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Australia 1988: Ford Falcon at 13.3% share, holds off new Commodore

Ford Falcon

* See the Top 10 best-selling models and Top 7 brands by clicking on the title *

The Australian new passenger car market is on the mend: up 16% year-on-year in 1988 to 521,961 registrations, yet remaining at 15 year-lows: excepting 1987, car sales in Australia haven’t been that weak since 1972. Ford remains by far the best-selling manufacturer in the country thanks to 134,160 sales but sees its market share thaw from 28.6% in 1987 to 25.7% this year. Toyota reclaims the #2 it lost last year from Holden at 19.3% (+23%) vs. 17.6% (+9%). Below Mitsubishi (+17%), Nissan is up 36% to 10.9% while Honda shoots up a spectacular 77% to catch up with Mazda at #7. Model-wise, the Ford Falcon leads the way with a mammoth 13.3% market share (2 points less than in 1987) ahead of the Holden Commodore and Mitsubishi Magna while the Toyota Camry is up 3 spots to #4 and the Nissan Pulsar up two to #7.

Full Year 1988 Top 10 models and Top 7 brands Ranking Tables below.

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Finland 1985-1988: Toyota and Nissan on top, Corolla best-seller

Toyota and the Corolla are the most popular brand and nameplate over the period.

* See the Top 50 All-brands and Top 50 models by clicking on the title *

The Finnish new car market gains 8.8% in 1985 to break an all-time volume record for the 2nd year running at 138.273 units. Toyota soars 31% to take the lead of the brands ranking for only the second time ever after 1973. Nissan (+4%) is knocked down to #2, meaning the Top two best-selling brands in Finland are Japanese for the third year in a row. Opel (+21%) overtakes Lada (+1%) and Ford (-2%) to snap the third place, with Mazda (-1%) stuck at #6 above Volkswagen (+33%) and Volvo (+21%). Mitsubishi (+16%) posts another strong year but remains outside the Top 10 at #11. Citroen (+34%) and Peugeot (+32%) shine but Skoda (-20%) and Talbot (-48%) struggle and we welcome Seat in the ranking at #22.

Over in the models aisle, after winning for 10 out of the past 11 years, the Lada 1200-2107 (+1%) finally gives up its throne to the Toyota Corolla surging 57% to 8.4% and edging past the Lada for just 182 units. The Nissan Sunny (-2%) also drops one spot to #3, followed by the Opel Kadett (+54%), Ford Escort (-11%) and Mazda 323 (-2%). The Opel Ascona (+15%) is up three spots to #7, the Fiat Uno (+32%) breaks into the Top 10 at #10 and the VW Golf (+69%) is up 13 spots to #11.

Nissan is #2 over the period, with the Sunny climbing to #2 model in 1987 and 1988.

1986 marks a third consecutive record year with sales up 3.5% to 143.183 units. Toyota (+10%) widens the gap with Nissan (-1%) while Lada (+10%) reclaims the #3 spot off Opel (-2%) with Ford (+2%), Mazda (+9%), Volkswagen (-2%) and Volvo (+1%) camping on their positions. After five years of missing out by not much, Mitsubishi (+23%) finally breaks into the Top 10 at #9, knocking Fiat (-13%) out. Seat (+125%), Subaru (+78%), Isuzu (+58%), Peugeot (+35%) and Honda (+29%) also impress.

The Toyota Corolla (+4%) remains the best-seller while the Lada 1200-2107 (-8%) starts to be affected by the launch of the Lada Samara (#25) but still ranks #2. The Nissan Sunny (+7%) and Opel Kadett (+3%) camp on their position while the Mazda 323 (+25%) overtakes the Ford Escort (+3%) for #5. The Toyota Carina (+33%) jumps 7 spots to make it two Toyotas in the Top 7, a first. The Saab 900 (+18%) and Mitsubishi Lancer (+65%) impress while the VW Golf (+1%) still hasn’t managed a single Top 10 finish.

The Lada 1200-2107 remains on the podium over the period.

1987 brings another volume record – the fourth in a row – with Finnish registrations up 5.8% to 151.431. Toyota (+20%) is more dominant than ever at 14.8% share and 22.373 sales, the highest annual volume hit by any carmaker in Finland since stats began in 1956. In fact, the entire Top 10 brands remain unchanged vs. 1986 with Nissan (+3%), Lada (+15%) and Opel (+1%) rounding out the Top 5 and Volvo (+10%) the only other double-digit gainer. Below, Subaru (+90%), Peugeot (+23%) and Audi (+18%) shine but Fiat (-26%) and Seat (-19%) struggle.

Model-wise, the Toyota Corolla (+17%) continues to improve its share, now at 9.3%, followed this time by the Nissan Sunny (+34%). It is the first time two Japanese nameplates lead the Finnish models ranking. The Lada 1200-2107 (-7%) drops to #3, its lowest annual ranking in Finland since 1972. The Opel Kadett (+1%) remains at #4 while the Saab 900 soars 37% to break into the Top 5 for the first time, knocking the Mazda 323 (-10%) down to #6. The Lada Samara (+131%) ends its first full year in market at an excellent 7th place, while the VW Golf (+11%) finally breaks into the Finnish Top 10 at #10, 13 years after the nameplate’s launch. The Camry (+216%) is the third Toyota in the Top 15 along with the Carina (#13).

The Lada Samara ranks 7th for its first full year in market in 1987.

New car sales in Finland post an incredible 5th consecutive record volume in 1988 thanks to deliveries up 14.6% to 173.473. Toyota signs a 4th win in a row but progresses slower than the market at +11% to 14.3% share, however hitting a new annual volume record for any brand in Finland at 24.749. Nissan (+16%) and Opel (+22%) grow faster but remain at a fair distance. Lada (+5%) drops to 4th place ahead of Ford (+1%) while Volkswagen (+23%) overtakes Mazda (+13%) to rank 6th, its highest position in Finland in 15 years (since 1973). Peugeot (+74%) lodges the largest gain in the Top 20 to rank 8th thanks to the success of the 405.

The Toyota Corolla (+11%) comfortably remains atop the models ladder for the 4th year running with the Nissan Sunny (+9%), Lada 1200-2107 (+7%) and Opel Kadett (+39%) in tow like in 1987 – only the second time ever two Japanese nameplates are the best-sellers in Finland. The Toyota Carina (+59%) and Mazda 626 (+50%) both get propelled back inside the Top 6 by new generations, with the VW Golf up a further 25% to a record 8th place but the Lada Samara down two ranks to #9. The Fiat Uno rallies back up 83% to #10 and the Peugeot 405 lands directly at #14 for its first full year of sales.

Previous post: Finland 1983-1984: Datsun, now Nissan stays #1, Toyota #2

Full Year 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988 Top 45 All-brands and Top 50 models below.

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USSR 1988: Lada 2106 leads, Samara on podium

Lada Samara

* See the Top 15 all-models ranking by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Alex *

In 1988, the private new car market is down 8% year-on-year to 754,600 registrations, with the sales to state organisations, intelligence services and the army down 14% to 165,950 units. The VAZ 2106 keeps the pole position with sales up 1% to 216,890 and 28.7% share, while its archenemy the Moskvich 2140, at the end of its life, loses 28% on 1987 but stays #2 at 150,804 units. The Lada Samara climbs onto the podium at #3 with 95,028 sales (+7%).

Lada Niva 4×4

The IZH 2125 Kombi incredibly gains 3% to 47,500 units at #5 and the Lada Niva 4×4 is up a fantastic 32% at #6 with 40,243 sales, followed by the Lada 2107 and 2105.

GAZ 21-40 “Volga”

Moskvich 2141 “Aleko”

ZAZ 1102 “Tavria”

The GAZ 21-40 “Volga” is up one spot to #9 at 21,164 units. There are two new entrants in the 1987 models ranking: the Moskvich 2141 “Aleko” lands directly at #10 with 15,000 sales and the ZAZ 1102 “Tavria” ranks #13 with 2.100 units. Note imports started being allowed into the USSR on March 16, 1988.

Previous post: USSR 1987: Lada 2106 and Moskvich 2140 fight it off

Next post: USSR/Russia 1989-1995: Lada 2104-7 and Samara should dominate

Full Year 1988 Top 15 all-models Ranking Table below.

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Argentina 1984-1988: Renault 12 dominates for 5 years in a row

Renault 12 Alpine Argentina. Picture courtesy of 12

* See the Top 10 best-selling models in 1988 by clicking on the title! Thanks to Bruno *

Even though it has been on sale in the country for nearly two decades by the time its reign comes to an end, the Renault 12 manages to top the Argentinean sales charts for 5 years in a row between 1984 and 1988, bringing its total to 9 years (add 1976 to 1978 and 1980). This is more than any other model in the history of automobile in Argentina, a record that would be equaled by the VW Gol in 2008.


Peugeot 504 

In 1988, two oldies dominate the Argentinean models ranking: the Renault 12 leads the way with 18,240 sales and a very impressive 13.5% market share, followed by the 20 year-old Peugeot 504, recently facelifted, at 13,259 units and 9.8%. Rounding up the podium is the Fiat Spazio (aka 127) with 11,957 sales and 8.8%, just above the Renault 18 at 8.4%. The Renault 11 takes the 5th spot at 6.9% ahead of the Ford Sierra at 6.5% and the VW Gacel at 5.8%.

Full Year 1988 Top 10 Ranking Table below.

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Italy 1988: Fiat Uno leads, Fiat Tipo close to 14% in December

Fiat Uno

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

No surprise atop the 1988 models ranking in Italy: the Fiat Uno keeps the pole position with a solid 17.2% share and 374,850 units sold, down 12% on 1987. The big event this year is the arrival of the Fiat Tipo: it launched in January 1988 – I still remember discovering it eyes wide open while on ski holidays in Italy then! – and managed to finish the year at a massive 10% market share, landing directly in 2nd position with 217,410 sales. It even threatened the Uno towards the end of the year, grabbing a huge 13.9% share of the Italian market in December with the Uno at 16%.

Fiat Tipo

Fiat is back to monopolising the podium, with the Fiat Panda ranking third at 212,614 units and 9.7%. Excellent year for the Autobianchi Y10, up 37% and one spot to 4th place with 110,990 sales and 5.1%, ahead of the VW Golf, down 7% to 5th place and 4.6% share. The Renault 5 is down two spots to #6 while the Peugeot 205 is up one spot to #7.

Alfa Romeo 164

Notice the Opel Kadett breaking into the year-end Top 10 in 10th place, up 6 spots and 29% to 44,500 sales and 2% share. The Alfa Romeo 164 makes its first appearance in the Top 20 for its first full year of sales at #20, 29,620 units and 1.4% share.

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

Next year: Italy 1989: Fiat Uno, Tipo and Panda on podium

Full Year and December 1988 Top 20 Ranking Tables below.

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USA 1988: Chevrolet C/K pickup and Corsica impress

Chevrolet CK Pickup USA 1988Chevrolet C/K Pickup

* See the Top 236 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

The best-selling vehicle in the United States is once again the Ford F-Series in 1988 thanks to sales up another 3% to 564,471 units, and this year it is followed by the Chevrolet C/K Pick-up, up 26% to 474,208 sales thanks to the new generation, reclaiming the #2 spot it last held in 1985.

Chevrolet Corsica USA 1988Chevrolet Corsica

The Ford Escort remains the best-selling Passenger Car in the country for the 2nd year running, but it was by the skin of its teeth this time at 387,815 sales (-1%) vs. 380,301 for the Chevrolet Corsica/Beretta (+78%) and 374,627 for the Ford Taurus (+6%). The Honda Accord for its part continues its seemingly unstoppable progression at +8% to 362,683 sales but drops one spot on 1987 to #6 because of the Corsica’s surge.

Plymouth Voyager USA 1988Plymouth Voyager

Other great performers this year include the Ford Tempo up 30% to break into the US Top 10 at #9, the Chevrolet S-10 pickup up 11% to #12, Dodge Caravan up 38% to #17, Toyota Camry up 22% to #18, Toyota Corolla up 32% to #19 and Plymouth Voyager up 37% to #20. Notice also the Jeep Cherokee up 15 spots to #30, the Buick Regal up 39 to #36 and the Pontiac Grand Prix up 108 to #48.

Full Year 1988 Top 236 models Ranking Table below.

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France 1988: Renault Supercinq & Peugeot 205 at highest volumes

Renault Supercinq

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

The French car market reaches a new volume record this year, up 5% on 1987 at 2,217,149 units. Both the Renault Supercinq and the Peugeot 205, in that order again, deliver their highest ever annual volume this year. The Supercinq is #1 for the third consecutive year with 241,653 sales and 10.9% share, ranking 1st 7 times and peaking at 13.1% share in March.

Peugeot 205

The Peugeot 205 is 2nd again at 230,568 units and 10.4% share, ranking 1st 5 times and peaking at 12.6% share in June. The Renault 21 rounds out the podium with 155,190 sales and 7% of the market, it is threatened this year by the Peugeot 405 at #4 for its first full year of sales with 138,562 units sold for a 6.2% share. It ranked 3rd at 7.4% in June.

Peugeot 405

The Citroen AX is doing reasonably well, finishing the year in 5th place with 128,586 sales and 5.8%, up 41% on 1987 and peaking at a brilliant 3rd place (6.1%) in August.

Citroen AX

The VW Golf takes the lead of foreign models at #8 overall and 77,595 units, possibly the highest annual volume ever achieved by a foreign car in France. At 3.5% share it is up a massive 31% over 1987 and is followed by the Fiat Uno (3%) and Opel Corsa (2.8%). Notice the arrival of the Renault 19 directly in 3rd place in September at a fantastic 7% share…

Previous year: see the 1987 France Top 100 best-selling models here.

Full Year 1988 Top 100, every Monthly Top 10 Ranking Tables and all model sales below.

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Europe 1988: VW Golf and Fiat Uno on top

VW Golf

* See the Top 10 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Thanks STAC *

In 1988 the VW Golf is the best selling car in Europe by far, with 739,445 sales and 5.7% share, 47% of which coming from West Germany.

Fiat Uno

The Fiat Uno comes in 2nd place with 635,663 sales and 4.9%, 52% coming from Italy, just ahead of the Opel Kadett at 622,690 units and 4.8%. Two French cars follow: the Renault Supercinq in 4th position with 518,910 sales and the Peugeot 205 at #5 with 505,936. Then it’s 3 Fords in a row: the Escort, Sierra and Fiesta!

Full Year 1988 Top 10 Ranking Table: click on ‘Read more’ below the Opel Kadett pic.

Opel Kadett

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Sweden 1988: Volvo 700 leads, VW Golf #2 in record market

Volvo 740

* See ‘Read more’ for the Top 25 best-selling models! Many thanks to Torbjörn for the data *

1988 is a record year for Swedish car sales: they are up 9% on 1987 to reach 343,963 units, a figure that remains unbeaten since. The Volvo 700 easily holds onto its pole position with sales up 10% to 46,711 units, the highest volume ever reached in a year by a single model in Sweden. It commends a sizeable 13.6% market share.

VW Golf

Possibly for the first time ever in Sweden, a foreign model climbs onto the 2nd spot: the VW Golf is up 9% and sells just under 20,000 units this year for a 5.8% market share. It is followed by the Volvo 200 (5.3%) and Opel Kadett (4.6%), both up spot and passing the Saab 900, down 29% at 4% share.

Notice the new Saab 9000 creeping up to 7th place (+42%), the Toyota Corolla up to #8 (+47%) and the Mazda 626 breaking into the Top 10 at #10 (+105%), making it 2 Japanese models in the Swedish year-end Top 10 for the very first time.

Previous post: see the Swedish 1985-1987 Top 20 best-selling models here.

Full Year 1988 Top 25 Ranking Table below.

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