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Germany 1984-1987: New gen takes Golf sales to record levels

VW Golf

* See the Top 100 best-selling models by clicking on the title! – Thanks to Florian for the data *

Launched in 1983, the second generation VW Golf takes the nameplate’s sales to record levels in Germany: it goes up to 260,229 sales in 84, 298,175 in 85, 371,382 in 86 and 378,856 units in 1987, the highest annual volume ever achieved by a single model in Germany, beating the 348,929 sales of the VW Beetle in 1961.

Opel Kadett

The same happens to the Opel Kadett, #2 all through the period but getting a real boost in 86 thanks to the new generation: the nameplate passes the 200,000 sales mark for the first time that year at 236,120 units and improves again in 87 at 239,929 sales. The Opel Kadett is therefore only the fourth model in the German automobile history to sell over 200,000 units in a single year after the VW Beetle, VW Golf and Mercedes W123…

Mercedes 190

Launched in 1982, the Mercedes 190 is an instant hit and climbs onto the German podium at #3 in 84 with 106,121 sales, improving to 122,751 in 85, then slowing down to #5 in 86 and 87, replaced on the podium by its big brother the Mercedes 200/300 at 145,568 units in 86 and 147,493 in 87. The BMW 3 Series is the first BMW model to sell over 100,000 units in a single year in Germany at 101,692 sales in 84 (#4), improving to 109,511 in 86 (#6) and maintaining itself at 104,978 in 87 (#7).

BMW 3 Series

Other successful models over the period are the VW Passat, #4 in 85 and 86, the Audi 80, #4 in 87, the Opel Ascona, #5 in 84, the Ford Sierra, #7 in 84 and 85 and the Ford Escort, #7 in 87. Foreign models reach rankings not seen since the early seventies and the Renault 4: the Fiat Uno and Peugeot 205 alternate as best-sellers, with the Uno leading in 84 (#18) and 87 (#14 with 53,049 sales) and the 205 best-seller in 85 (#17) and 86 (#13 at 55,714 units). Mazda is very strong again, with the 626 staying in the Top 20 all through the period and the 323 peaking at #18 in 87.

Full Year 1984 to 1987 Top 100 Ranking Tables below.

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