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

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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