Greece 1980-1990: Ford Escort and Nissan Sunny popular

Nissan Sunny

* See the Top 10 best-selling brands by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Bill *

From 1980 to 1990 only total sales figures for Greece are available, with limited information on the best-selling models. Popular brands in the country during this period were Ford (#1 in 1982), Opel (#1 in 1984), Nissan (#1 in 1987, 88 and 90), Toyota (#1 in 1989), Seat and Lada.

Ford Escort

In 1982, the Ford Escort was the best-selling car in the country, and throughout the 80s the Nissan Sunny, manufactured in Greece was a regular fixture atop the models ranking. Toyota took the lead of the brands ranking in 1988 thanks to the new generation Corolla and the Starlet, Seat sold plenty of Ibizas, Fiat heaps of Unos.

Skoda 105

Curiously, the Austin Metro and Montego were also very popular due to Austin Rover’s very aggressive pricing strategy in the country, Lada was on the podium in 1988, Zastava ranked #4 in 1984 thanks to the 1100 and Skoda was #9 in 1987 thanks to the 105. Low cost brands were Greek favourites due to the very high taxes in place…

Previous post: Greece 1963-1979: Ford and Opel pass the relay to Toyota and Fiat

Next post: Greece 1987: Nissan Sunny, Cherry and Lada Nova on podium

1980-1990 Total sales figures and Top 10 brands below.

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West Germany 1990: Golf and Kadett dominate, Vectra up

VW Golf

* See the Top 100 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Thanks Florian for the data *

Healthy car market for West Germany’s last year before the reunification, up 7% to 3,040,784 units. The podium is unchanged, with the VW Golf leading the way with a very imposing sales figure of 330,420 units or 10.9% share, followed by the Opel Kadett at 227,002 sales and 7.5% and the VW Passat at 144,238 units and 4.7%.

Opel Vectra

Just below and up one spot on 1989, the Opel Vectra sells 143,380 units (4.7%), ahead of the Mercedes 200/300 (4.5%) and Audi 80 (3.7%). The BMW 5 Series breaks into the Top 10 for the very first time while the Renault 19 becomes Germany’s best-selling foreign model at #16 with 52,674 sales (1.7%). It is followed by the Fiat Uno at #17, the Toyota Corolla at #18, the Mazda 323 at #19 and the Peugeot 205 at #20. That’s 5 foreign models in the Top 20, their strongest showing in a long while…

Finally, notice the VW Beetle selling 96 units for its 45th and last year in the German ranking… So long!

Full Top 100 Ranking Table below.

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East Germany 1958-1990: Trabant and Wartburg omnipresent

1973 Trabant 601

The East German car market was unique and totally different from West Germany. The most popular model by far and one of the most famous cars in the world, reaching iconic status after the Berlin Wall Fall in 1989, the Trabant dominated the East German car landscape during the period.

The original model, the P50, introduced in 1957, was replaced by the 601 in 1963 and this model stayed practically unchanged up to its production end in 1991. In total, over 3.7 million Trabants were produced between 1958 and 1991.

Trabant painting on the Berlin Wall

Since it could take years for a Trabant to be delivered from the time it was ordered, people who finally got one were very careful with it and usually became skillful in maintaining and repairing it, and as a result the lifespan of an average Trabant was 28 years. Used Trabants would often fetch a higher price than new ones, as the former were available immediately… More on the Trabant here.

2009 Trabant nT

In 2007, Bavarian miniature vehicles manufacturer Herpa announced the project of introducing the Trabant nT, a new, all-electric version of the model. Production was planned to start in 2012 but has been put on hold since. More about this here.

1966 Wartburg 353

Another symbol of the East German car industry is the Wartburg, with the 353 produced between 1966 and 1985, then replaced by the 1.3 from 1985 to 1991.

Source: Wikipedia


Canada 1990: Chevrolet C/K Pickup and Cavalier dominate

Chevrolet C/K Pickup

* See the Top 10 best-selling Passenger Cars and Light Trucks by clicking on the title! Thanks Pedro *

In 1990 the Chevrolet C/K Pickup and Ford F-Series are the most popular Light Trucks in Canada while the Chevrolet Cavalier and Honda Civic are the best-selling Passenger Cars. It is unclear which model is the best-seller overall. Notice also the Honda Accord at #3 in the Passenger Cars ranking, the Pontiac Sunbird at #5, the Mercury Topaz at #8 and Chevrolet Lumina at #10. As far as Light Trucks are concerned, the Ford Aerostar is #3, followed by the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager.

Full Year 1990 Top 10 Ranking Tables: click on ‘Read more’ below the Ford Aerostar pic.

Ford Aerostar

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Sweden 1989-1990: Volvo 700, Saab 9000 & VW Golf on podium

Volvo 760

* See ‘Read more’ for the Top 25 best-selling models! Many thanks to Torbjörn for the data *

Though couple of years for car sales in Sweden after the high of 1988: the market is down 11% in 1989 to 307,104 registrations, and down a further 25% in 1990 to 229,941 units. The Volvo 700 keeps the lead in both years with 40,487 sales (13.2%) in ’89 and 25,032 (10.9%) in ’90.

Saab 9000

The VW Golf stays #2 in ’89 with a strong 5% market share but drops to #3 in ’90 at 4.7%, passed by the Saab 9000, gearing up all through the period: #3 in ’89 with 14,443 sales and 4.7% and #2 in ’90 at 12,907 units and 5.6%. Meanwhile, the Volvo 200 continues to slip down slowly, to #5 in ’90 and the Volvo 400 makes its first appearance in ’89 in 5th place with 11,966 sales and 3.9%.

The Toyota Corolla takes off: from 9th in ’89 to an outstanding 4th place in ’90 at 8,335 units and 3.6%, by far the best score ever for a Japanese model in Sweden. The Saab 900 is down 42% to #12 in ’90 with 6,638 sales and 2.9% and the Volvo 900 lands directly in 13th place in ’90 at 6,464 units and 2.8% for its first year of sales.

Previous post: see the Swedish 1988 Top 25 best-selling models here.

Next post: Sweden 1991: Volvo 900 takes the lead

Full Year 1989 and 1990 Ranking Tables below.

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Brazil 1987-1989: VW Gol takes the lead, Chevy Monza #2

VW Gol

Launched in 1980, the VW Gol had to wait until its first restyling in 1987 to take the lead of Brazilian car sales. This is the start of 23 years atop the rankings… Over 5 million units of the VW Gol would be produced in 30 years! The Gol sells 104,111 units in 1988 and 107,101 (+3%) in 1989 to stay on top of the ranking.

The podium also stays unchanged in 1988 and 1989: the Chevrolet Monza is #2 both years with 70,214 then 73,707 sales (+5%) whereas the Ford Escort in 3rd at 68,789 sales in 1988 and 61,406 (-11%) in 1989, even though it took advantage of a weak month of sales for the Gol to take the lead of the Brazilian market in November 89.

Chevrolet Monza

The Fiat Uno, #4 in 1989 at +11%, exchanges positions with the Chevrolet Chevette, 5th at -32% in 1989. The Chevrolet Kadett is an instant hit when it launches in the country in 1989: it is 9th overall but already a regular fixture in the Top 5 throughout the 2nd half of the year.

Full Top 20 Ranking Tables for 1988 and 1989: click on ‘Read more’ below.

You can access Brazilian cars expert Marcelo de Vasconcellos‘s recounting of the original VW Gol launch and subsequent success by clicking on ‘Read more’ below.

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UK 1988-1989: Ford Escort leader, Sierra and Fiesta follow

Ford Escort

* See the Top 20/100 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Florian *

In an ever growing market, now over 2 million annual sales, the Ford Escort resists on top and lodges its 7th and 8th consecutive years at #1 in 1988 and 1989. Ford still dominates the podium, with the facelifted Sierra up to #2 and the Fiesta at #3. Both the Ford Escort and the Ford Sierra reach what would end up being their highest volume ever in the country in 1989 at 181,218 and 175,911 units respectively.

Ford Sierra

Two Vauxhalls follow in 1989: the Cavalier (aka Opel Vectra) up from #6 in 88, and the Astra (aka Opel Kadett), stable at #5. After a very solid year in 88 (116,811 units), the Austin Metro loses steam in 89 to #6 while the Vauxhall Nova (aka Opel Corsa) is up to #7. The Rover 200 progresses each year to reach 68,316 sales in 1989 (#9).

Range Rover

After beating the foreign model annual volume record in 86 (39,188) and 87 (49,127), the Peugeot 205 does it again in 88 (54,147) before the VW Golf beats it in 89 (56,055). Notice the Nissan Micra up to #12 and 52,143 sales in 88, improving further to 54,175 units in 89, the excellent start of the Peugeot 405, landing directly at #14 in 89 with 47,834 sales, the Rover 800 up 46% to 29,442 units and #24 in 89 and the BMW 3 Series up to #26 and 29,067 sales that same year.

Further down the 1989 ranking, the Vauxhall Carlton (aka Opel Omega) is #28, the Austin Mini is down to #40 with 12,852 sales, the Jaguar XJ is #44, the Hyundai Pony #52, the Range Rover #54 and the Vauxhall Belmont (aka Opel Kadett sedan) #80.

1988 Top 20 and 1989 Top 100 Ranking Tables below.

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Argentina 1989: Fiat Spazio surprise (and quick!) leader

Fiat Spazio

* Many thanks to Bruno for making this post possible! *

After ranking third in 1988, the Fiat 127, named Spazio in Argentina, surprises the automotive world and takes the lead of the country’s sales charts in 1989. In fact, its accession to the throne marks a year of transition between the reign of the Renault 12, #1 from 1984 to 1988, and the Fiat Duna (a Fiat Uno sedan) which will dominate new car sales in Argentina for the next 5 years.

Previous post: Argentina 1984-1988: Renault 12 dominates for 5 years in a row

Next post: Argentina 1990-1993: Fiat Duna leads the way

Italy 1989: Fiat Uno, Tipo and Panda on podium

Fiat Uno

Fiat Tipo

* See the Top 20 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Andrea *

Italian consumers bought 2.362.355 new cars in 1989. The Fiat Uno underwent a significant facelift this year and keeps its stranglehold on the Italian market with 382,500 sales and 16.2% share. The Fiat Tipo stays #2 at 262,520 units and 11.1% which would remain its best figures. The Fiat Panda follows and hits its best-ever volume at 223,410 units.

Autobianchi/Lancia Y10

In the midst of the purchase of the Autobianchi brand by Lancia, the Y10 is up 12% and stays #4 with 124,450 sales and 5.3%, ahead of the VW Golf and Renault 5. Notice the Citroen AX breaking into the Top 10 and the Ford Fiesta up to #11.

Previous year: Italy 1988: Fiat Uno leads, Fiat Tipo close to 14% in December

Next year: Italy 1990: Fiat Uno keeps pole position

Full Year 1989 Top 20 Ranking Table below.

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France 1989: Last year on top for Renault Supercinq

Renault Supercinq

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

For the third consecutive year the French car market beats records and totals 2,274,307 units in 1989, up 3% year-on-year. Fourth and last year of reign for the Renault Supercinq, still very strong at 236,929 sales and 10.4% share, down only 2% on 1988. It was first 7 times and peaked at 11.7% in February.

Peugeot 205

The Peugeot 205 was leading the year-to-date ranking up until September but a poor end of the year saw it lose its advantage to finish #2 for the 4th year in a row at 220,869 units and 9.7% share, ranking 1st 5 times and peaking at 11.6% too in June.

Renault 19

The Renault 19 confirms its outstanding start in ’88 by climbing onto the last step of the podium with 174,417 sales and an impressive 7.7% share for its first full year of sales. It hit what would remain its highest monthly share ever in June at 9% and even ranked #2 ahead of the 205 in September… In 4th place the Peugeot 405 improves on an already solid ’88 score at 144,977 units and 6.4%, up 5% and delivers its highest monthly share and ranking in May at 7.6% and #2, above the Supercinq…

Below the Renault 21, down 9% to #5, the Citroen AX drops one spot to #6 but increases its market share to 6.1% thanks to 138,418 sales, up 8% year-on-year. It peaks at 7.6% in July. The VW Golf beats its own ’88 record and delivers the highest volume (and possibly share) ever for a foreign model at 88,560 units and 3.8%. The Ford Fiesta is up 4 spots to #10, followed in the imports ranking by the Fiat Uno (#12), Opel Corsa (#13), Ford Escort (#14) and Fiat Tipo (#15).

Previous year: see the 1988 France Top 20 best-selling models here.

Full Year 1989 Top 100, very Monthly Top 10 Ranking Tables and all models sales below.

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