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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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USA 1976: Oldsmobile Cutlass still America’s favourite

Oldsmobile Cutlass S

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

Excellent year for passenger car sales in the USA, with 7 of the 10 best-selling models up more than 30% year-on-year. The Oldsmobile Cutlass keeps the title of best-selling car with 495,976 units, up a massive 53%. It is followed by the Chevrolet Impala/Caprice, up 49% to 454,552 units, and the Chevrolet Monte Carlo, up 35% and 3 spots to #3 and 362,171 sales.

Chevrolet Caprice/Impala

The Ford LTD follows at 361,691 units, up a huge 80%. The first newbie in the Top 10 is the Chevrolet Malibu, landing directly in 5th position with 324,870 sales. Other newcomers are the Plymouth Volare, up to #7 and 295,202 units, and the Dodge Aspen, up to #10 and 218,879 sales.

Previous post: USA 1975 Oldsmobile Cutlass and Ford Granada on top

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

Full 1976 Top 10 Ranking Table below.

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France 1974-1976: Renault 5 in command, Citroen 2CV shines

Renault 5

Launched in 1972, the Renault 5 takes command of the French models ranking in 1974 with 154,000 sales and 11% market share. This is the start of a decade of domination for the small Renault and 5,580,000 units of the models would be produced up until 1984 when it was replaced by the Supercinq.

Citroen 2CV

The Renault 5 actually sees its share drop slightly over the next couple of years: it is at 10.2% with 151,200 sales in 1975 and 8.9% and 165,382 sales in 1976. I don’t have a detailed ranking for this period, just figures for specific models. Both years, the 25 year-old Citroen 2CV demonstrate an incredible longevity by selling 90,423 units for a very robust 6.1% share in 1975 and no less than 100,345 units and 5,4% in 1976!

1974, 1975 and 1976 sales figures below.

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Brazil 1974-1976: VW Fusca and Brasilia dominate

The VW Fusca dominates Brazilian production and sales over the period with a very comfortable margin at 229,273 units in 1974 (-3%), 217,896 in 75 (-5%) and 206,098 in 76 (-5%).

VW Brasilia

Launched in 1973, the VW Brasilia was developed uniquely for the Brazilian consumer, and it is an instant hit in the country: #2 for its first full year of production in 1974 with 85,257 units (+145%), then 113,937 in 75 (+34%) and 136,833 in 76 (+20%).

VW Passat

The Ford Corcel is #4 in 1974, then climbs onto the podium in 75 at 72,869 units produced (+9%) to stay on it in 76 at 77,273 units (+6%). The Chevrolet Chevette is also a strong seller over the period at #3 in 1974 (75,249 units) and #4 in 75 and 76. The VW Passat launches in 1974 and lands directly 5th in 1975 but is passed by the VW Kombi in 1976.

Full Top 20 Ranking Table for 1974, 75 and 76 below.

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Norway 1975-1976: Volvo 240 #1, Toyota Corolla on podium!

Volvo 244

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

In 1975 the Norwegian car market passes the 100,000 annual registrations benchmark for the first time, up 14% year-on-year to 102,811 units. It then progresses further by a massive 24% in 1976 to reach 126,995 units. The new Volvo 240 Series replaces the 140 atop the models ranking, selling 7,944 units for a 7.7% market share in ’75 then 8,757 and 6.9% in ’76.

Toyota Corolla

The big event of the period in Norway is the thunderous arrival of the Toyota Corolla on the podium, something no Japanese model had ever achieved before in the country. It gains 6 spots and 141% in 1975 to land in an exceptional 2nd place with 5,873 sales and 5.7% share, then ranks #3 in 1976 at 6,581 units and 5.2%.

Mazda 929

Other successful models include the Ford Taunus at #2 in ’76, the Opel Kadett at #3 in ’75 and #6 in ’76. We also welcome in the Top 10 for the very first time the VW Golf, landing directly in 4th place in 1975 with 4,745 sales and 4.6% but falling to #7 and 3% in ’76. Mazda keeps feeding the Top 10 with new models: the Mazda 929 lands at #5 with 4.2% in ’75 and improves to #4 and 5% in ’76, just 0.2% below the Corolla and the highest scores ever for a Mazda in Norway…

Previous post: Norway 1974: Volvo 140 leads, Passat now VW’s best-seller

Next post: Norway 1977-1978: Volvo 240 and Ford Granada most popular

Full Year 1975 and 1976 Top 10 Ranking Tables below.

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Italy 1976: Renault 5 breaks into Top 5

Renault 5 Italy 1976Renault 5

* See the Top 140 best-selling models and Top 58 All-brands by clicking on the title! Thanks Andrea *

Thanks to Andrea I can share with you detailed models data for the first half of 1976 in Italy. Alfter plunging in 1975, the market is back up 12% year-on-year over the period to 609,740 registrations. The Fiat 127 is very stable atop the sales charts with 119,466 sales and 19.6% share vs. 19.7% a year ago. It is followed like in 1974 and 1975 by the Fiat 126 (+24%) and 128 (+10%) but this time Fiat places 4 models in the Italian Top 4, with the Fiat 131 up one spot and 43% year-on-year to land in 4th position.

Alfa Romeo Alfetta Italy 1976Alfa Romeo Alfetta

Big event inside the Top 5 this year: for potentially the first time since the VW Beetle (?), an import breaks into the Top 5 best-sellers in the country: the Renault 5 ranks 5th with 30,107 sales and just under 5% market share, up a mammoth 58% year-on-year and enabling Renault to jump to #2 brand overall below only Fiat! Notice also the Alfa Romeo Alfetta up 29% to #8, the Opel Kadett up a huge 120% and 9 spots to break into the Top 10 at #10, the Ford Escort up an even more impressive 172% and 12 ranks to #12, the Renault 4 up 65% to #14, VW Golf up 14% to #15, Opel Rekord up 41% to #18, Opel Ascona up 199% to #21, Citroen CX up 160% to #27 and the Opel Manta up 276% to #30.

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

Next post: Italy 1977-1978: Fiat 127 still on top, Fiat Ritmo lands

6 months 1976 Top 140 models and Top 58 All-brands and Full Year Top 20 brands Ranking Tables below.

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