year: Italy 1995: Fiat Punto close to 19% share, Fiat Cinquecento #2

Next year: Italy 1997: Fiat Punto, Bravo/a, Panda and Cinquecento on top

Full Year 1996 Top 50 and March/April/August 1996 Top 10 Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Italy

UK 1996: Ford Fiesta edges Ford Escort out

January 27th, 1997 1 comment

Ford Fiesta

* See the Top 50 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Florian & STAC *

Helped by a light facelift this year, the Ford Fiesta takes the lead of the English market, up 8% to 139,522 sales, just above the Ford Escort at 128,760 units (-7%) and the Ford Mondeo at 100,725 sales (-15%). Launched late last year, the Vauxhall Vectra is in fact a new gen Cavalier, taking the Vectra name to be consistent with Opel. And it effectively replaces the Cavalier in the ranking, landing directly #4 for its first full year of sales with 88,245 units sold.

Vauxhall Vectra

The Vauxhall Astra is down 15% to #5 and the Nova is stable at #6. The Rover 400 breaks into the annual UK Top 10 this year, up 35% to #7. The Peugeot 306 is the best-selling foreign model in the country for the 2nd year in a row at #8, beating the foreign model volume record again at 58,316 units, above the Renault Clio at #9 and the VW Golf at #11. The Fiat Punto was #9 over the first two months of the year but settles to #12 at year-end.

Peugeot 406

There are 4 newcomers in the Top 30 this year, 3 of them being all-new models: the Peugeot 406 lands directly at #19 with 35,549 sales, the Fiat Bravo/Brava appears at #24, the Audi A4 ranks #25 and the Nissan Almera is #30.

Full Year Top 50, February and 2 months 1996 Top 10 Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: UK

Spain 1996: Seat Ibiza in pole position for the second time

January 27th, 1997 2 comments

Seat Ibiza

* See the Top 50 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to STAC *

Very solid year for Spanish new car sales at 911,000 registrations. For the second time after 1987, the Seat Ibiza is the best-selling model at home thanks to 50,880 sales and 5.6% market share, up from #6 in 1994. The Ford Escort, leader in 1994, is down to #2 with 46.076 units and 5.1% while the Ford Fiesta rounds up the podium with 42,477 sales and 4.7%.

Citroen ZX

In fact, only one percentage point separates the #1 from the #9! The Citroen ZX is up from #9 in 1994 to #4 this year at 40,621 units and 4.5%, just above the Opel Corsa at 4.4%, the Renault Megane and Clio at 4.3% and the Opel Astra and Peugeot 306 at 4%. The VW Polo is up dramatically to #10. Notice also the Opel Vectra up to #15, the Citroen Saxo landing directly at #17, the Peugeot 406 at #18, the Fiat Bravo/a at #21 and the Audi A4 at #22.

Hyundai Accent

For the first time in Spain, the best-selling Asian model is not Japanese but Korean: it’s the Hyundai Accent up to a fantastic 29th place with 8,319 sales and 0.9% and one of 4 Koreans (vs. 6 Japanese) in the Top 50: the Daewoo Nexia is #33, the Daewoo Aranos (aka Espero) is #37 and the Hyundai Lantra is #48. The #1 Japanese is the Honda Civic at #31.

Full Year 1996 Top 50 Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Spain

Finland 1994-1996: Opel Astra in command

January 27th, 1997 1 comment

Opel Astra

* See the Top 50 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to STAC *

The Finnish new car market is up a very healthy 21% in 1994 to 68,000 units, and the Opel Astra snaps the pole position away from the Toyota Corolla for just… 6 units at 4,797 vs. 4,791, both models capturing a 7.1% market share. Exceptional progression of the VW Golf coming from #20 in ’93 to #3 in ’94 thanks to 3,990 sales and 5.9%. The Nissan Sunny slides down to #4, followed by the Ford Mondeo (+62%) and Nissan Primera (+86%).

Notice also the VW Vento up 75% to #10, the Lada 1200/2107 up 33% but down 3 spots to #12, the Citroen Xantia up 133% to #18 and the VW Passat up 145% to #19.

In 1996, new car sales in Finland are up to 96,500. The Opel Astra keeps its crown with 5,597 sales and 5.8% ahead of the Toyota Corolla at 5,376 units and the Opel Vectra at 5,342, both at 5.6%. The VW Golf is down to #4 (4.6%), followed by its booted version the VW Vento at #5 and 3.8% share.

Newcomers include the Nissan Almera landing directly at #10, the Peugeot 406 at #11, the Renault Megane at #14 and Volvo S40/V40 at #15. Notice also the Renault Laguna up 131% on ’94 to #17, the VW Polo up 261% to #18, the Ford Fiesta up 199% to #19, the Fiat Punto up 318% to #21 and the Chrysler Neon at #48.

Previous post: Finland 1993: Toyota Corolla sovereign

Next post: Finland 1998: Toyota Corolla and Opel Astra dominate

Full Year 1994 and 1996 Top 50 Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Finland

Austria 1996: Audi A4, VW Polo and Skoda Felicia shine

January 27th, 1997 No comments

Skoda Felicia

* See the Top 50 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to STAC *

While the podium stay unchanged compared to 1994 with the VW Golf, Opel Astra and Ford Focus dominating sales, the rest of the Top 10 sees fascinating evolution in Austria in 1996. The all-new Audi A4 replaces the 80/90 in the Top 10 and goes further up, reaching an outstanding 4th place this year with 12,182 sales and 4% share. The VW Polo is up 34 spots on ’94 to #6 thanks to 10,848 units sold.

But the most impressive feat is achieved by the Skoda Felicia, landing directly in 7th place with 8,923 sales and 2.9% share. This is the start of a period of enormous success for Skoda in Austria. Further down, notice the Ford Fiesta up to #10, the Renault Megane landing at #11, the Mercedes E-Class at #17, the Fiat Bravo/Brava at #18, the BMW 5 Series up to #22, the Audi A6 at #25 and the Nissan Almera at #26.

Previous post: Austria 1993-1994: VW Golf above 10% share, Mazda 323 #5

Next post: Austria 1998: VW Golf, Passat and Opel Astra on podium

Full Year 1996 Top 50 Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Austria

Switzerland 1996: VW Golf #1, 3 Opels in Top 4

January 26th, 1997 No comments

Opel Vectra

* See the Top 50 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to STAC *

The 1996 Top 3 best-selling models in Switzerland stay unchanged vs. 1994: the VW Golf dominates at 6.1% share, followed by the Opel Astra at 5.2% and the Opel Corsa at 3.3%. In fact, with the Opel Vectra at #4 with 8,472 sales and 3.1%, Opel places 3 models in the Swiss Top 4 this year… The Audi A4 makes a thunderous entry in the Top 10 directly at #5 with 7,731 units and 2.8% while the Fiat Punto is up to #6 and the VW Polo up to #7.

Further down, notice the Peugeot 306 breaking into the year-end Top 10 at #10, the Renault Megane (#17) and Fiat Bravo/a (#18) make their first appearance in the ranking, the BMW 5 Series shoots up to #20 while the VW Sharan and Ford Galaxy rank #35 and #48 respectively.

Previous post: Switzerland 1994: VW Golf reclaims top spot

Next post: Switzerland 1990-1999: VW Golf and Subaru Legacy shine

Full Year 1996 Top 50 Ranking Table below.

Read more…

Categories: Switzerland
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