1980 Toyota Corolla
The oldest official world models ranking I could access dates back from 1980. It shows how clearly the Toyota Corolla dominates world sales. With almost 775,000 units sold around the world that year, it has an advance of more than 250,000 units over the #2, the Renault 5.
This is even more impressive when we take into account the fact that in 1980, the Renault 5 was at the peak of its popularity in Europe and particularly in its native France, where it reached a best-ever 16% share of the market. 1980 Australian advertising touts the Toyota Corolla as the best-selling car in the world in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1979 (see above).
The VW Golf, launched back in 1974, is shaping up to be the Beetle replacement VW had been looking for for decades, ending the year just 2.200 sales below the Renault 5. A fourth model clocked up more than 500,000 sales: the Datsun Sunny. It is followed by the Chevrolet Citation just under 460,000 sales.
Full Top 5 Ranking Table below