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Europe 1972: VW Beetle and two Fiats on top

VW Beetle Europe 1972Last year of European reign for the VW Beetle…

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

This is the oldest official sales data I have about Europe, and it shows the VW Beetle in the lead with 439,200 sales ahead of the Fiat 128 at 408,600 units and the Fiat 127 at 347,100. This would end up being the last time the Beetle dominates the European sales charts…

Full Year 1972 Top 3 Ranking Table below.

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Argentina 1971-1972: Ford Falcon reclaims leadership

Ford Falcon Argentina 1970. Picture courtesy of Ford Falcon, Argentina spec

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

After leading the Argentinean new car market in 1965, the Ford Falcon reclaims the pole position in 1971 thanks to 26,135 sales, and in 1972 with 25,312 units. Bizarrely, it reaches its highest annual sales volume in 1973 with 35,595 units finding a buyer in Argentina alone, but this isn’t enough to secure the model the #1 ranking that year, a position held for the first time by the Fiat 128…

France 1972: Simca 1100 best-seller

Simca 1100

1972 is a particular year for the French car market: the Simca 1100 takes the lead of the models sales ranking for just one year, and it would be the last Simca model to do so with the pole position being split between Renault and Peugeot models for the next 40 years! I have no detailed data for this year so if you do please get in touch!

Simca 1100

USA 1972: Chevrolet Vega threatens VW Beetle

1971 Chevrolet Vega

While going through old issues of Wheels Magazine at the Sydney State Library I fell upon some info on the US car market in 1972: then the VW Beetle’s domination of the small car segment was being threatened by the new Chevrolet Vega… Despite fire-risk carburettor and exhaust problems necessitating the recall of 130,000 cars and sabotage on the assembly lines (!) the Vega topped 520,000 sales in the States only in 1972 with the formerly invisible class-leading VW Beetle reaching 560,000.

Please note this may not reflect the top of the ranking as it is only information about the small car segment. If you have more detailed information on the best-selling models in the US before 1974 please make sure to get in touch by commenting on this article!

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Italy 1972: Fiat 128 best-seller, Fiat 127 arrives

Fiat 128

* See the Top 60 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Andrea *

Launched in 1969, the Fiat 128 becomes the best-selling car in Italy in 1972 and sells 239,675 units over the first 11 months of the year. During the same period the Fiat 127 lands in 2nd place with 181,068 sales (and 197,557 over the full year) while the Fiat 500, #1 up until 1971, drops to 3rd place at 176,005 units. The Fiat 124 follows with 95,497 sales.

Fiat 127

The Leyland-Innocenti Mini shines in 5th position, followed by the Autobianchi A112 and the Alfa Romeo Giulia. The Simca 1000 is the best-selling foreign model at #8 ahead of the Ford Escort (#10) and Opel Kadett (#11).

Thanks to the UNRAE team I can now share with you the Top 20 best-selling brands and most produced models in 1972 (see ‘Read more’ to check it out).

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Next post: Italy 1973: Fiat 128 and 127 fight it out, Fiat 126 on podium

Full 11 months 1972 Top 60 Ranking Table below.

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