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UK 1982-1983: Ford Escort new leader, Ford Sierra arrives

Ford Escort

* See the Top 15 best-selling models by clicking on ‘Read more’ at end of post! *

Launched in 1980, the Ford Escort Mk III was an instant hit in the UK and took the lead of the models ranking as early as 1982, only the second time the Escort nameplate sells better than the Ford Cortina. The Escort kept the pole position in 1983, starting a new leadership era that would go on until the late 90s. It beat its volume record twice at 166,942 units in 1982 and 174,190 in 83.

Ford Sierra

Launched in September 1982 to replace the Cortina, the Ford Sierra does just that, landing directly in 2nd place in 1983 with an excellent 159,119 sales figure. It is only the 4th model since 1965 to pass the annual 150,000 sales mark in the UK. The Metro, now sold by both Austin and MG, climbs onto the podium in 1982 and stays there in 83 at 137,303 units, its highest ever volume. The Vauxhall Cavalier continues to progress, up to #5 in 1982 (+198%) and #4 in 83 (+27%). In the meantime, the Ford Fiesta drops to #4 in 82 then #5 in 83 even though its sales improve.

Triumph Acclaim

Excellent performance of the Austin/MG Maestro, replacing the Allegro in the Top 10 and landing directly at #6 in 1983. The Triumph Acclaim, in fact a rebadged Honda Civic, makes a brief appearance in the Top 10, #7 in 1982 and #8 in 83. The Volvo 340 is the best selling foreign model in 1982 at #8, its first time in the Top 10. It is replaced in 1983 by the Nissan Sunny (#9).

1982 and 1983 Top 15 Ranking Tables: see ‘Read more’ below the Volvo 340 pic.

Volvo 340

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Australia 1983: Ford Falcon reigns

Ford Falcon Australia 1983. Picture courtesy fotostation.ru1983 Ford Falcon

* See Ford Falcon production figures by clicking on the title *

While the Holden Commodore managed to grab the Australian pole position as early as for its first full year of sales in 1979 riding on the energy crisis, with the effects of the crisis fading away, the larger Ford Falcon takes the commands of the market in 1982 and would hold the pole position for 7 consecutive years until the arrival of a bigger Commodore in 1988 that would reclaim the annual lead in 1989. If you have access to detailed data for the Full Year 1983 please ensure to get in touch by commenting on this article or clicking on the Contact tab at the top of the page.

Ford Falcon production figures: click on ‘Read more’ below.

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Argentina 1983: Swan song for the Ford Falcon

Ford Falcon Argentina 1990. Picture courtesy of Ford Falcon, Argentina spec

* Click on the title to see 30 years of Ford Falcon sales in Argentina! *

* Many thanks to Bruno for making this post possible! *

Originally launched in the country in 1962, the Ford Falcon gets an Argentina-specific design in 1973 and would go on to be on Ford Argentina’s catalogue until 1991, produced at nearly 500,000 units in the country! After 1965, 1971, 1972, 1974 and 1979, the Ford Falcon enjoys its 6th and last year atop the Argentinean sales charts in 1983 with 22,060 units sold, up a whopping 44% on 1982 and 27% on 1981 thanks to the new model launched in 1983 which will stay virtually unchanged until the end of the nameplate’s life in Argentina.

Ford Falcon Argentina 1988b. Picture courtesy of Ford Falcon, Argentina spec

Annual sales of the Ford Falcon in Argentina (1962-1991) below.

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France 1983: Renault 5 celebrates 10 years in first place

Renault 5

* See the Top 22 best-selling models by clicking on ‘Read more’ at end of post! *

For the second consecutive year the French new car market is above 2 million units at 2.02 this year, down 2%. The Renault 5 celebrates its 10th year in a row atop the models ranking but drops 21% year-on-year at 211,094 sales and 10.5% share.

Renault 9

The year had started with a shock: for the first time in at least 8 years, the Renault 5 was not leading the monthly ranking in January: the Renault 9 confirmed its outstanding ’82 finish by ranking #1 in January at 10.7% share vs. 9.8% for the Renault 5! The 9 finishes the year in 3rd position at 129,273 units and 6.4% share. That is because the hatchback version of the 9, the Renault 11, launched to great success this year: directly at #2 with 8.6% share in April and staying #2 every single month after that to total 135,341 sales and 6.7% share at year-end.

Renault 11

With the Renault 18 down to #4 at 109,097 units and 5.4%, Renault places 4 models in the Top 4 which I’m pretty certain had never happened before in France, for any brand not just Renault for that matter…

In 1983 the Peugeot 205 launched, but only in 4-door and it actually didn’t compete at the highest level this year, peaking at a disappointing 3rd place at 6.5% share in June. It finishes the year at #6 with 103,017 sales and 5.1%, still below the Peugeot 305 (5.2%). Notice the Citroen BX breaking into the Top 10 for its first full year of sales at #7 and 4.5% share.

Previous year: See the 1982 France Top 25 best-selling models here.

Full year 1983 Top 22 and every monthly Top 10 Ranking Tables below.

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Brazil 1983: Fiat 147, Chevy Chevette and VW Gol on podium

Chevrolet Chevette and Fiat 147

The Fiat 147 is the best selling car in Brazil for the third consecutive year, with 105,779 units produced in 1983. The Chevrolet Chevette, boosted by its facelift, is #2 with 80,047 units and the VW Gol is slowly but surely continuing its progression (it would be #1 in 1987), up two spots this year at #3 with 71,695 units produced.

VW Gol

In 4th place, the VW Passat is also up two spots with 65,973 units, just above the VW Fusca at 65,789 and the VW Voyage at 62,462. The Chevrolet Monza is 7th at 56,669 units whereas the Ford Escort lands in the Top 10 for its very first year at #9 with 28,184 units.

Full Top 20 Ranking Table below.

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Italy 1983: The start of the Fiat Uno dynasty

Fiat Uno

* See the Top 15 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Andrea *

1983 is a very important year for Italian car sales as it marks the start of the 11 year domination of the Fiat Uno. Launched in January, the Uno had the whole year to gear up and finishes 1983 in 1st position with 245,000 sales and 15.5% market share, with December at 18.3%. This thundering arrival has a profound impact on the country’s models ranking and in a market down 6% (1,582,170 sales) 7 cars out of 15 see their sales drop.

Autobianchi A112

It is the case for the Fiat Ritmo, down 18% year-on-year but still #2 at 167,000 units and 10.6%, the Fiat Panda at -16% with 157,000 sales but still #3 and obviously for the Fiat 127 replaced by the Uno, down 72% and 3 spots on 1982 to #4 at 60,900 units. The Autobianchi A112 is up two spots to #5 with 59,250 sales and 3.7%.

The VW Golf passes the Renault 5 to become the best-selling foreign car in Italy in spite of a 20% drop year-on-year, at #6 and 3.2%, ahead of the Renault 9 (3.1%) and 5 (3%). The Lancia Prisma lands directly in the Top 10 at #9 with 2.7%.

Previous year: Italy 1982: Fiat 127, Ritmo and Panda dominate

Next year: Italy 1984: Fiat Uno and Regata shine

Full Year and December 1983 Top 15 Ranking Tables below.

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