Sweden 1978: Volvo 240, Saab 99 and Volvo 340 on top

Volvo 245

* See ‘Read more’ for the Top 20 best-selling models!  Many thanks to Torbjörn for the data *

In 1978 just over 200,000 new cars were purchased in Sweden (200,874 exactly). The Volvo 240 leads the models ranking by a large margin with 37,564 sales for a massive 18.7% market share. The Saab 99 is in 2nd place at 18,613 units and 9.3%, followed by the Volvo 340 with 9,873 sales and 4.9%.

Saab 99

The VW Golf is the best-selling foreign model at #4 and 4.2%, ahead of the Ford Granada (3.8%) and Opel Rekord (3.4%). The Saab 95/96 ranks 9th with 2.8% of the Swedish market. Notice the arrival of the Saab 900 at #16 with 3,264 sales.

Full Year 1978 Top 20 Ranking Table below.

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Europe 1977: Fiat 127 and Ford Taunus dominate

Fiat 127 Europe 1977Fiat 127

* See the Top 3 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Flavio *

If the European best-seller stays unchanged for the 5th year in a row with the Fiat 127 clocking another 453,300 sales this year, below it the cards are redistributed once again. The Ford Taunus/Cortina makes a remarkable entrance on the podium at #2, while the Renault 5 drops one spot to #3. Interestingly, the VW Golf gets pushed out of the podium after making its first appearance in it last year.

Full Year 1977 Top 3 models Ranking Table below.

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Australia 1978: Holden Kingwood reclaims lead, Commodore #1 in December

Holden Premier Australia 1978Holden Kingswood Premier

* See the Top 10 best-selling models by clicking on the title – Thanks Paul *

Whereas last year it got dislodged by the Ford Falcon for the annual pole position, the Holden Kingswood reclaims its throne in 1978 despite sales down 3% to 52.559 units vs. 50.350 (-8%) for the Ford Falcon. The Holden Torana/Sunbird (+13%), Chrysler Sigma and Ford Cortina round up the Top 5, with the Datsun 200B the best-selling Japanese nameplate in Australia at #6 and the Toyota Corona/Celica, Toyota Corolla and Datsun 120Y also ranking inside the 1978 Top 10.

People Trust Holden, Commodore, Double TakeThe very first Holden Commodore 

Australia November 1978November 1978: the Holden Commodore appears in the Australian sales charts.

But the big news in 1978 is the launch of the legendary nameplate Holden Commodore in November, when it ranks #4 with 3.090 sales. As early as December 1978, the Commodore takes the lead of the Australian sales charts thanks to 4.710 units sold, ahead of the Ford Falcon (4.641) and Holden Kingswood (3.478). The Commodore would end up being either the #1 or #2 annual best-seller in Australia for 33 years without interruption until 2011…

Full Year 1978 and each month Top 10 models Ranking Table below.

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Australia 1977: Ford Falcon dislodges long-term leader Holden

Ford Falcon Australia 1977Ford Falcon

* See the Top 5/10 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Paul *

Thanks to Paul I can share with you official models data for Australia in 1977, in actual fact a very significant year for this market, as it is the first year since the launch of the Holden brand in 1948 that a Holden does not top the annual sales charts. The Ford Falcon is responsible for this historical event, selling 54,506 units this year and edging out the Holden Kingswood for pole position at 53,934 sales. The Holden Torana/Sunbird rounds up the podium, followed by the Datsun 180B/200B and Toyota Corona/Celica. The Ford Cortina, Holden Gemini , Chrysler Galant/Sigma, Toyota Corolla and Datsun 120Y are also successful.

Previous post: Australia 1969-1976: Ford catches up on Holden, a Datsun on the podium

Next post: Australia 1979-1981: Holden Commodore an instant hit

Full Year 1977 Top 5 and Sept-Dec Top 10 Ranking Tables below.

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Spain 1974-1977: Seat 127 reaches record levels

1978 Seat 127

* See the 127’s sales figures for each year between 74 and 78 by clicking on the title! *

Thanks to Ricardo we now have access to sales figures of the favourite car in Spain for 4 years in a row between 1974 and 1977: the Seat 127. The small rebadged Fiat reaches 125,066 sales in 1974, which is still today (2012) the highest volume ever delivered by a single model in one year in Spain. Each year after that is slightly lower but the Seat 127 still passes the 100,000 annual units mark in 1975, 1976 and 1977, before being passed by the Ford Fiesta in 1978. No model would manage that feat again until the Renault Megane 27 years later in 2004!

Previous post: Spain 1973: Seat places 4 models in Top 4, 127 leads

Next post: Spain 1980: Ford Fiesta, Renault 5 and Fiat Ritmo on top

See the 1974-1978 yearly sales figures below.

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USA 1977: Chevrolet Impala/Caprice takes the lead, Ford F-Series now best-selling truck

Chevrolet Impala/Caprice

* Click on the title for the Top 10 best-selling models – Thanks to Adam for the data! *

After two years of Oldsmobile domination, the Chevrolet Impala/Caprice takes advantage of its downsizing to become America’s best-selling vehicle and passenger car with a whopping 657,151 sales, up 45% on 1976. The Oldsmobile Cutlass is now #2 with sales still up year-on-year, but at a shyer 6% to 527,939 units.

1977 Ford F-Series

In the trucks ranking, the Ford F-Series climbs onto the pole position, and has never looked back since, holding the title of America’s best-selling truck for 34 consecutive years!

Ford LTD

Back to passenger cars to salute the 3rd place of the Ford LTD, up 5% on last year to reach 380,499 sales, followed by the Chevrolet Monte Carlo, down one spot to #4. There are 3 newcomers in the Top 10: the Ford Granada directly to 5th place with 355,186 sales, the Ford Thunderbird at #6 and 325,153 units and the Buick Century in 10th position with 279,657 sales.

Previous post: USA 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass still America’s favourite

Next post: USA 1978 Chevrolet Impala/Caprice #1, Ford Fairmont arrives

Full Year 1977 and September-December Top 10 Ranking Tables below.

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Sweden 1976-1977: Volvo 240 most popular

1975 Volvo 244

Launched in 1974, the Volvo 240 was produced at no less than 2,685,171 units up until 1993. This makes it the most popular Volvo model ever, and it was Volvo’s best seller and the best-selling model in Sweden for a decade starting in 1975. The Saab 99 should follow.

If you have any detailed info for the period, please make sure to get in touch.

More info about the Volvo 240 here, more pictures: click on ‘Read more’ below.

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Australia 1969-1976: Ford catches up on Holden, a Datsun on the podium

1969 Chrysler Valiant

* See the 1970-1973 yearly brands rankings & many more vintage pictures by clicking on the title! *

Thanks to the help of the State Library of Sydney I have been able to continue searching through old Wheels magazines to share with you the evolution of the Australian car market over the past 60 years. Today we’re exploring the 7 years between 1969 and 1976.

1970 Holden

1970 Ford Galaxie LTD

This period saw Holden and Ford get closer, while Chrysler maintained itself in third position at around 10% of the market. Japanese brands get stronger and stronger: Toyota led the pack in 1970 before being passed by Datsun in 1972.

The Datsun 180B is the best-selling Japanese car in Australia over the period.

1970 Toyota Corona Coupe

For the very first time in 1973 models data becomes available: the Holden is #1 with 94,419 sales, ahead of the Ford Falcon at 62,352 units. The Datsun 1200/1600/180B ranks at an excellent third place with 36,723 sales, just above the Holden Torana at 36,366 units.

1971 Honda 1300

1970 Mazda 1200 Coupe

1970 Subaru 1100

The Toyota Corona/Corolla/Celica takes the 5th spot with 34,650 sales, followed by the Ford Cortina/Escort/Capri at 31,828 and the Chrysler Valiant at 31,721. Mazda ranks #9. Other successful Japanese brands over the period include Honda at #11 in 1972. Subarus and Mitsubishis also feature quite regularly on Wheels Magazine at that time.

1971 Renault 12

The Renault 12 won the title of Wheels Car of the Year in 1971 but sales of French models stayed confidential during the period, with Peugeot and Renault adding up to a meagre 1.7% market share in 1972.

Previous ‘Japan special’ post: Australia 1958-1968: Toyota and Japan’s first export market

Previous general post: Australia 1960-1968: Ford unveils Falcon to challenge Holden

Next post: Australia 1977: Ford Falcon dislodges long-term leader Holden

Full Year 1970, 1971, 1972 Top 10 Brands, 1973 Top 10 Models Ranking Tables below.

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Europe 1976: Fiat 127 leads, VW Golf on podium for the first time

VW Golf Europe 1976VW Golf

* See the Top 3 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Flavio *

Fourth consecutive year of reign for the Fiat 127 in the European sales charts thanks to 439,100 units finding a buyer in 1976. The Renault 5 reclaims the 2nd spot it held in 1974 while we welcome the VW Golf onto the European podium for the very first time at #3…

Full Year 1976 Top 3 Ranking Table below.

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UK 1976: Ford Escort claims pole position, Mini stays on podium

Ford Escort

* See the Top 15 best-selling models by clicking on the title *

The UK new car market is back up 8% year-on-year in 1976 to 1,285,583 registrations. Eight years after its original launch, the Ford Escort is the UK’s best selling model for the first time this year, up 29% to 133,959 sales and 10.4% share. It manages to pass the Ford Cortina, up ‘only’ 18% to 126,238 units and 9.8%. The BMC Mini stays stable in third position with a solid 6.3% share, as do the Morris Marina (#4) and Austin Allegro (#5).

BMC Mini

Vauxhall Chevette

The new Vauxhall Chevette, launched in 1975, is up 9 ranks to land in 6th position for its first full year of sales thanks to 43,827 units sold, above the Ford Capri, back within the top 10 at #7 after one year absence. The Austin Maxi is also back within the country’s 10 best-sellers after missing out in ’75, up 4 ranks to #9.

Full Year 1976 Top 14 Ranking Table: click on ‘Read more’ below the Austin Maxi pic.

Ford Capri

Austin Maxi

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