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Brazil 1977-1980: VW Fusca and Brasilia fight it out, Fiat lands

VW Brasilia

VW Fusca production in Brazil peaked at over 250,000 units in 1972 but has been slowing down since. In 1977, the drop accelerates to -22% at 161,004 units or 166,828 sales. This puts the Fusca’s best selling car title under threat by another VW star: the Brasilia.

In 1977 the Brasilia gains 11% to reach 151,986 units (and 154,231 sales). It continues to progress in 1978 at 159,097 sales vs. 165,412 for the Fusca. In 1979 the Fusca sells 165,890 units whereas the Brasilia starts to drop but stays solid at 152,434 (-4%). No official figures for 1980 but it is expected that the Fusca stays on top.

Over the period, the Brasilia managed to pass the Fusca and lead the Brazilian market 6 times: in May, October and November 1977, September and November 78 and February 79. It peaked at 17,250 sales in October 78.

Fiat 147

The other big event of the period if the arrival of Fiat in Brazil with the 147, launched in 76. It is #6 in 77 (62,782 sales), climbs onto the podium in 78 (92,331 units) and stays on it in 79 at 108,111 units. The 147 passes the 10,000 monthly sales mark and takes the 1st spot for the first time in July 1979 at 10,924 units.

VW Passat and Ford Corcel (from right to left)

The VW Passat is also very strong over the period, #3 in 77 and #4 in 78 and 79. It is even #1 in March 1979 at 10,338 sales. The Chevrolet Chevette, Ford Corcel and VW Kombi follow.

Top 20 Production and Top 5 Sales Ranking Tables for 1977, 78 and 79 below.

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