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West Germany 1976-1979: VW Golf establishes leadership

VW Golf

* See ‘Read more’ for the Top 80/100 best-selling models! Thanks to Florian for the data *

The VW Golf progresses all through the period to establish itself as Germany’s solid leader, passing the 200,000 annual sales for the first time in 1976 (202,265) and the 250,000 mark in 1979 (257,673).

Opel Ascona

The Opel Ascona shines in 1976 and reaches a best-ever 2nd place at 149,348 units before falling to #3 in 77, #5 in 78 and #7 in 79.

Mercedes W123

The Mercedes W123 on the contrary replaces the ‘Strich 8’ on the German ranking’s podium, grabbing an outstanding 2nd place each year from 1977 to 1979, peaking at 203,320 units in 1979 and therefore becoming only the third model in Germany’s car history to sell more than 200,000 units in a single year after the VW Beetle and Golf…

Audi 80

The 3rd place changes hands each year and is held by the Ford Taunus in 76 (143,750 sales), the Opel Ascona in 77 (153,992), the Opel Rekord in 78 (168,730) and the Audi 80 in 79 (157,216), the very first time an Audi climbs onto the German podium!

VW Scirocco

Other models selling more than 100,000 annual units over the period are the Opel Kadett, peaking at 143,906 sales in 79, the VW Passat (151,330 in 78), the Audi 100 (115,853 in 78) and the Ford Granada (113,922 in 78). Notice also the arrival of the Ford Fiesta in 76, peaking at #8 in 79, the VW Derby landing directly in 12th position in 77 and the VW Scirocco peaking at #17 in 78.

Mazda 323

All through the period, the Renault 4 continues to be the best-selling foreign model in Germany, brilliantly maintaining itself within the Top 20. Other successful imports are the Simca 1307/1308 (#20 in 76), the Renault 5 (#21 in 76), the Fiat 131 (#22 in 76), Fiat 128 (#24 in 76), Peugeot 504 (#25 in 76), Fiat 127 (#25 in 77), Renault 18 (#18 in 79) and Fiat Ritmo (#23 in 79). The Mazda 323 is the first Japanese car to rank within the German Top 30 at #30 in 1979.

Previous post: West Germany 1975 VW Golf takes the lead

Full 1976-1978 Top 80 and 1979 Top 100 Ranking Tables below.

Germany 1976:

PosModel1976/751975
1VW Golf202,26521%1
2Opel Ascona149,34854%6
3Ford Taunus143,75051%7
4Opel Kadett133,2571%3
5VW Passat116,780-2%4
6Opel Rekord99,531-11%5
7Mercedes W12392,305new –
8Ford Granada89,79547%9
9Audi 8082,97038%10
10VW Polo78,34385%16
11Mercedes ‘Strich 8’75,928-52%2
12Ford Escort68,048-25%8
13Opel Manta67,455148%18
14BMW 3er64,577205%28
15Audi 10049,8569%14
16Audi 5042,774-24%11
17BMW 5er40,407-12%13
18Renault 437,855-1%17
19VW Scirocco33,45729%23
20Simca 1307/130830,221117%35
21Renault 529,1878%20
22Fiat 13127,00016%24
23Mercedes S-Klasse25,744-4%21
24Fiat 12825,00810%25
25Peugeot 50419,995-24%22
26Ford Fiesta19,801new –
27VW Beetle19,121-56%15
28Fiat 12717,721-35%19
29Ford Capri17,659-13%30
30Citroen GS15,351-30%26
31BMW “-02”15,189-70%12
32Renault 1215,0766%34
33Citroen 2CV13,750-11%32
34Fiat 13213,533-7%33
35Simca 110013,451-35%29
36Renault 1613,015-34%31
37Alfa Romeo Alfasud12,506-42%27
38Opel Commodore11,86020%38
39Volvo 24010,86718%40
40Renault 2010,826new –
41Renault 610,423-18%37
42Fiat 12610,280-25%36
43Citroen CX9,52529%44
44Lada “Schiguli”9,3362%41
45BMW 2500 / 3.37,876-19%39
46Simca 10007,808-11%42
47Peugeot 1047,05011%49
48Toyota Corolla6,68935%55
49Datsun Cherry6,18916%52
50Peugeot 3045,9014%51
51Volvo 665,142357%91
52Alfa Romeo Alfetta5,0141%54
53Toyota Celica4,15479%69
54Peugeot 6043,990243%89
55Austin Mini3,973-41%48
56Alfa Romeo Giulia3,832-7%59
57Opel Admiral/Diplomat3,73945%67
58Renault 303,679122%76
59Datsun 120 Y3,349-28%57
60Autobianchi A1123,284-32%56
61Peugeot 2043,090-50%50
62Austin Allegro2,9762%63
63Honda Civic2,80263%74
64Volvo 3402,586new –
65Toyota 10002,410-11%66
66Fiat X 1/92,24468%84
67DAF 662,157-70%45
68Mercedes SLC2,1353%72
69Renault 152,119-25%65
70Volvo 2602,05422%75
71Alfa Romeo GT/GTV2,05338%78
72BMW 6er2,011new –
73Chrysler 1609/1610/2L2,008-47%60
74Skoda 100 Limousine1,756-30%68
75Datsun Violet1,68692%94
76NSU Ro 801,62318%82
77Jaguar XJ1,557102%95
78Toyota Corona1,508new –
79Toyota Carina1,318-8%81
80Citroen Dyane1,298-82%46
Mercedes SL1,2300%88
Renault 171,191-17%80
Saab 991,135-11%85
Toyota Mark II1,09246%97
Datsun Bluebird852-37%83
Alfa Romeo Spider74214%104
Triumph Spitfire71763%109
Leyland Princess704new –
Datsun Skyline655194%
Honda Accord466new –
Skoda 110 Limousine401-48%96
Datsun 260 Z380new –
Skoda 110 R Coupe376-44%
Alfa Romeo 2000 Berlina359-40%
Triumph TR7266new –
Alfa Romeo Sprint255new –
Renault Alpine21430%
Citroen Ami 8209-54%
Chrysler Sunbeam184-75%98
Alfa Romeo 1300 Coupe184-51%
Saab 96143286%
Alfa Romeo Montreal135-55%
Rover P6118-15%
Fiat 130103-30%
Renault Rodeo96new –
Renault 1482new –
Fiat 12430-99%73
BMW CS30-97%90
Mercedes 6001440%
Citroen DS/ID5-100%77
Citroen SM1-97%

Germany 1977:

PosModel1977/761976
1VW Golf213,5376%1
2Mercedes W123177,39092%7
3Opel Ascona153,9923%2
4Opel Kadett142,7637%4
5Ford Taunus140,402-2%3
6VW Passat121,9854%5
7Opel Rekord119,21720%6
8Audi 100112,360125%15
9Audi 80111,55634%9
10Ford Granada96,1877%8
11BMW 3er75,99518%14
12VW Derby72,412new –
13Ford Fiesta67,301240%26
14VW Polo64,998-17%10
15Opel Manta55,821-17%13
16Ford Escort42,108-38%12
17BMW 5er40,7271%17
18VW Scirocco37,94813%19
19Renault 435,904-5%18
20Mercedes S-Klasse32,88028%23
21Simca 1307/130830,7302%20
22VW Bus/LT28,579n/an/a
23Renault 527,539-6%21
24Fiat 13123,956-11%22
25Fiat 12722,70628%28
26Peugeot 50422,22111%25
27Renault 1421,125newn/a
28Fiat 12821,001-16%24
29Fiat 12618,55080%42
30Ford Capri18,4294%29
31Fiat 13217,89432%34
32Opel Commodore17,60748%38
33Citroen GS17,01411%30
34Simca 110016,87625%35
35Audi 5015,035-65%16
36Citroen 2CV14,7227%33
37Renault 2014,44233%40
38Lada “Schiguli”12,03329%44
39Citroen CX11,91725%43
40Peugeot 10411,30060%47
41Volvo 24011,1793%39
42VW Beetle10,526-45%27
43Alfa Romeo Alfasud10,048-20%37
44BMW 7er10,006new –
45BMW “-02”8,720-43%31
46Renault 128,242-45%32
47Renault 168,068-38%36
48Peugeot 3047,12721%50
49Ford Transit6,236new –
50Toyota Corolla6,046-10%48
51Volvo 3405,978131%64
52Datsun Cherry5,676-8%49
53Alfa Romeo Alfetta5,59412%52
54Porsche 9245,458new –
55Simca 10005,107-35%46
56Renault 64,986-52%41
57Toyota Celica4,97120%53
58Austin Mini4,89623%55
59Honda Civic4,81472%63
60Volvo 664,255-17%51
61Renault 303,8254%58
62Porsche 9113,708n/an/a
63Peugeot 6043,476-13%54
64Honda Accord3,366622%n/a
65Toyota Corona/Cressida3,295119%78
66Autobianchi A1123,075-6%60
67Alfa Romeo Giulia/Giulietta2,963-23%56
68Citroen LN2,752new –
69BMW 6er2,52826%72
70Chrysler 1609/1610/2L2,44822%73
71Skoda Limousine/Coupe2,42138%74
72Mercedes SLC2,39812%68
73Toyota 10002,367-2%65
74Lancia Beta2,256new –
75BMW 2500 / 3.32,206-72%45
76Datsun 120 Y2,146-36%59
77Opel Admiral/Diplomat2,059-45%57
78Fiat X 1/91,972-12%66
79Volvo 2601,940-6%70
80Datsun Bluebird1,68398%n/a
Alfa Romeo GT/GTV1,658-19%71
Austin Allegro1,655-44%62
Renault 151,577-26%69
Mercedes SL1,54325%n/a
Fiat/Seat 1331,388n/an/a
Innocenti Mini1,337n/an/a
Alfa Romeo Sprint1,329421%n/a
Saab 991,26612%n/a
Datsun Violet1,247-26%75
Toyota Carina1,225-7%79
Triumph Spitfire1,19767%n/a
Jaguar XJ1,172-25%77
Alfa Romeo Spider1,12351%
Rover SD-Series845new –
Lancia HPE760n/an/a
Citroen Dyane737-43%80
Renault 17727-39%n/a
Lancia Coupe721n/an/a
Leyland Princess637-10%n/a
Porsche 928634n/an/a
Renault Rodeo615541%n/a
NSU Ro 80545-66%76
Datsun Skyline502-23%n/a
Austin Maxi420n/an/a
Triumph TR6/TR741255%n/a
Datsun 260 Z370-3%n/a
Renault Alpine34963%n/a
Lancia Spider291n/an/a
Fiat 1100 Z250new –
VW 181244n/an/a
Jaguar XJS190new –
Lancia Montecarlo127n/an/a
Alfa Romeo Montreal46-66%n/a
Alfa Romeo 1300 Coupe24-87%n/a
Chrysler Sunbeam19-90%n/a
Rover P618-85%n/a
Lancia Stratos12n/an/a
Mercedes 60010-29%n/a
Citroen Ami 89-96%n/a
Fiat 1307-93%n/a

Germany 1978:

PosModel1978/771977
1VW Golf241,07813%1
2Mercedes W123177,5610%2
3Opel Rekord168,73042%7
4VW Passat151,33024%6
5Opel Ascona142,245-8%3
6Opel Kadett136,584-4%4
7Audi 100115,8533%8
8Ford Granada113,92218%10
9Ford Taunus112,825-20%5
10Audi 8098,334-12%9
11BMW 3er89,38018%11
12Ford Fiesta80,04319%13
13VW Polo61,436-5%14
14VW Derby52,160-28%12
15BMW 5er44,3629%17
16Opel Manta43,190-23%15
17VW Scirocco37,286-2%18
18Renault 436,2301%19
19Mercedes S-Klasse32,215-2%20
20Ford Escort30,966-26%16
21VW Bus/LT29,2792%22
22Renault 527,5960%23
23Fiat 13126,44010%24
24Ford Capri25,18037%30
25Peugeot 50422,4501%26
26Simca 1307/130821,921-29%21
27Renault 1421,6903%27
28Citroen GS20,18419%33
29BMW 7er18,44584%44
30Fiat 12818,032-14%28
31Simca Horizon17,954new –
32Citroen 2CV16,98715%36
33Fiat 12616,929-9%29
34VW Beetle16,32655%42
35Citroen CX16,02634%39
36Fiat 12715,871-30%25
37Fiat 13214,498-19%31
38Opel Senator12,062new –
39Renault 2011,869-18%37
40Volvo 24011,7225%41
41Peugeot 30511,611new –
42Lada “Schiguli”10,296-14%38
43Alfa Romeo Alfasud10,1151%43
44Honda Accord9,973196%64
45Toyota Celica9,38289%57
46Renault 188,946new –
47Peugeot 1048,749-23%40
48Toyota Corolla8,19235%50
49Opel Commodore7,925-55%32
50Volvo 3407,51626%51
51Simca 11007,064-58%34
52Ford Transit6,6637%49
53Honda Civic6,48335%59
54Porsche 9246,37617%54
55Fiat Ritmo6,267new –
56Alfa Romeo Giulia/Giulietta5,72893%67
57Datsun Laurel5,003new –
58Toyota Starlet5,002new –
59Toyota Carina4,886299%90
60Alfa Romeo Alfetta4,457-20%53
61Renault 124,357-47%46
62Renault 164,120-49%47
63Audi 504,097-73%35
64Opel Monza3,951new –
65Peugeot 6043,88712%63
66Toyota Corona/Cressida3,78115%65
67Volvo 663,745-12%60
68Citroen LN3,73136%68
69Autobianchi A1123,2395%66
70Porsche 9113,155-15%62
71Datsun Bluebird3,12586%80
72Austin Mini3,075-37%58
73Renault 303,039-21%61
74Renault 62,995-40%56
75Mercedes SLC2,82218%72
76Alfa Romeo Sprint2,804111%
77Peugeot 3042,797-61%48
78Datsun Cherry2,775-51%52
79Simca 10002,513-51%55
80Datsun Violet2,37991%
BMW 6er2,318-8%69
Datsun Sunny2,224new –
Skoda Limousine/Coupe2,055-15%71
Alfa Romeo GT/GTV2,04023%
Fiat X 1/92,0283%78
Innocenti Mini2,01751%
Volvo 2601,9973%79
Mercedes SL1,91624%
Datsun 120 Y1,856-14%76
Porsche 9281,837190%
Lancia Beta1,717-24%74
Triumph Spitfire1,64237%
Rover SD-Series1,62993%
Chrysler 1609/1610/2L1,523-38%70
Saab 991,47617%
Jaguar XJ1,40120%
Fiat/Seat 1331,236-11%
Renault 15/17968-39%
Citroen Dyane92425%
Alfa Romeo Spider922-18%
Lancia Gamma757new –
Austin Allegro722-56%
Chrysler Sunbeam6193158%
Lancia Coupe603-16%
Datsun 260 Z57856%
Renault Rodeo560-9%
Saab 96542n/an/a
Leyland Princess501-21%
Lancia HPE500-34%
Renault Alpine46032%
Opel Admiral/Diplomat391-81%77
Triumph TR7263-36%
Lancia Montecarlo23484%
Daihatsu Charade232new –
Saab 900205new –
Datsun Skyline201-60%
VW 181196-20%
Austin Maxi178-58%
Lancia Spider161-45%
Jaguar XJS146-23%
BMW 2500 / 3.341-98%75
Fiat 1100 Z32-87%
BMW “-02”21-100%45
NSU Ro 8015-97%
Lancia Stratos5-58%
Mercedes 6005-50%
Peugeot 2045n/an/a
Triumph TR65n/an/a
Alfa Romeo 1300 Coupe2-92%
Alfa Romeo Montreal1-98%
Fiat 1301-86%

Germany 1979:

PosModel1979/781978
1VW Golf257,6737%1
2Mercedes W123203,32015%2
3Audi 80157,21660%10
4Opel Kadett143,9065%6
5Opel Rekord127,491-24%3
6VW Passat113,944-25%4
7Opel Ascona107,535-24%5
8Ford Fiesta92,51616%12
9Audi 10089,320-23%7
10BMW 3er89,1020%11
11Ford Taunus87,149-23%9
12Ford Granada76,881-33%8
13VW Polo72,17917%13
14BMW 5er46,3094%15
15VW Derby41,602-20%14
16Opel Manta39,301-9%16
17Renault 435,505-2%18
18Renault 1833,720277%46
19VW Scirocco32,194-14%17
20VW Bus/LT29,2390%21
21Renault 527,8381%22
22Opel Commodore27,559248%49
23Fiat Ritmo25,455306%55
24Mercedes S-Klasse25,388-21%19
25Ford Capri21,935-13%24
26VW Beetle20,92628%34
27Ford Escort20,876-33%20
28Talbot Simca Horizon19,96411%31
29Renault 1419,095-12%27
30Mazda 32318,211new –
31Fiat 13118,208-31%23
32Honda Accord18,08081%44
33Opel Senator18,04350%38
34Talbot Simca 1307/1308/151016,337-25%26
35BMW 7er15,580-16%29
36Citroen GS15,320-24%28
37Fiat 12615,195-10%33
38Peugeot 50414,602-35%25
39Mazda 62614,210new –
40Fiat 12713,882-13%36
41Peugeot 30513,45916%41
42Volvo 240/26013,42315%40
43Citroen 2CV13,081-23%32
44VW Jetta12,274new –
45Citroen CX11,978-25%35
46Ford Transit10,24154%52
47Datsun Sunny9,811341%82
48Fiat 1329,519-34%37
49Mitsubishi Colt9,029new –
50Toyota Starlet8,95979%58
51Datsun Cherry8,875220%78
52Volvo 3408,70116%50
53Renault 208,528-28%39
54Alfa Romeo Alfasud8,337-18%43
55Honda Civic8,01524%53
56Citroen Visa7,987new –
57Peugeot 1047,139-18%47
58Toyota Celica7,107-24%45
59Porsche 9247,10311%54
60Opel Monza7,06979%64
61Datsun Laurel5,93019%57
62Lada “Schiguli”5,762-44%42
63Mitsubishi Galant5,042new –
64Lada Niva4,879new –
65Toyota Corona/Cressida4,45618%66
66Mazda 9294,321new –
67Alfa Romeo Giulia/Giulietta4,030-30%56
68Toyota Carina3,899-20%59
69Alfa Romeo Sprint3,88739%76
70Toyota Tercel3,881new –
71Peugeot 5053,762new –
72Fiat 1283,651-80%30
73Alfa Romeo Alfetta3,606-19%60
74Porsche 9113,3988%70
75Austin Mini3,2395%72
76Toyota Corolla3,034-63%48
77Mercedes SLC2,9836%75
78Datsun Violet2,98125%80
79BMW 6er2,89025%81
80Volvo 662,871-23%67
81Talbot Sunbeam2,838358%
82Mitsubishi Sapporo2,720new –
83Honda Prelude2,496new –
84Mercedes SL2,46429%88
85Datsun Bluebird2,272-27%71
86Renault 302,269-25%73
87Talbot Matra Rancho2,228new –
88Skoda Limousine/Coupe2,2168%83
89Mitsubishi Lancer2,043new –
90Innocenti Mini1,995-1%86
91Autobianchi A1121,945-40%69
92Mitsubishi Celeste1,891new –
93Rover SD-Series1,80711%93
94Fiat X 1/91,767-13%85
95Talbot Simca 11001,730-76%51
96Alfa Romeo GT/GTV1,690-17%84
97Peugeot 6041,678-57%65
98Triumph Spitfire1,590-3%92
99Porsche 9281,500-18%90
100Lancia Beta1,428-17%91
Saab 9001,428597%n/a
Fiat/Seat 1331,39713%
Renault 161,297-69%62
Daihatsu Charade1,235432%
Citroen LN1,051-72%68
Jaguar XJ1,026-27%
Alfa Romeo Spider9584%
Datsun Skyline934365%
Mazda RX-7933new –
Datsun 280 SX877new –
Lancia Coupe79031%
Renault 12789-82%61
Saab 9676241%
Matra Bagheera730new –
Saab 99631-57%
Talbot 1609/1610/2L616-60%
Citroen Dyane596-35%
Lancia HPE57816%
Lancia Gamma509-33%
Renault 15/17375-61%
Renault Alpine347-25%
Renault 6343-89%74
Austin Allegro325-55%
Renault Rodeo268-52%
Peugeot 304185-93%77
Datsun 120 Y176-91%
Leyland Princess171-66%
Lancia Spider160-1%
Austin Maxi153-14%
VW 181143-27%
Jaguar XJS112-23%
Audi 20088new –
Triumph TR783-68%
Datsun 260 Z80-86%
Simca 100044-98%79
Audi 5043-99%63
BMW M137new –
Lancia Montecarlo15-94%
Mercedes 600980%
Opel Admiral/Diplomat6-98%
BMW 15023-86%
BMW 2500 / 3.32-95%
Alfa Romeo 1300 Coupe20%

Source: Manufacturers, many thanks to Florian for sharing the data!

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