The oldest official world models ranking I could access dates back from 1980. It shows how clearly the Toyota Corolla dominates world sales. With 771,720 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 (and record-breaking) 16% share of the market.
The VW Golf, launched back in 1974, is shaping up to be the Beetle replacement VW had been looking for for decades. It sold 517,619 units in 1980. A fourth model clocked up more than 500,000 sales: the Datsun Sunny. It is followed by the Chevrolet Citation at 459,353 sales.
Previous post: World 1979: VW Golf passes Toyota Corolla to claim top spot
Full Top 5 Ranking Table: click on ‘Read more’ below the VW Golf picture.