Europe 2003: Peugeot 206 most popular, Golf down to #2

Peugeot 206

* See the Top 100 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

5 years after its launch and after missing the title by only 500 units last year, the Peugeot 206 finally becomes the best selling car in Europe in 2003. It is the first time a Peugeot ever achieves this feat, and only the second time in 21 years the VW Golf is not #1 (after the Fiat Punto ranked first in 1997).

The Peugeot 206 leads with 551,481 sales (-7%), a comfortable margin over the Golf which is under the 500,000 sales mark for the first time in over 15 years at 494,832 units, down 17% on 2002. The Golf 5, launched in November 2003, should bring the spark back into the nameplate’s sales next year. The Renault Clio is down 8% to 461,369 sales but this is enough to land on the podium for the first time since 1991 at #3.

Renault Clio

The Peugeot 307 has another extremely solid year at 446,172 units, up 1% and is now #2 in its category behind only the VW Golf, with the Ford Focus down 15% to #5. The Renault Megane is back in the Top 10, up 6 spots and 36% to #8 with 354,814 sales while the Opel Astra dives down to #9 (-19%). The Citroen C3 takes off: up 130% and 21 spots on 2002 to #12 with 313,747 sales. Notice also the Nissan Micra up 12 ranks to #25, the Audi A3 up 6 to #30, the Opel Meriva landing directly at #35, the Mazda6 at #48 and the VW Touran directly #47 with 91,602 units.

Previous year: Europe 2002: VW Golf only 500 units above Peugeot 206

Next year: Europe 2004: VW Golf, Peugeot 206 and 307 on podium

Full Year 2003 Top 100 Ranking Table and every model’s sales below.

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South Africa 2003: Toyota Corolla and Hilux on top

Toyota Corolla

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

Thanks to Vic Mouton I have some insight on the best-selling models in South Africa in 2003 with a Top 10 for May. Although not representative of the Full Year 2003 ranking, it still gives an idea of what sold most then.

Unsurprisingly, the Toyota Corolla leads the way with 2,165 sales, followed by the Toyota Hilux at 1,831 units and the Nissan Hardbody at 1,201 sales. Other successful models include the Mercedes C-Class, Toyota Tazz, VW CitiGolf and VW Polo.

Full May 2003 Top 10 Ranking Table below.

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Spain 2003: Seat Ibiza and Ford Focus on top

Seat Ibiza

* See the Top 20 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

1.382 million new cars were sold in Spain in 2003, and the fight for the title of best-seller in the country is very tight this year: the Seat Ibiza wins with 66,265 sales, just ahead of the Ford Focus at 65,626 units and the Peugeot 307 up 14% to 65,087 sales. The Peugeot 206 ranks 4th this year at 60,276 units followed by the Renault Megane and Clio. Notice the Citroen C3 breaking into the Top 10 at #8 with 42,671 sales. Other nationals include the Seat Leon at #10 with 39,262 sales and the Seat Cordoba outside the Top 20 with 20,272 units.

Full Year Top 20 Ranking Table below.

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Japan 2003: Corolla back on top, Toyota Wish #3

Toyota Wish

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

This year no less than 4 different models held the Japanese best seller trophy for at least one month: the Toyota Corolla, back to #1 after having its 33-year long reign interrupted by the Honda Fit last year, held it for 7 months and finishes the year at 198,904 sales (-12%). The Fit was #1 three times and is #2 overall with 182,285 units (-27%).

Nissan Cube

The Toyota Wish, launched in January, led the ranking in April and landed directly in 3rd place with 158,658 sales for its very first year. The Honda Odyssey, facelifted in October, was #1 in December but is only #20 overall. The new generation Nissan Cube, #4 overall at 139,570 sales, missed the first spot for 96 sales in September when it sold 17,512 units.

Honda Odyssey

Two more models sell over 100,000 units this year: the Nissan March drops 11% at #5 with 123,709 and the Toyota Ist is stable at #6 with 103,946 sales. Other good performers include the Subaru Legacy at #12 (+25%) and the Mitsubishi Colt at #14 (+431%).

You can see every monthly Top 30 for 2003 here. 

Previous year: Japan 2002: Honda Fit interrupts 33-year long Toyota Corolla domination!

Next year: Japan 2004: Toyota Corolla, Honda Fit and Nissan Cube on podium

Full Year 2003 Top 30 Ranking Table below.

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Germany 2003: VW Golf feels the heat

VW Golf

*See the Top 100 best-selling models and each monthly Top 20 by clicking on the title! *

New car sales are down 3% in Germany this year at 3,236,938 units. The VW Golf continues its downward spiral at a worrying -20% this year to 205,084 sales and 6.3% share, its lowest annual volume in Germany in 22 years!

The VW Golf had been the #1 car in the country for 128 consecutive months since April 1992 and in 2003 the unthinkable nearly happened twice: in January the Golf was down 30% to 16,194 sales and 6.8% share while the BMW 3 Series was up 95% to 15,067 units and best-ever 6.3% share…In December, the Golf dropped to a lowest-ever 5.3% share and 12,258 sales while the VW Polo was up to 4.6% and 10,647 units…Both much smaller margins than what the Golf is used to.

BMW 3 Series

Overall the BMW 3 Series keeps its 2nd spot at 135,293 sales and 4.2%, ahead of the VW Polo up 4 spots to a best-ever #3 position at 112,925 units and 3.5%, followed by the VW Passat, Audi A4 and Mercedes C and E Class. The Opel Astra hits rock bottom at #8 and only 89,567 sales, by far its weakest performance ever, and even dropped to #10 and 2% share in December.

VW Touran

Disturbing the Golf this year is the all-new VW Touran built on the same platform. Launched in June, it is an instant hit with German consumers, breaking into the Top 10 as early as August (#8) and into the Top 5 in October! It finishes the year at #16 with 51,628 sales.

For the third year running the Peugeot 206 is the best-selling import, improving to #12 and 2% share and what is still Peugeot’s strongest single model annual volume in Germany at 63,426 sales. It peaked at #10 in June and July but was passed by the Peugeot 307 reaching a best-ever 13th spot in December. The Audi A3 grows to a best-ever 13th place this year, the Skoda Fabia is the first Skoda to ever break into the German year-end Top 20 at #18 and the Opel Meriva lands directly at #28, peaking at #12 in July.

Full Top 100 and every Monthly Top 20 Ranking Tables below.

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Sweden 2002-2003: Volvo V70 & Saab 9-5 dominate, Megane a hit

* See the Top 30 best-selling models by clicking on ‘Read more’ at end of post *

Car sales in Sweden stabilise at 254,589 units in 2002 and 261,206 in 2003. The Volvo V/C70 stays brilliantly above 10%, followed both years by the Saab 9-5 at 6.4% in 2002 and 5.9% in 2003.

The Renault Megane jumps 7 spots to land on the podium at #3 in 2002 at 10,092 sales (4%), the first time in 6 years a foreign model is on the podium and the first time ever a French model does so! It drops to 6th in 2003, replaced by the new generation Saab 9-3 at #3 with 11,595 sales and 4.4%, up from #4 (3.8%) in 2002. The VW Golf goes from 6th in 2002 to 4th in 2003, whereas the Volvo S40/V40 is stable at #5 both years.

Previous post: see the Swedish 2000-2001 Top 30 best-selling models here.

Full 2002 & 2003 Top 30 Ranking Tables: click on ‘Read more’ below the Saab 9-3 picture.

2003 Saab 9-3

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Romania 2003: Dacia Solenza takes the lead

Dacia Solenza

I only have official figures for the first 9 months of the year in Romania, so if you have more compete data please make sure to get in touch!

After 2 years of domination of the Dacia SupeRNova, the new Solenza, launched in 2003, takes the lead of the Romanian car market with 15,223 sales over the first 9 months of the year.

Climbing to #2, the Daewoo Matiz, produced in the country, sells 10,597 units, just ahead of the Dacia 1310 at #3 with 10,546 sales. Another locally produced Daewoo, the Cielo, is #4 ahead of the Renault Symbol.

Full 9 months 2003 Ranking Table: click on ‘Read more’ below.

Daewoo Matiz

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Croatia 2003: Renault Clio distant leader at 9%

I only have official figures for the first 7 months of the year in Croatia, so if you have more complete data please make sure to get in touch!

Produced in neighbouring Slovenia, the Renault Clio is the best selling car in Croatia over the first 7 months of 2003 with a comfortable margin: at 4,381 sales it grabs 9% whereas the #2, the Opel Corsa, is at 6.8% with 3,306 sales.

The Fiat Punto rounds off the podium at 3,240 sales and 6.7%, the Opel Astra follows in 4th with 5.4%, ahead of the Skoda Fabia at 4.5% and the Peugeot 206 at 4.1%.

Full Top 20 Ranking Table below.

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Norway 2002-2003: Toyota Corolla takes the lead

Toyota Corolla

* See the Top 20 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

The Norwegian car market drops under 90,000 units over the period at 88,721 registrations in 2002 and 89,920 in 2003. The lead changes again and Volkswagen gives up the pole position to Toyota with the Corolla at #1 both years at 5.7% then 4.8% of the market.

The VW Passat, leader in 2001, drops to #2 in 2002 and #4 in 2003, whereas the Toyota Avensis jumps from #7 in 2002 to #2 in 2003 at 3,959 sales and 4.4%. The Peugeot 307 delivers astounding figures, #4 in 2002 at 4% of the market and #3 in 2003 at 4.3%. The Ford Mondeo is down to #5 and the VW Golf down to #7.

Previous post: Norway 2001: VW Passat and Ford Mondeo dominate

Next post: Norway 2004: Toyota Avensis new leader

Full Year 2002 and 2003 Top 20 Ranking Tables below.

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Mexico 2003: VW Pointer leads, Chevy and Tsuru follow

In 2003 the best selling car in Mexico is the VW Pointer (aka Gol) with 69,816 sales, only 750 units above the Chevrolet Chevy C2 at 69,069 sales. The Nissan Tsuru comes in 3rd at 60,536 units followed by the Nissan Platina (aka Renault Symbol) at 51,383 sales and the VW Jetta at 47,877.

Full Top 15 Ranking Table below.

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