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New Zealand 1984-1986: Toyota Corolla reigns

Toyota Corolla New Zealand 19861986 Toyota Corolla

Surprise: while in neighbouring Australia the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore fight for the top spot well ahead of the rest, in New Zealand the Toyota Corolla reigns. It is the best-selling nameplate in the country for three consecutive years between 1984 and 1986. Source: Car Australia April 1988.

Australia 1986: Hyundai lands, “posing very little threat”

First Hyundai advert Australia April 1986The very first press advertisement for Hyundai in Australia – Car Australia April 1986. Notice the phonetic pronunciation displayed below the brand name (Hi-Un-Di). 

* See the Top 15 brands and Top 20 models by clicking on the title *

The Australian new car market hits a brick wall in 1986, impacted by a doubling of taxes imposed by the government: down 24% year-on-year to 530.251 registrations, it falls to its lowest level in 14 years. Ford takes advantage of the situation and gains almost 3 percent market share to 27.1% thanks to sales down ‘just’ 16%, followed by Toyota (-19%) and Holden (-27%). Nissan (-33%), Daihatsu (-40%), Suzuki (-41%), Mazda (-43%) and Subaru (-54%) fall apart. The Ford Falcon posts a 5th consecutive year at #1, hiking its share up to 12.1%, followed by the Holden Commodore up to 10.3%.

Nissan Pintara Australia 1986Launched in August, the Nissan Pintara is up to #7 in December.

The Ford Laser remains third but is now threatened by the Mitsubishi Magna up 14% to 30.540 sales at #4 for its first full year in market. The Toyota Corolla is also up 1% to #5, even ranking #3 in November below just the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore. Nissan launches the Pintara sedan to compete with the Falcon/Commodore/Magna trio to a warm reception: just outside the Top 10 for the year and #7 in December. Note the Holden Commodore topped the monthly ranking in April for the first time since 1982, edging the Falcon by just 3 units (5.829 vs. 5.826).

Car Australia 1986 teaserCar Australia April 1986. Full article below the jump.

But the big news of 1986 is the arrival of Korean manufacturers in Australia, namely Hyundai. Helped by aggressive pricing (the only new car in Australia priced below $10.000), the Hyundai Excel appears in the Top 15 as early as November for its 4th month of sales at #14 with 411 units, staying at #14 (422) in December also and ending the year with 1.756 sales. Sales started in August (116) and kept increasing onwards: 184 in September and 284 in November.

Car Australia 1987 teaserCar Australia February 1987. Full article below the jump.

The media coverage of the Hyundai launch in Australia is fascinating to observe with the hindsight of almost 30 years of presence in the country. In April 1986, Car Australia’s John Mellor sees Hyundai “posing very little threat to any existing cars” because of its $10,000 starting price. Consumers had hoped the Excel would be priced similarly to Canada where it goes for $5,000 and has almost instantly become the #1 import there. The same author does a complete turnaround when sales figures start to tickle down, declaring in February 1987: “You are currently seeing the Korean equivalent of the Toyota Tiara of 20 years ago. Stand by for the Korean invasion.” That’s more like it…

Full Hyundai articles, Full Year 1986 Top 15 brands & Top 20 models vs. 1985 figures below.

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Italy 1986: Fiat Uno at its highest – 433,700 sales and 23.8%

Fiat Uno

* See the Top 20 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Andrea *

At 1,825,492 registrations, the Italian market is up 5% this year. 1986 is the year the Fiat Uno beats all its records: highest-ever annual volume at 433,700 units, highest-ever market share at 23.8% and highest-ever monthly volume at 46.300 in March. The Uno is up 14% on an already extremely impressive 1985 figure. The Fiat Panda stays in second place but far from being affected by the Uno’s success, it rather surfs on it with sales up a massive 37% on 1985 at 164,250 units for an imposing 9% market share…

VW Golf

The VW Golf climbs onto the podium for the very first time in Italy with 98,100 sales and 5.4%, followed by the Renault 5 at 5%. In fact, the Golf and 5 are the only foreign models in the Top 12 with the Peugeot 205 at #9. Following are the Fiat Regata (4.1%), Autobianchi Y10 (3.5% for its first full year of sales), Fiat Ritmo (3.1%) and Lancia Prisma (2.8%).

Alfa Romeo 75

Among the newcomers in the year-end Top 20, the Alfa Romeo 75 is the best-seller, landing directly in 11th position at 41,000 units and 2.2%. The Fiat Croma also does well at #12 with 36,400 sales and 2%.

Previous year: Italy 1985: Fiat Uno close to 22%, Renault 5 on podium

Next year: Italy 1987: Fiat Uno above 400,000 sales again

Full Year and December 1986 Top 20 Ranking Tables below.

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France 1986: Renault Supercinq edges out Peugeot 205

Renault Supercinq

* See the Top 100 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Thanks to STAC *

New car sales in France are back in shape, up 9% this year to 1,909,304 registrations. Both the Renault Supercinq and Peugeot 205 have reached their cruising speed and both models deliver exceptional results. The Supercinq ends the year as the best-selling car in France for the first time with 219,570 sales and a very strong 11.5% share. It delivered what would remain its highest ever monthly share at 13.7% in March and has ranked #1 for 8 out of 12 months.

Peugeot 205

The Peugeot 205 is slightly lower than last year given the Supercinq competition but still delivers an impressive 205,860 sales and 10.8%, peaking at 12.7% in August and ranking #1 for 3 months.

Renault 21

A new entrant shook the ranking this year, the Renault 21. Launched in March, it hit a massive 10.5% market share in June, threatened the Supercinq and 205 for the first place most of the year to finish 3rd at 145,107 units and 7.6%. It may even have ranked 1st in May but I don’t have official figures for that month (if you do please get in touch!). The Citroen BX is down one spot to #4 but still solid at 124,105 sales and 6.5%, it hit its highest monthly share ever in August at 8.9%. That figure is still today the highest monthly share achieved by any Citroen model since at least 1980 (so 31 years…!)

Citroen BX

For its first full year of sales the Peugeot 309 ranks 6th at 91,646 units and 4.8%, slightly under expectations, while the Renault 25 is still strong at #7 with 3.6%. There are 3 foreign models in the Top 10 (a first) led by the Opel Corsa at #8 (2.6%) followed by the VW Golf and Fiat Uno (both at 2.3%).

Previous year: see the 1985 France Top 172 best-selling French models here.

Full Year 1986 Top 100, Monthly Top 10 Ranking Tables and every model sales below.

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Brazil 1984-1986: Chevrolet Monza tops the charts

I could not access detailed car sales figures for Brazil over the period, only a Chevrolet Monza advertisement in Quatro Rodas celebrating 2 years of domination over the Brazilian market in 1984 and 1985.

The Monza sold 70,577 units in 1984 and 75,240 in 1985, and in all likeliness it kept the lead in 1986 before the crowning of the VW Gol in 1987.

Chevrolet Monza advertisements below.

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USA 1986: Chevrolet Celebrity leads passenger cars

Chevrolet Celebrity

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 216 best-selling models! Click on title to see. Thanks Y *

While the Ford F-Series is solidly anchored in pole position with 544,969 sales this year, the Chevrolet Celebrity takes the lead of the passenger cars ranking at 408,946 units, up 3 spots and 12% on 1985. The Celebrity overtakes the Chevrolet C/K Pick-up down 8% to #3 and 403,510 sales, the Ford Escort down 4% to #4 and 402,181 units and the Chevrolet Cavalier down 17% to #5.

Honda Accord USA 1986Honda Accord

Notice the Honda Accord in 7th place with 325,004 sales, now that the US and Japanese models are counted together, making it the best-selling foreign model in the ranking above the Toyota Hilux/SR5 (#8), Nissan Pickup at #15 and Nissan Sentra at #16. These are the only 4 foreign models inside the US Top 20 this year…

Hyundai Excel USA 1986Hyundai successfully lands in the US this year with the Excel.

A bunch of famous newcomers are making their entrance in the American ranking in 1986. The Ford Taurus has its first full year of sales and lands directly at #11 with 263,450 sales, missing out on a Top 10 ranking for less than 2,000 units. Korean manufacturer Hyundai makes its grand entrance in the US with the Excel arriving at an impressive #24 spot with 168,882 sales. Finally we welcome the Jeep Wrangler at #160 with 16,853 units.

Previous post: USA 1985: Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Cavalier on top

Next post: USA 1987-1988: Ford F-Series and Escort dominate

Full Year 1986 Top 216 models Ranking Table below.

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South Africa 1986: Corolla, Mazda 323 & Honda Ballade on top

Mazda 323

* See ‘Read more’ below for the Top 10 best-selling models! Thanks Miguel for the data *

In 1987 the podium of the best-selling cars in South Africa is 100% Japanese: the Toyota Corolla keeps the lead, followed by the Mazda 323 and the Honda Ballade, a Civic sedan. The VW Golf/Jetta comes in 4th ahead of the Ford Escort. The BMW 3 Series drops to #8 and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta ranks 10th.

Full Year 1986 Top 10 Ranking Table below the Honda Ballade pic.

Honda Ballade

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Netherlands 1982-1986: Opel Kadett and Ford Escort dominate

Opel Kadett

* See the Top 100 best-selling models for each year by clicking on ‘Read more’ at end of post! *

The Dutch models ranking is very stable over the period, with the Opel Kadett the unquestionable leader throughout. Starting at 9.1% share in 1982 it fell to 6.7% in 1984 but the new generation brought it back to 10.3% in 1985 and a record 57,431 units sold in 1986 for a 10.25% market share. No model ever sold more units in a year in the Netherlands since.

Ford Escort

The Ford Escort stays #2 each year, peaking at 6.6% in 1984. It is followed by the Volvo 340/360 in 1983, but the Swedish model drops to #4 the following three years, peaking at 4.05% in 1985. The VW Golf is in constant progression over the period, #4 in 1982 and 1983 but #3 from 1984 onwards, improving its market share each year to peak at 4.6% in 1986.

Japanese cars are already well and truly entrenched in the Netherlands with the Mazda 323 ranking 6th in 1982 and the Toyota reaching #8 in 1985.

Click on ‘Read more’ below for the yearly Ranking Tables.

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USSR 1980-1986: Lada 2106 and Moskvich 2140 likely leaders

Lada 2106

Lada launches the 2105 in 1979, basically a restyled 2101. The traditional Deluxe version, named 2107, is added in 1982 and the Station Wagon, 2104, appears in 1984. More info on the Lada 2105 series here. However the 2106, launched in 1975, should still be the brand’s best-seller in the country over the period…

Moskvich 2140

…potentially overtaken in the overall ranking by the Moskvich 2140, facelifted in 1981, during some years. If you have access to official models data for the period please make sure you get in touch by commenting on here or filling up the ‘Contact’ form.

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