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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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Full Year 1974 and 1975 Top 80 Ranking Tables below.

Triumph Dolomite

Leyland Princess

Note: I have different figures for UK and England for the period so they are separated below.

UK 1974:

PosModel1974%/731973%Pos
1Ford Cortina131,24310.3%-28%181,61610.9%1
2Ford Escort91,6997.2%-20%114,2966.9%3
3BMC Mini89,6867.1%-7%96,3835.8%5
4Morris Marina81,4446.4%-29%115,0416.9%2
5Vauxhall Viva71,8895.7%-27%98,0005.9%4
6Austin Allegro60,6194.8%111%28,7131.7%14
7Hillman Avenger60,2444.7%new00.0% –
8Triumph Dolomite/Herald45,0083.5%155%17,6271.1%n/a
9Ford Capri37,5693.0%-3%38,7932.3%12
10Austin Maxi36,0722.8%-32%52,8533.2%9
11Hillman Hunter33,0482.6%-48%63,1003.8%7
12Ford Granada27,1272.1%-33%40,2312.4%10
13BMC 1800/3-litre25,3412.0%-21%31,9351.9%13
Datsun Cherry22,0121.7%n/an/an/a
Rover P618,4881.5%-22%23,6271.4%
Vauxhall Victor19,0041.5%n/an/an/a
Triumph 2000/250016,3951.3%-22%21,0001.3%
MGB/MGC/Midget/Sprite9,8520.8%-28%13,7550.8%
BMC 1100/13007,8900.6%-87%59,1983.6%8
Triumph Sports cars4,8010.4%-47%9,1120.5%
Triumph Stag3,0200.2%-5%3,1750.2%
BMC Minor1,6370.1%1131%1330.0%

England 1974:

PosModel197474/731973Pos
1Ford Cortina124,576-31%181,6411
2Ford Escort86,749-24%114,3013
3BMC Mini84,932-12%96,3835
4Morris Marina78,376-32%114,6002
5Vauxhall Viva/Magnum67,434-31%98,0004
6Austin Allegro58,231103%28,71312
7Hillman Avenger58,114new0 –
8Triumph Dolomite43,270n/an/an/a
9Ford Capri36,111-7%38,79311
10Austin Maxi34,712-35%53,1009
11Hillman Hunter31,806-50%63,1007
12Ford Granada25,644-36%40,29210
13Leyland Princess24,424
14Datsun Cherry21,036
15Vauxhal Victor17,772
16Rover P617,080
17Datsun Sunny16,407
18Triumph 2000/250015,833
19Hillman Imp15,797
20Renault 1215,331
21VW Beetle14,627
22Renault 1611,879
23Jaguar/Daimler Saloon11,684
24Fiat 12711,389
25Renault 510,378
26Fiat 1289,874
27Fiat 1269,778
28MGB/Midget9,531
29Simca 11009,511
30Datsun Bluebird8,420
31DAF8,056
32BMC 1100/13007,880-87%59,8008
33Mazda7,589
34Audi 1007,388
35Citroen GS7,104
36Datsun Violet6,706
37Renault 66,602
38Toyota Corolla6,558
39Renault 46,532
40VW Passat6,514
41Peugeot 5045,987
42Audi 805,822
43Skoda5,662
44Simca 1301/15015,459
45Triumph TR6/Spitfire4,737
46Simca 10004,367
47Saab 994,170
48Alfa Romeo3,696
49Simca 180/2L3,530
50Opel Kadett3,503
51Toyota Carina/Corona3,421
52Peugeot 3043,257
53Wartburg3,084
54Fiat 1323,073
55Citroen Dyane2,987
56Honda2,961
57Triumph Stag2,948
58Citroen Ami/2CV2,873
59Saab 95/962,748
60Toyota Celica2,629
61Moskwitsch2,358
62Renault 15/172,275
63Mercedes “Small” Class2,271
64Range Rover2,068
65Lada2,025
66Opel Manta1,691
67Lotus Reliant1,636
68Peugeot 2041,616
69Mercedes S Class1,359
70Rolls-Royce/Bentley1,315
71Opel Ascona1,295
72Datsun 240 K-GT1,224
73Peugeot 1041,207
74Datsun Laurel1,204
75Volvo 244/2451,063
76Opel Rekord1,056
77Vauxhall Ventora1,051
78Datsun Custom/Skyline769
79Lotus768
80Opel Commodore640

UK 1975:

PosModel1975%/741974%Pos
1Ford Cortina106,7878.9%-19%131,24310.3%1
2Ford Escort103,8178.7%13%91,6997.2%2
3BMC Mini84,6887.1%-6%89,6867.1%3
4Morris Marina78,6326.6%-3%81,4446.4%4
5Austin Allegro63,3395.3%4%60,6194.8%6
6Vauxhall Viva54,7314.6%-24%71,8895.7%5
7Hillman Avenger38,3773.2%-36%60,2444.7%7
8Triumph Dolomite30,1992.5%-33%45,0083.5%8
9Leyland Princess29,0672.4%15%25,3412.0%13
10Hillman Hunter28,9662.4%-12%33,0482.6%11
11Datsun Sunny28,2642.4%64%17,2751.4%17
12Ford Capri27,6782.3%-26%37,5693.0%9
13Austin Maxi26,9502.3%-25%36,0722.8%10
14Ford Granada20,1161.7%-26%27,1272.1%12
15Vauxhall Chevette19,8471.7%new00.0% –
16VW Golf19,0691.6%new1790.0% 87
17Datsun Cherry16,2331.4%-26%22,0121.7%14
18Renault 1215,9811.3%n/an/an/an/a
19Rover P615,2801.3%-17%18,4881.5%16
20Renault 514,7801.2%n/an/an/an/a

England 1975:

PosModel197575/741974Pos
1Ford Cortina100,728-19%124,5761
2Ford Escort96,60411%86,7492
3BMC Mini81,766-4%84,9323
4Morris Marina75,262-4%78,3764
5Austin Allegro60,5974%58,2316
6Vauxhal Victor52,762197%17,77215
7Hillman Avenger37,765-35%58,1147
8Triumph Dolomite29,245-32%43,2708
9Hillman Hunter27,869-12%31,80611
10Leyland Princess27,26312%24,42413
11Datsun Sunny27,13665%16,40717
12Ford Capri26,621-26%36,1119
13Austin Maxi26,078-25%34,71210
14VW Golf19,111new17987
15Ford Granada18,860-26%25,64412
16Vauxhall Viva/Magnum18,325-73%67,4345
17Datsun Cherry15,602-26%21,03614
18Renault 1215,3760%15,33120
19Rover P614,879-13%17,08016
20Renault 514,24537%10,37825
21Jaguar/Daimler Saloon13,45415%11,68423
22Volvo 244/24512,7871103%1,06375
23Triumph 2000/250011,867-25%15,83318
24Vauxhall Ventora11,7981023%1,05177
25Renault 1610,474-12%11,87922
26Fiat 12710,413-9%11,38924
27Datsun Bluebird10,17821%8,42030
28Mazda10,15034%7,58933
29Hillman Imp10,009-37%15,79719
30Honda9,686227%2,96156
31Citroen GS9,00427%7,10435
32Skoda8,90957%5,66243
33MGB/Midget8,855-7%9,53128
34Simca 11008,324-12%9,51129
35Fiat 1288,271-16%9,87426
36Alfa Romeo8,056118%3,69648
37Toyota Corolla8,01722%6,55838
38Audi 1007,4070%7,38834
39Peugeot 5046,85414%5,98741
40Citroen Ami/2CV6,843138%2,87358
41Audi 806,2447%5,82242
42DAF6,206-23%8,05631
43Renault 46,080-7%6,53239
44Fiat 1265,938-39%9,77827
45Renault 65,685-14%6,60237
46Datsun Violet5,579-17%6,70636
47VW Beetle5,410-63%14,62721
48Opel Kadett5,40354%3,50350
49Lada5,376165%2,02565
50VW Passat5,362-18%6,51440
51Saab 994,95619%4,17047
52Toyota 10004,5171172%35585
53Fiat 1314,405new0 –
54Simca 10004,082-7%4,36746
55Mercedes “Small” Class3,72464%2,27163
56Peugeot 3043,3904%3,25752
57Simca 1301/15013,347-39%5,45944
58Citroen Dyane3,33011%2,98755
59Toyota Carina/Corona3,160-8%3,42151
60Fiat 1323,0981%3,07354
61Toyota Celica2,92111%2,62960
62Triumph TR6/Spitfire2,740-42%4,73745
63Renault 15/172,191-4%2,27562
64Range Rover2,1253%2,06864
65Saab 95/961,909-31%2,74859
66Polski Fiat1,881new0 –
67Datsun Custom/Skyline1,863142%76978
68Peugeot 2041,81612%1,61668
69Peugeot 1041,81350%1,20773
70Opel Manta1,8006%1,69166
71Triumph Stag1,668-43%2,94857
72Mitsubishi Lancer1,631new0 –
73Simca 180/2L1,604-55%3,53049
74Wartburg1,604-48%3,08453
75VW Scirocco1,5951064%13788
76Lotus Reliant1,341-18%1,63667
77Volvo 2641,285new2 –
78Mitsubishi Galant1,239new0 –
79Moskwitsch1,227-48%2,35861
80Mercedes S Class1,168-14%1,35969

Source: Auto Katalog, SMMT. Many thanks to DC and Chris for sharing the data!

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