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Europe 1975: Fiat 127 and Ford Escort on top

Ford Escort Europe 1975The 2nd generation pushes the Ford Escort up to #2 in Europe in 1975.

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

While we were expecting a small car duel atop the European sales charts in 1975, it does not happen. The Fiat 127 remains by far the most popular model on the continent in spite of sales down 9%. The Ford Escort, boosted by the all-new second generation now on sale, jumps onto the podium, lands directly in 2nd place with 312,200 sales, relegating the Renault 5 to third position.

Full Year 1975 Top 3 Ranking Table below.

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Sweden 1975: Volvo 240 close to 20% share for its 1st full year

Volvo 244

* See the Top 7 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Rene *

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 for its first full year of sales in 1975 it reaches an amazing 19.6% market share! The Saab 99 takes the second spot at a brilliant 10.1%, followed by the VW Passat at 5.7%. Notice the Saab 95/96 at #4 and the VW Golf at #6.

More info about the Volvo 240 here.

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Full Year 1975 Top 7 Ranking Table below.

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UK 1974-1975: Ford Cortina & Escort popular, Austin Allegro shines

Austin Allegro

* See ‘Read more’ for the Top 80 best-selling models! Many thanks to DC and Chris *

In 1974 the UK new car market is hit full frontal by the recession: down 24% year-on-year to 1,268,655 registrations, then a further 6% in 1975 to 1,194,115 units. The Ford Cortina and Escort dominate the models ranking over the period: the Cortina sells 131,243 units for a 10.3% share in ’74 vs. 91,699 and 7.2% for the Escort. In ’75 the two models are much closer, with the Cortina at 106,787 sales (-19%) vs. 103,817 (+13%) for the Escort.

Leyland Princess

The BMC Mini and Morris Marina rank 3rd and 4th both years with the Mini maintaining itself at 7.1%. The Austin Allegro has its best years in the country at #6 in ’74 with 60,619 units and #5 in ’75 at 63,339 sales. The Triumph Dolomite lands in 8th position both years, while the Leyland Princess breaks into the UK year-end Top 10 in 1975 at #9 with 29,067 sales.

Datsun Sunny

Imports-wise, the irresistible progression continues: from 5.1% share in 1965, they reach 27.o9% in 1974 and 33.2% in 1975… The Datsun Sunny is up 65% to #11 and 27,136 units in ’75, the best score ever so far for a Japanese model in England, whereas the VW Golf, launched in ’74, is up to #14 in ’75 for its first full year of sales in England at 19,069 units. The Rover P6 is in a solid 16th place in 1974 with 18,488 sales.

Rover P6

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Next post: UK 1976 Ford Escort claims pole position

Full Year 1974 and 1975 Top 80 Ranking Tables below.

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USA 1975: Oldsmobile Cutlass and Ford Granada on top

Oldsmobile Cutlass

* See ‘Read more’ for the Top 80 best-selling models! Thanks DC for the data *

We continue to travel through time to land in the USA in 1975. I can share with you the 80 best-selling American passenger cars for that year: the Oldsmobile Cutlass is up 8 spots and 20% to grab the pole position with 324,610 sales, followed by the Ford Granada at #2 for its first full year of sales in the country at 291,140 units.

Ford Granada

The Chevrolet Chevelle is down 17% but stays 3rd with 276,206 sales, ahead of the Ford Pinto, last year’s #1, down 25% to 271,880 units and the Chevrolet Monte Carlo, down 3% but up 3 spots to #5 and 267,803 units. The Chevrolet Nova stays #6 with 256,438 sales while the Plymouth Valiant goes from #2 in 1974 to #7 this year at -33%.

Chevrolet Chevelle

AMC Pacer

Further down the ranking, notice the Chrysler Cordoba up 55 spots to #16, the Chevrolet Monza up 64 spots to #19 and the Ford Elite up 33 spots to #21. The best-selling newcomer in 1975 is the very original AMC Pacer landing directly in 28th position with 88,641 units sold – there are no other newcomers in the Top 50.

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Next post: USA 1977 Ford F-Series takes lead of trucks ranking

Full Year 1975 Top 80 Ranking Tables below.

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West Germany 1975: VW Golf takes the lead

VW Golf

* See ‘Read more’ for the Top 100 best-selling models! – thanks to DC & Florian for the data *

The German car market is booming in 1975 at +27% and 2,106,048 registrations. 1975 is the start of a very long reign: that of the VW Golf. For its first full year of sales the Golf is already the best-selling model in the country at 166,869 units and 7.9% share, just above the Mercedes ‘Strich 8’ at 159,530 sales and 7.6%.

Mercedes Strich 8

The Opel Kadett rounds up the podium at 131,618 units and 6.2%, followed by the VW Passat down 2 spots and 10% to 119,668 sales and the Opel Rekord back in shape at +26% and 111,246 units. Then we see 4 models in massive progression over 1974: the Opel Ascona at +59%, the Ford Taunus at +43%, the Ford Escort at +220% and the Ford Granada at +719%! There’s also the Audi 50 at #11 and +486% and the BMW 5 Series at #13 and +58%…

Opel Rekord

1975 is also the year the VW Polo was launched and it lands directly at #16 with 42,338 sales and 2% share, while the VW Beetle is down 64% to #15 and 43,405 units. The BMW 3 Series was also born this year at #28. The Renault 4 is the best-selling foreign model again but drops to #17 with 38,207 sales, ahead of the Fiat 127 at #19, the Renault 5 at #20, the Peugeot 504 at #22 and the Fiat 131 at #24.

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Full Year 1975 Top 100 Ranking Table below.

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Argentina 1973-1975: Fiat 128 and Ford Falcon fight it out

1973 Ford Falcon, Argentina spec

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

In 1973, while the Argentinean Ford Falcon undergoes its first (and only) major renewal, the Fiat 128 takes the opportunity to become the most popular model in the country. I have not managed to find out how many sales the 128 clocked up over the period, only figures for the Falcon are available: in 1973, 35,595 Falcons changed hands which is the nameplate’s strongest year ever but weirdly it ranked #2 that year. The Falcon is back in pole position in 1974 in spite of sales down 27% to 25,870 units, but gives up its throne to the Fiat 128 once again in 1975, a year it sold a sad 11,525 units in the country.

Fiat 128 Argentina 1973. Picture courtesy of Fiat 128 was #1 in Argentina in 1973 and 1975.

Italy 1975: Fiat 127 above 20% share, Fiat 131 lands at #5

Fiat 131 Mirafiori

* See the Top 140 best-selling models and Top 54 All-brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Andrea *

Thanks to Andrea I can share with you a detailed models ranking for the first 3 months of 1975 in Italy. Over the period the Italian market crashes down 28% year-on-year to just 259,706 registrations, 71% of which are Italian brands. The Fiat 127 breaks the 20% market share milestone at 21.2% thanks to 54,995 sales and the podium is identical to 1974 with the Fiat 126 at #2 with 11.7% share and the Fiat 128 at #3 with 7.3%. Below the Autobianchi A112 stable at #4 we welcome the Fiat 131 in 5th position with 12,487 sales.

VW Golf Italy 1975The VW Golf breaks into the Italian Top 20 for the very first time.

The Renault 5 remains the best-selling foreigner at #6 with 9,525 units and 3.7% share, and one of only 3 imports in the Top 10 along with the Simca 1000 at #9 and the Citroen Dyane at #10, up 5 spots on 1974. Notice also the Lancia Beta up a further 3 ranks to #13, the VW Golf making its very first appearance inside the Italian Top 20 at #17 with 3,922 sales and 1.5% share, the Peugeot 104 up 6 spots to #26 and the Mercedes 200 up 18 to #29.

Previous post: Italy 1974: Fiat 127 takes the lead, Autobianchi A112 up to #4

3 months 1975 Top 140 models and Top 54 All-brands and Full year Top 20 brands Ranking Tables below.

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