Archive for January, 1999

Portugal 1998: Opel Corsa and Fiat Punto fight it out

January 30th, 1999 No comments

Opel Corsa

* See the Top 10 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

In 1998 two cars dominate the Portuguese models ranking: the Opel Corsa is in pole position with 19,482 sales, followed by the Fiat Punto at 19,136 units. They are both down 4% year-on-year. The Renault Clio is on the third step of the podium with 15,208 sales, ahead of the Ford Fiesta at 14,101 units and the VW Polo at 11,796.

The twins Citroen Saxo and Peugeot 106 rank #6 and #7 respectively, making the Opel Astra, #8 with 8,166 sales, the best-selling non-supermini! The VW Golf and Honda Civic round up the Top 10.

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

Next year: Portugal 1999: Renault Clio takes the lead for the first time

Full Year 1998 Top 10 Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Portugal

Italy 1998: Fiat Punto, Panda and Lancia Y dominate

January 29th, 1999 2 comments

Fiat Punto

Fiat Panda

* See the Top 100 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Marc *

While the Italian car market stays stable at a very high level with 2,374,703 registrations, the Fiat Punto celebrates its 5th year in a row atop the models ranking even if its market share slips down to (a still impressive) 12.1% at 288,477 sales, down 23%.

Lancia Y

The fight for the 2nd place is very tight: the Lancia Y was holding that position at half-year but it got passed by the Fiat Panda by year-end, still #2 no less than 18 years after its original launch in 1980 with 118,131 sales vs. 117,688 for the Y, both models holding 5% of the market.

The Opel Corsa is just below at 107,309 sales and up 2 spots, followed by the Fiat Bravo/a now counted together (-30%) and the VW Polo. The other event of 1998 is the replacement of the Fiat Cinquecento (still #6 in April) by the Fiat Seicento, a bit shy at first but up to #5 in November and #14 over the Full Year.

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

Next year: Italy 1999: Fiat Punto best-seller for 6th consecutive year

Full Year 1998 Top 100, March to June, October & November Top 10 Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Italy

UK 1998: Ford Fiesta leads, Escort leaves, Focus arrives

January 28th, 1999 No comments

Ford Fiesta

* See the Top 30 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Florian *

In 1998 no less than four Fords flirted with the title of UK’s best-selling car. The Ford Escort made the most of its last year of life and even climbed back on top of the ranking during the First Half of the year, but it is the Ford Fiesta that finished the year on top for the third time in a row with 116,110 sales (-3%) vs. 113,560 for the Escort.

Ford Escort

The Ford Mondeo stayed strong throughout the year and finished it at #3 with 99,729 units (-7%), while the Ford Focus, a bold Escort replacement, was off to a flying start during the last 3 months of the year and sold 8,571 units in total. The 3 usual Vauxhalls follow: the Vectra (-1%), Astra (-9%) and Corsa (-5%). The Peugeot 306 continues its impressive journey in the UK models ranking, beating its volume record 5 years after its original launch and breaking the foreign model annual volume record for the fourth year in a row at 70,169 sales and #7.

Ford Focus

In fact the entire Top 10 is absolutely identical to 1997’s, a very rare feat. 1998 is the last year Rover managed to place at least one model within the annual Top 10: the Rover 200 is #9 and the Rover 400 is #10. The Fiat Punto is up 4 spots and 15% to #11, the Renault Megane is up 6 ranks and 56% to #16 and 47,890 sales, while the VW Passat (#24), Mercedes C Class (#25), Toyota Avensis (#26) and Corolla (#28) all break into the Top 30.

Full Year 1998 Top 30 and 6 + 10 months Top 10 Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: UK

Finland 1998: Toyota Corolla and Opel Astra dominate

January 27th, 1999 No comments

Toyota Corolla

* See the Top 10 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

In 1998 the Toyota Corolla is the best-selling model in Finland with 7,401 sales, however the two followers in the ranking are not far off: the Opel Astra is #2 at 7,264 units and the Toyota Carina/Avensis is #3 with 7,161 sales. The Opel Vectra and Ford Mondeo round up the Top 5. Notice the 8th place of the VW Polo Classic, the sedan version of the model.

Previous post: Finland 1994-1996: Opel Astra in command

Next post: Finland 2001: Opel Astra snaps up pole position

Full Year 1998 Top 10 Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Finland

Denmark 1998: Great start for the Toyota Avensis

January 27th, 1999 No comments

Toyota Avensis

* See the Top 10 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

Launched in 1997 to replace the Carina, already very succesful in the country, the Toyota Avensis starts with a bang in Denmark and holds the pole position for its first full year of sales with 8,935 units sold. The Opel Astra ranks 2nd with 7,738 sales, followed by the VW Polo at 6,776 units. The Ford Escort/Focus and VW Golf round up the Top 5.

Full Year 1998 Top 10 Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Denmark

Japan 1998: Corolla, Nissan Cube and Suzuki Wagon R favourites

January 26th, 1999 No comments

Toyota Corolla

* See the Top 30 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Florian + Joe *

In the passenger car category, the Toyota Corolla celebrates its 30th consecutive year atop the Japanese models ranking with 198,498 sales (-18% on 1997), nearly double the amount of the #2, the Nissan Cube, extremely successful at 107,857 units for its very first year in market.

Nissan Cube

The Mazda Demio rounds up the podium with 102,377 sales, up 16% and 6 spots on 1997. The Nissan March (-34%), Toyota Starlet (-15%), Honda StepWGN (-20%) and Toyota Mark II (-29%) follow and all sell upwards of 90,000 units in spite of strong declines.

Mitsubishi Chariot Grandis

As far as great performers are concerned, the Mitsubishi Chariot Grandis is up 377% this year to #9 with 70,644 sales, the Honda Accord is up 102% to #15 and the all-new Toyota Harrier lands at #19 while the Honda Capa is #27 for its first year. In the Kei car category, the Suzuki Wagon R is in pole position, even selling more than the Corolla at 206,548 registrations this year. It is followed by the Daihatsu Move at 169,990 units and the Mitsubishi Minica with 126,244 sales.

You can check each and every Top 30 monthly ranking here.

Previous year: Japan 1997: Toyota Corolla and Nissan March on top, Honda StepWGN up to #5

Next year: Japan 1999: Toyota Corolla and Vitz in the lead

Full Year 1998 Top 30 passenger cars and Top 5 kei cars Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Japan

Australia 1998: Commodore hits highest ever volume, Hyundai Excel #1 in June

January 24th, 1999 No comments

Holden Commodore

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

In 1998 the Australian car market breaks its own record for the 2nd time in a row, up 12% to pass the 800,000 annual units for the first time at 807,649, only one year after breaking the 700,000 units mark for the first time! This year the Holden Commodore takes a definitive advantage over the Ford Falcon, whose bold design has backfired in the country. In fact, the Holden Commodore reaches what will remain its strongest ever volume this year with sales up 23% to 94,642 and 11.7% share. This is still to this day the highest annual volume of any model in Australia. The Falcon reversely is down 4% to 68,75 units and 8.5%.

Hyundai Excel

The other big event in Australia this year happened in June, when the Hyundai Excel delivered one of the biggest surprises in the Australian car history by ranking #1 thanks to very aggressive price promotions. This is to my knowledge the first time since 1948 that an import model manages to take the lead of the Australia ranking… The Excel finishes the year in third place at a record 44,018 sales and 5.5% share…

Among other models to break their volume record this year we find the Toyota Camry/Vienta, up 36% to 42,031 units at #4, the Toyota Hilux up 25% to 20,820, the Ford Festiva up 32% to 20,170 and the Nissan Pulsar up 41% to 19,835. The Mitsubishi Lancer is up 40% to #10, the Toyota Starlet up 42% to #11, the Nissan Patrol up a huge 168% to #15, threatening the Toyota Land Cruiser at #11, the Toyota Prado up 48% to #17 and the Toyota RAV4 up 45% to #26.

Among the newcomers within the Top 50, notice the Honda CR-V landing directly at #23, the Holden Vectra at #24, the Subaru Forester at #32 and the Daewoo Nubira at #33. A sign that Hyundai’s fortunes could be about to turn, the Hyundai Lantra is down 36% to #27 while the Hyundai Sonata is down 38% to #41…

Previous year: Australia 1997: Commodore and Falcon down, Kia lands

Next year: Australia 1999: Commodore leads but down 10%

Full Year 1998 Top 50 Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Australia

Europe 1998: VW Golf, Renault Megane and Fiat Punto lead

January 24th, 1999 1 comment

VW Golf IV

* See the Top 25 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

1998 is a turbulent year as far as the best selling models ranking is concerned, with no less than 4 models vying for the first place.

The VW Golf is back on top at a brilliant 672,662 sales, up 34% year-on-year. Its year had started very poorly though, with the 4th generation really struggling at the start of its career: it is #8 in January and #7 in February! It ranked #1 in May for the first time in over a year and never looked back, peaking at 69,715 sales in July and holding the pole position 8 times out of 12 this year.

Renault Megane Scenic

The Renault Megane is the success story of the year. Already up 35% at #5 in 1997 (#4 based on an alternative source), it is up a further 3 spots and 21% to rank 2nd best selling car in Europe this year. Never a French model had been that successful outside of its native country. The Megane even ranked #1 in Europe in March (63,620 sales) and April (60,600)! This success is mostly due to the Scenic MPV version which accounts for half of Megane’s European sales.

Down 2 spots to 3rd place, the Fiat Punto is still solid at 560,986 sales (-5%). It was the best selling car in Europe in January and February, and in the YTD ranking up to July, but couldn’t resist the ramping up of the Golf. At #4 with 558,717 sales and up 12%, the Opel Astra sees the effect of its 3rd generation launched mid-year: from July onwards it ranked consistently on the podium, stepping up to #2 from September on, and only 3,000 sales below the Golf in November.

Citroen Xsara

Further down the ranking, the Renault Clio is boosted by its facelift, up 3 spots and 21% in 7th, the Citroen Xsara makes a brief appearance in the Top 10 in July with 28,750 sales and the Peugeot 206 starts what would end up being Peugeot’s most successful run in Europe with a 7th place in November at 28,000 sales.

Previous year: Europe 1997: Fiat Punto crowned for the first time

Next year: Europe 1999: Opel Astra a serious threat to the VW Golf

Full Year 1998 Top 25 and every Monthly Top 10 Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Europe

Spain 1998: Renault Megane clear leader, Seat Ibiza #2

January 22nd, 1999 No comments

Renault Megane

* See the Top 10 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

The Renault Megane leads the pack in 1998 with 90,462 sales, well ahead of a Seat Ibiza that managed to impose itself into a shiny 2nd place at 75,176 units. The Citroen Xsara rounds off the podium at 63,732 sales and 5.2%, followed by the Ford Escort/Focus at 55,584 and the Opel Corsa at 45,655.

Seat Ibiza

Citroen Xsara

Halfway through the year, Citroen places 3 models in the Top 10 with the Citroen Saxo at #5 and the Citroen Xantia at #10, however the Xantia disappears from the Top 10 by year-end.

Full and Half Year Top 10 Ranking Tables below.

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Categories: Spain

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

January 20th, 1999 No comments

VW Golf

See the Top 30 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

In 1998 the VW Golf clocked in 26,364 sales, that’s twice the amount of the #2, the VW Passat at 13,451 units. The Opel Astra takes the 3rd spot with 13,131 units, and only one more model delivers more than 10,000 sales: the VW Polo in 4th (10,236 units).

Notice the Skoda Octavia and Felicia at #8 and #9, the Mazda 323 and 626 at #12 and #14 and the Renault Espace doing really well at #19 with 3,953 sales.

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

Full Year 1998 Top 30 Ranking Table below.

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Categories: Austria