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France 1990: Peugeot 205 reclaims top spot, Renault Clio arrives

Peugeot 205

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

The French new car market hits what still remains today its highest volume ever at 2,309,130 registrations, up 2% year-on-year. 5 years after its last stint in pole position, the Peugeot 205 reclaims the title of best-selling car in France with 229,044 sales and 9.9% share, up 4% on 1989. This is partly due to the replacement of the Renault Supercinq, still #1 from January to March but #3 over the full year at 146,443 units and 6.3%, by the Renault Clio launched in May.

Renault 21

Re-energised by its facelift, the Renault 21 is up 3 spots this year to #2 with 152,223 sales and 6.6% share. The Renault 19 drops 17% to #4 at 144,250 units and 6.2%, followed by the Peugeot 405 with 131,874 sales and 5.7%. The Citroen AX has a very interesting year, peaking at a fantastic 2nd place in May and June at an outstanding 7.6% market share, to finish the year at #6 and 127,810 units (5.5%).

The Renault Clio is obviously the best performing newcomer, landing in the market in May and ranking 2nd as early as July, keeping that position for the rest of the year. It peaked at 9.4% in October but didn’t manage to unsettle the Peugeot 205 from its top spot this year. Further below the Peugeot 309 improves its share slightly to 4.2%, staying 8th.

Citroen XM

The VW Golf beats the volume record for a foreign model for the 3rd consecutive year with 88,990 sales and 3.9%. It even reached a fantastic 4.9% share in December, the best market share ever for a foreign model in France. Notice the Citroen XM at #15 with 42,923 sales and 1.9% share, just below the Renault 25, and the Peugeot 605 at #18 with 36.956 units and 1.6%.

Previous year: See the 1989 France Top 100 best-selling models here.

Full Year 1990 Top 100, every monthly Top 10 Ranking Tables and every model sales below.

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World 1981-1989: Toyota Corolla from strength to strength


1983 Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla spent the eighties reinforcing its domination over world car sales, with estimated yearly sales climbing into 800,000+ units in the first half of the decade, then 900,000+ units afterwards.

Two new generations of the Corolla were launched over the period: the fifth generation (or E80) launched in May 1983, and the sixth generation (E90) appeared in May 1987.

Only official figures I have are world sales of French models in 1987 when the Renault Supercinq led the way with 515,673 units ahead of the Peugeot 205 at 491,300 and the Renault 21 at 367,784. If you have any official world sales data by model over the period please comment on this post!

1987 world sales figures for all French cars below.

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USA 1990: Can the Honda Accord ever lead the overall market?

Honda Accord USA 1990Honda Accord

* See the Top 256 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

Below the Ford F-Series (495,977 sales) and Chevrolet C/K (464,668) both losing ground on 1989, the Honda Accord confirms it is America’s favourite Passenger Car and improves by 15% on last year to break the 400,000 annual unit-milestone for the very first time at 417,179. Can it ever become the country’s outright best-seller? Talk about an event that would be… The Accord now has a 100,000+ sales lead over the #2 Passenger Car the Ford Taurus down 10% to 313,274 units in 4th place while the Chevrolet Cavalier is stable at #5.

Chevrolet Lumina USA 1990Chevrolet Lumina

Japanese models continue their strong push this year in the US: the Toyota Camry is up a further 11% and two spots on 1989 to land in 7th place with a record 284,595 sales, the Toyota Corolla breaks into the annual US Top 10 for the very first time, up 14% to #10 and the Honda Civic is up 12% to #11. Notice also the Chevrolet Lumina up 99% to #12 for its first full year of sales, the Ford Explorer landing directly at #21 with 159,626 units, the Cadillac Deville at #20 and Lincoln Town Car at #25.

Saturn S-Series USA 1990Saturn S-Series

Saturn Logo

Finally, extremely rare event this year in the US: a new American brand makes its entrance in the ranking: the General Motors’ Saturn launches with the S-Series at #218 with 1,881 sales.

Full Year 1990 Top 256 Models Ranking Table below.

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Italy 1990: Fiat Uno keeps pole position, podium unchanged

Fiat Uno

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

Very strong numbers again for the Fiat Uno at 362,896 sales this year, nearly double the volume of the #2, the Fiat Tipo at 186,414 units. Like last year the Fiat Panda takes the 3rd spot with 179,768 sales.

Fiat Tempra

It is followed this year by the Ford Fiesta, up 7 spots and 143% to 131,168 units, by far the highest year-end volume ever achieved by a foreign model in Italy. The Lancia Lancia Y10 is #5 at 120,833 sales. One more model manages to sell over 100,000 units: the VW Golf at 101,204 in 6th position.

Below the Alfa Romeo 33 (#8) and the Lancia Dedra (#9), notice the Fiat Tempra landing directly at #10 for its first year of sales at 55,654 units.

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

Next year: Italy 1991: Fiat Uno and Ford Fiesta in command

Full Year 1990 Top 10 Ranking Table below.

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Europe 1990: VW Golf, Opel Kadett and Fiat Uno on podium

In 1990 the VW Golf holds the European pole position again and the Top 4 best selling models stay unchanged. The Opel Kadett is #2, followed by the Fiat Uno and the Peugeot 205. Now that its replacement, the Renault Clio, is in dealerships, the Renault Supercinq disappears from the European Top 5 and is replaced by the Ford Fiesta which saw its sales boosted by the new generation launched in 1989.

Opel Kadett

Japan 1969-1990: Toyota Corolla reigns

1966 first generation Toyota Corolla

Launched in 1966, the Toyota Corolla takes the lead in its native Japan in 1969 and stays on top all the way through the seventies and eighties, spanning no less than 6 generations of the model and finishing up in 1990 with 300,008 sales, a new record and the first time any model sells upwards of 300,000 units in a single year in Japan.

I haven’t managed to access any official figures for the period so if you have any info please get in touch!

Next post: Japan 1982: Mazda Familia threatens Toyota Corolla

Check also: Japan 1991: Toyota Corolla, Mark II and Honda Civic on podium

1983 fifth generation Toyota Corolla

Portugal 1990: Fiat Uno dominates

Fiat Uno

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

Over the first 9 months of 1990, 154,043 new vehicles found a buyer in Portugal. The Fiat Uno is the best-selling model in the country with 17,264 sales and 11.2% share, followed by the Opel Corsa at 13,850 units and 9%, the Ford Fiesta with 12,415 sales and 8.1% and the Citroen AX at 9,382 units and 6.1%

Previous post: Portugal 1989: Fiat Uno and Opel Corsa on top

Next post: Portugal 1991-1992: Fiat Uno and Renault Clio most popular

Full Year 1990 Top 10 Ranking Table below.

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Australia 1990: Holden Commodore #1, Toyota leads in October

Holden Commodore

* See the Top 20 best-selling models and brands by clicking on the title *

New car sales in Australia are up 2% year-on-year in 1990 to 617,298 registrations. Below Ford, #1 manufacturer for the 9th year in a row but with its lowest share since 1982 at 22.7%, Toyota breaks two records in 1990: annual volume (128.785) and market share (20.9%), even topping the overall brand sales charts for the first time in in October at 12.983 sales and 23.8% share vs. 10.889 and 19.9% for Ford. This marks the first time a Japanese manufacturer ever ranks #1 overall in Australia. Holden follows at a distance at 17.4% while Nissan overtakes Mitsubishi for 4th place overall. In the Top 10, Mazda (+19%), Subaru (+34%), Suzuki (+36%) and Daihatsu (+48%) impress while Hyundai is down one spot to #11 with sales up 4% to 7.222.

Ford Falcon

The Holden Commodore manages to keep the models pole position despite sales down 9% but the fight intensifies with the Ford Falcon (-8%): if in 1989 the Commodore finished #1 10 times out of 12 and wasn’t interrupted from March to December, in 1990 the race becomes a little more balanced with the Falcon surging to #1 in February, March, September and December. The Ford Laser gains one spot to land on the third step of the podium, overtaking the Mitsubishi Magna. The Toyota Camry (-2%) remains 5th but lodges an outstanding October figure at #3 with 3.705 sales, for the first time at throwing distance from the Falcon (4.244) and Commodore (4.992) and helping Toyota snap the top spot that month.

Ford Laser

Previous post: Australia 1988-1989: The start of the real ‘Falcadore’ era

Next post: Australia 1991: Holden Commodore keeps pole position

Full Year 1990 Top 20 models and brands Ranking Tables below.

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Greece 1980-1990: Ford Escort and Nissan Sunny popular

Nissan Sunny

* See the Top 10 best-selling brands by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Bill *

From 1980 to 1990 only total sales figures for Greece are available, with limited information on the best-selling models. Popular brands in the country during this period were Ford (#1 in 1982), Opel (#1 in 1984), Nissan (#1 in 1987, 88 and 90), Toyota (#1 in 1989), Seat and Lada.

Ford Escort

In 1982, the Ford Escort was the best-selling car in the country, and throughout the 80s the Nissan Sunny, manufactured in Greece was a regular fixture atop the models ranking. Toyota took the lead of the brands ranking in 1988 thanks to the new generation Corolla and the Starlet, Seat sold plenty of Ibizas, Fiat heaps of Unos.

Skoda 105

Curiously, the Austin Metro and Montego were also very popular due to Austin Rover’s very aggressive pricing strategy in the country, Lada was on the podium in 1988, Zastava ranked #4 in 1984 thanks to the 1100 and Skoda was #9 in 1987 thanks to the 105. Low cost brands were Greek favourites due to the very high taxes in place…

Previous post: Greece 1963-1979: Ford and Opel pass the relay to Toyota and Fiat

Next post: Greece 1987: Nissan Sunny, Cherry and Lada Nova on podium

1980-1990 Total sales figures and Top 10 brands below.

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West Germany 1990: Golf and Kadett dominate, Vectra up

VW Golf

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

Healthy car market for West Germany’s last year before the reunification, up 7% to 3,040,784 units. The podium is unchanged, with the VW Golf leading the way with a very imposing sales figure of 330,420 units or 10.9% share, followed by the Opel Kadett at 227,002 sales and 7.5% and the VW Passat at 144,238 units and 4.7%.

Opel Vectra

Just below and up one spot on 1989, the Opel Vectra sells 143,380 units (4.7%), ahead of the Mercedes 200/300 (4.5%) and Audi 80 (3.7%). The BMW 5 Series breaks into the Top 10 for the very first time while the Renault 19 becomes Germany’s best-selling foreign model at #16 with 52,674 sales (1.7%). It is followed by the Fiat Uno at #17, the Toyota Corolla at #18, the Mazda 323 at #19 and the Peugeot 205 at #20. That’s 5 foreign models in the Top 20, their strongest showing in a long while…

Finally, notice the VW Beetle selling 96 units for its 45th and last year in the German ranking… So long!

Full Top 100 Ranking Table below.

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