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Brazil 1987-1989: VW Gol takes the lead, Chevy Monza #2

VW Gol

Launched in 1980, the VW Gol had to wait until its first restyling in 1987 to take the lead of Brazilian car sales. This is the start of 23 years atop the rankings… Over 5 million units of the VW Gol would be produced in 30 years! The Gol sells 104,111 units in 1988 and 107,101 (+3%) in 1989 to stay on top of the ranking.

The podium also stays unchanged in 1988 and 1989: the Chevrolet Monza is #2 both years with 70,214 then 73,707 sales (+5%) whereas the Ford Escort in 3rd at 68,789 sales in 1988 and 61,406 (-11%) in 1989, even though it took advantage of a weak month of sales for the Gol to take the lead of the Brazilian market in November 89.

Chevrolet Monza

The Fiat Uno, #4 in 1989 at +11%, exchanges positions with the Chevrolet Chevette, 5th at -32% in 1989. The Chevrolet Kadett is an instant hit when it launches in the country in 1989: it is 9th overall but already a regular fixture in the Top 5 throughout the 2nd half of the year.

Full Top 20 Ranking Tables for 1988 and 1989: click on ‘Read more’ below.

You can access Brazilian cars expert Marcelo de Vasconcellos‘s recounting of the original VW Gol launch and subsequent success by clicking on ‘Read more’ below.

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UK 1988-1989: Ford Escort leader, Sierra and Fiesta follow

Ford Escort

* See the Top 20/100 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Florian *

In an ever growing market, now over 2 million annual sales, the Ford Escort resists on top and lodges its 7th and 8th consecutive years at #1 in 1988 and 1989. Ford still dominates the podium, with the facelifted Sierra up to #2 and the Fiesta at #3. Both the Ford Escort and the Ford Sierra reach what would end up being their highest volume ever in the country in 1989 at 181,218 and 175,911 units respectively.

Ford Sierra

Two Vauxhalls follow in 1989: the Cavalier (aka Opel Vectra) up from #6 in 88, and the Astra (aka Opel Kadett), stable at #5. After a very solid year in 88 (116,811 units), the Austin Metro loses steam in 89 to #6 while the Vauxhall Nova (aka Opel Corsa) is up to #7. The Rover 200 progresses each year to reach 68,316 sales in 1989 (#9).

Range Rover

After beating the foreign model annual volume record in 86 (39,188) and 87 (49,127), the Peugeot 205 does it again in 88 (54,147) before the VW Golf beats it in 89 (56,055). Notice the Nissan Micra up to #12 and 52,143 sales in 88, improving further to 54,175 units in 89, the excellent start of the Peugeot 405, landing directly at #14 in 89 with 47,834 sales, the Rover 800 up 46% to 29,442 units and #24 in 89 and the BMW 3 Series up to #26 and 29,067 sales that same year.

Further down the 1989 ranking, the Vauxhall Carlton (aka Opel Omega) is #28, the Austin Mini is down to #40 with 12,852 sales, the Jaguar XJ is #44, the Hyundai Pony #52, the Range Rover #54 and the Vauxhall Belmont (aka Opel Kadett sedan) #80.

1988 Top 20 and 1989 Top 100 Ranking Tables below.

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Argentina 1989: Fiat Spazio surprise (and quick!) leader

Fiat Spazio

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

After ranking third in 1988, the Fiat 127, named Spazio in Argentina, surprises the automotive world and takes the lead of the country’s sales charts in 1989. In fact, its accession to the throne marks a year of transition between the reign of the Renault 12, #1 from 1984 to 1988, and the Fiat Duna (a Fiat Uno sedan) which will dominate new car sales in Argentina for the next 5 years.

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

Next post: Argentina 1990-1993: Fiat Duna leads the way

Italy 1989: Fiat Uno, Tipo and Panda on podium

Fiat Uno

Fiat Tipo

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

Italian consumers bought 2.362.355 new cars in 1989. The Fiat Uno underwent a significant facelift this year and keeps its stranglehold on the Italian market with 382,500 sales and 16.2% share. The Fiat Tipo stays #2 at 262,520 units and 11.1% which would remain its best figures. The Fiat Panda follows and hits its best-ever volume at 223,410 units.

Autobianchi/Lancia Y10

In the midst of the purchase of the Autobianchi brand by Lancia, the Y10 is up 12% and stays #4 with 124,450 sales and 5.3%, ahead of the VW Golf and Renault 5. Notice the Citroen AX breaking into the Top 10 and the Ford Fiesta up to #11.

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

Next year: Italy 1990: Fiat Uno keeps pole position

Full Year 1989 Top 20 Ranking Table below.

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France 1989: Last year on top for Renault Supercinq

Renault Supercinq

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

For the third consecutive year the French car market beats records and totals 2,274,307 units in 1989, up 3% year-on-year. Fourth and last year of reign for the Renault Supercinq, still very strong at 236,929 sales and 10.4% share, down only 2% on 1988. It was first 7 times and peaked at 11.7% in February.

Peugeot 205

The Peugeot 205 was leading the year-to-date ranking up until September but a poor end of the year saw it lose its advantage to finish #2 for the 4th year in a row at 220,869 units and 9.7% share, ranking 1st 5 times and peaking at 11.6% too in June.

Renault 19

The Renault 19 confirms its outstanding start in ’88 by climbing onto the last step of the podium with 174,417 sales and an impressive 7.7% share for its first full year of sales. It hit what would remain its highest monthly share ever in June at 9% and even ranked #2 ahead of the 205 in September… In 4th place the Peugeot 405 improves on an already solid ’88 score at 144,977 units and 6.4%, up 5% and delivers its highest monthly share and ranking in May at 7.6% and #2, above the Supercinq…

Below the Renault 21, down 9% to #5, the Citroen AX drops one spot to #6 but increases its market share to 6.1% thanks to 138,418 sales, up 8% year-on-year. It peaks at 7.6% in July. The VW Golf beats its own ’88 record and delivers the highest volume (and possibly share) ever for a foreign model at 88,560 units and 3.8%. The Ford Fiesta is up 4 spots to #10, followed in the imports ranking by the Fiat Uno (#12), Opel Corsa (#13), Ford Escort (#14) and Fiat Tipo (#15).

Previous year: see the 1988 France Top 20 best-selling models here.

Full Year 1989 Top 100, very Monthly Top 10 Ranking Tables and all models sales below.

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Europe 1989: VW Golf and Opel Kadett dominate

VW Golf

In 1989 the VW Golf is still on top of European car sales with 780,000 units and 5.8% share, ahead of the Opel Kadett at 660,000 sales and 4.9% and the Fiat Uno at 635,000 and 4.7%. The two following Frenchies exchange positions this year: the Peugeot 205 is now 4th and the Renault Supercinq is 5th.

Full Top 5 Ranking Table: click on ‘Read more’ below the Peugeot 205 pic.

Opel Kadett

Peugeot 205

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Switzerland 1980-1989: Golf & Kadett on top, the Japanese land

Toyota Corolla

* See the Top 25 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

Thanks to Rene I can share with you an overall Top 25 ranking for the eighties decade. No surprises on top: the VW Golf and Opel Kadett dominate with 182,780 sales and 143,361 respectively, but the rest of the ranking gets a solid reshuffle. From just one in the seventies, the number of Japanese models in the Swiss Top 25 goes up to 7 in the eighties, with the Toyota Corolla managing to claw its way onto the podium with an excellent 77,315 sales.

Subaru Leone

The Subaru Leone is the success-story of the decade, selling 63,118 units over the period for an amazing 7th place. The other Japanese models in the ranking are the Mazda 323 (#9), Mazda 626 (#17), Mitsubishi Colt (#20), Honda Civic (#21) and Toyota Tercel (#24). Another brand that is ttally taken off in the eighties is BMW: while it had no model in the Top 25 in the seventies, it places the 3 Series at a fantastic 5th place now with 72,900 sales and the 5 Series at #25.

Previous post: Switzerland 1970-1979: VW Golf interrupts Opel domination

Next post: Switzerland 1993: Opel Astra surprise leader

Full 1980-1989 overall Top 25 Ranking Table below.

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USA 1989: Honda Accord first foreign model to lead passenger cars

Honda Accord

* See the Top 252 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

History is written in the US new car market in 1989. Seven years after its US production started, the Honda Accord becomes the best-selling Passenger Car in the country thanks to stable sales at 362,707 units and at a record third position! This the first time a foreign model to do so: even though the model is produced in the country Honda is still a Japanese brand… So a massive event this year for the American car market, with the Ford Taurus up one spot on 1988 but down 7% to 348,061 sales and the Ford Escort down 14% to 333,535 units.

Ford F-Series

The Ford F-Series remains the overall best-seller however for the 8th consecutive year at 540,739 units (-2%) ahead of the Chevrolet C/K at 490,345 (+4%). Further down and coinciding with the Accord’s triumph, the Toyota Camry breaks into the overall US Top 10 for the very first time: up 9 spots on 1988 to #9 thanks to sales up 13% to 257,466. Reversely, it’s crash and burn for the Hyundai Excel: down 44% and 18 ranks to #28…

Lexus LS400 US 1989We welcome the Lexus brand in the USA this year.

In 1989 we welcome the arrival of Toyota’s own premium brand sold exclusively in the US: Lexus, with the LS landing at #160 with 11,574 sales and the ES at #196 with 4,728 units. Lexus joins Honda’s premium brand Acura (Integra #64, Legend #74) and is joined by Nissan’s version Infiniti this year: the Q45 lands at #229 with 1,072 sales and the M30 ranks #242 with 651 units.

Full Year 1989 Top 252 models Ranking Table below.

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Belgium 1989: VW Golf & Opel Kadett dominate

VW Golf

* See the Top 7 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

I only have data for the first 6 months of 1989 in Belgium, and over the period 254,856 cars were registered. The two best-sellers reflect the overall European ranking, with the VW Golf #1 at 16,030 sales and 6.3% share and the Opel Kadett #2 at 12,106 sales and 4.8%. The Peugeot 205 follow at 4% and the Toyota Corolla delivers what could be its best performance in Europe in 5th with 8,665 sales and 3.4%.

Next post: Belgium 1993: VW Golf, Opel Astra and Renault 19 on podium

Full 6 months 1989 Top 7 Ranking Table below.

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Spain 1989: Renault 19 takes the lead

Renault 19

* See ‘Read more’ below for the Top 60 best-selling models – Thanks Rutger for the tip! *

Launched in late 1988, the Renault 19 is an instant hit with Spanish consumers, and the model enjoys even greater success in Spain than it does in France, ranking #1 in the country in 1989 with 89,512 sales and 8.5% share, only 800 units above the Opel Kadett, #2 at 88,713 units.

Seat Ibiza

The Seat Ibiza ranks 3rd with 71,958 sales and 6.9%, followed by the Renault Supercinq at 63,387 units and 6% and the Ford Fiesta at 61,612 sales and 5.9%. Notice the Renault 21 at #9, the Ford Orion at #10, the Seat Malaga at #17, the Seat Marbella at #19. Curiosities: the Renault 4 is still at a respectable #27 at 0.7% share and the Trabant ranks 54th with 1,197 sales and 0.1% of the Spanish market.

Full Year 1989 Top 60 Ranking Table below.

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