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USSR 1989-1991: VAZ (Lada) and Izh most popular brands

Lada 2105

* See the Top 8 all-brands ranking by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Alex *

The last years of existence of the Soviet Union see new car sales stagnate in the region: down 6% to 710,525 registrations in 1989 and up 0.1% in 1990 to 711,454. Sales to state organisations, intelligence services and the army are more on a rollercoaster: down 15% to 141,700 in 1989 and back up a massive 59% in 1990 to 225,446.

Izh 2125 Kombi

As expected VAZ (Lada) is the most popular brand in the country with 381,594 sales and 53.7% share in 1989, then 373,579 and 52.5% in 1990. It is followed by Izh at 133,750 then 127,503 and ZAZ at 92,768 then 86,732. The Moskvich 2141 Aleko is counted as a model given it now forms the entirety of the Moskvich range and sales are up 318% to 62,675 and 8.8% in 1989 for its first full year in market, then down 18% to 51,429 in 1990.

Note that in 1989, Soviet citizens were allowed to purchase the UAZ 3151 Patriot again, it was previously only delivered to the army and police. Car imports kick started in the USSR on March 16, 1988 but no data is available until 1990 when a significant 37,400 units were sold, this figure going up 51% in 1991 to 56,300…

Previous post: USSR 1988: Lada 2106 leads, Samara on podium

Full Year 1989 and 1990 All-brands Ranking Tables below.

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France 1991: Peugeot 205 keeps Renault Clio at bay

Peugeot 205

* See the Top 217 best-selling models by clicking on ‘Read more’ at end of post! Many thanks to STAC for making this post possible! *

Tough year for new car sales in France with a market down 12% year-on-year at 2,031,274 registrations. Surprise on top: we were expecting the Renault Clio to logically take the relay of the Supercinq and dominate French car sales for its first full year, but the Peugeot 205 resists and holds the pole position again this year with 200,781 sales and 9.9%, ranking first 9 months out of 12.

Renault Clio

The Renault Clio has a solid year albeit in 2nd place overall at 193,430 units and 9.5%. It ranked #1 for the first time in June when it tied with the 205, then reiterated this feat in September, October and December, peaking at a promising 12.5% market share in October…

The Renault 19 jumps back onto the podium at #3 with 118,275 sales and 5.8%, ahead of the Renault 21 (5.4%), Peugeot 405 (5.2% and ranking 3rd twice) and Citroen AX (4.7%). The Ford Fiesta is the best-selling foreign model at an excellent 7th place with 72,777 sales and 3.6% share.

Ford Orion

Extraordinary performance for the duo Ford Escort/Orion, respectively #12 (+52%) and #21 (+187%), totalling 83,643 sales for a cumulative 4.1% share. If those two models were named the same way they would have beaten the market share record for a foreign model in France. All this because diesel versions were sold at the petrol versions’ price throughout the year…

The best newcomers are the Citroen ZX at #9 with 64,261 sales and 3.2% and the Peugeot 106 at #18 and 26,547 units. It launched in September and ranked 6th in November with only 3-door petrol versions available for now. Further down the ranking, notice the Ferrari Testarossa at #162 with 91 sales and the Lamborghini Diablo at #188 with 24 units sold…

Previous year: see the France 1990 Top 100 best-selling models here.

Full Year 1991 Top 217 and each monthly Top 10 Ranking Tables below.

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Finland 1991: Toyota Corolla and Nissan Sunny in the lead

Toyota Corolla

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

After many years close to the top, Japanese models finally take control of the Finnish market in the early nineties, with the Toyota Corolla in pole position in 1991 with 7,256 sales, followed by the Nissan Sunny at 6,123 units. #1 ten years ago, the Lada 2105 falls to a still very respectable third position this year with 4,072 sales, just above the Toyota Carina at 4,010 units.

Nissan Sunny

The Nissan Primera ranks 5th and makes the Finnish Top 5 80% Japanese! Two Opels follow: the Vectra and Kadett, with the Japanese snapping up two more spots in the Top 10: the Mazda 323 is #8 and the Mitsubishi Lancer is #10. Notice also the Lada Samara at #12, the Volvo 440-480 at #14 and the Saab 900 at #17.

Previous post: Finland 1981: Lada 2105 takes control, Datsun Cherry #2

Next post: Finland 1993: Toyota Corolla sovereign

Full Year 1991 Top 20 Ranking Table below.

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World 1990-1991: Toyota Corolla closes in on the million

The Toyota Corolla confirms its steady increase over the last 15 years with very high production numbers in the early nineties: 980,000 units produced in 1990 and 960,000 in 1991.

The VW Golf takes the 2nd spot in 1991 at 820,000 units, 120,000 of which are the 3rd generation launched that year. The Ford Fiesta climbs onto the podium at 640,000 units, followed by the Fiat Uno and the Renault Clio.

Full 1991 Top 5 Ranking Table: click on ‘Read more’ below the Ford Fiesta picture.

VW Golf

Ford Fiesta

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UK 1990-1991: Ford Fiesta grabs the pole position

Ford Fiesta

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

Completely revamped in 1989, the Ford Fiesta becomes Britain’s best selling car in 1990 for the first time in the nameplate’s 14-year life, with 151,475 sales. It keeps its title in 1991, with 117,139 sales and 7.4% share. The Ford Escort drops to #2 both years followed by a Vauxhall Cavalier in excellent shape at 138,357 sales in 90, then 109,505 sales and 6.9% in 91. The Ford Sierra is stable at #4.

Vauxhall Cavalier

The Austin brand was shelved in 1987 but Austin models stayed without a brand until 1990 when the Austin Metro becomes the Rover Metro and ranks 6th best seller, then drops to 7th in 91. The Rover 200 is 7th in 90 and goes up to 6th in 91 with a best-ever 68,122 sales. Peugeot is the only foreign manufacturer present in the Top 10 with the Peugeot 205 ranking #10 in 90 and a best-ever #8 in 91, and the Peugeot 405 ranking #10 in 91. The Nissan Micra also reaches its best position yet in the UK in 90 at #11 and the BMW 3 Series jumps to #15 in 91.

1990 Top 100 and 1991 Top 20 Ranking Tables: click on ‘Read more’ below the Rover 200 pic.

Rover 200

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Sweden 1991: Volvo 900 takes the lead

Volvo 940

* See the Top 50 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Nils *

Rare change of guard atop the Swedish models ranking in 1991: for its first full year of sales in the country, the Volvo 900 takes the lead thanks to 15,757 sales and 8.4%, putting an end to 7 consecutive years of domination of the Volvo 700, down 59% to #3 and 10,346 units this year. The Saab 9000 remains the 2nd most popular car in the country with 13,522 sales and 7.2%, up 5% on 1990.

The VW Golf/Jetta is kicked down one spot to #4 and is followed by the Ford Escort/Orion (+4), Toyota Corolla (-2) and Audi 100 (+4). Notice also the Mitsubishi Galant up 4 ranks to #15, the Nissan Primera landing in the Swedish Top 20 for the first time at #19 and the Volvo 800 and Renault Clio making their first appearance in the ranking at #23 and #25 respectively.

Previous post: Sweden 1989-1990: Volvo 700, Saab 9000 and VW Golf

Next post: Sweden 1992: Volvo 900 and Saab 9000 on top

Full Year 1991 Top 50 Ranking Table below.

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Australia 1991: Toyota becomes #1 carmaker for the first time

Toyota Camry Australia 1991Toyota is #1 in Australia for the first time in 1991

* See the Top 15 brands and Top 50 models by clicking on the title *

Very tough year for new car sales in Australia, down 17% year-on-year to 514.566 registrations, the worst annual result since the disastrous 1987 and the 2nd weakest total in exactly 20 years, since 1972. It’s a historical year however, the first one a Japanese manufacturer manages to top the Australian annual brands sales charts: Toyota is down 14% but snaps the top spot for the first time with 110.578 sales and 21.5% vs. 106.109 and 20.6% for Ford (-24%) which had been #1 in Australia since 1982 without interruption. It was a no surprise victory, with Toyota astonishingly ranking #1 every single month of the year whereas before 1991 it had only achieved one single monthly pole position: in October 1990.

1991 Holden Commodore

Mitsubishi (-11%) reclaims the 4th spot overall from Nissan (-29%), Mazda (-2%) and Daihatsu (+11%) camp on their positions, Subaru overtakes Honda for #8 and Hyundai returns inside the Top 10 thanks to sales up a fantastic 44% to a record 10.188 – the first time a Korean manufacturer sells 5-digit annual figures in Australia. In the luxury race, BMW (4.219) annihilates Volvo (2.624) and Mercedes (2.007).

Ford EA Falcon

For the first time I can share with you a full annual Top 50 models ranking including commercial vehicles and 4WDs thanks to David, showing the Holden Commodore in pole position for the third year in a row at 10.1% share vs. 9.5% for the Ford Falcon. The entire Top 9 best-sellers display double-digit decline rates, and below the Ford Laser at #3, the Toyota Camry manages to pass the Mitsubishi Magna for #4 overall. The Daihastu Charade bucks the trend with sales up 14% to break into the annual Australian Top 10 for the first time and the Hyundai Excel up a fantastic 44% hits a best-ever #13 in 1991.

Previous year: Australia 1990: Holden Commodore takes the advantage

Next year: Australia 1992: Ford Falcon passes Commodore for 191 units!

Full Year 1991 Top 15 brands and Top 50 models Ranking Tables below.

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Italy 1991: Fiat Uno and Ford Fiesta in command

Fiat Uno

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

The Italian car market is solid again this year at 2.35 million registrations, and the Fiat Uno lodges another mammoth year with 312,438 units sold for a 13.4% market share. Big change on the podium: the new generation Ford Fiesta is an instant hit in Italy and manages to grab an excellent 2nd place (never heard before for a foreign model!) thanks to 171,796 sales at 7.4% share, up 2 spots and 31% on 1990.

Ford Fiesta

The Fiat Panda rounds off the podium at 6.7%, ahead of the Fiat Tipo at 5.4% and the Renault Clio, best new entrant in the Top 10 at #5 with4.7% share. The Lancia Y10 continues to post very solid numbers year after year at 105,248 units and 4.5% share this time.

Previous year: Italy 1990: Fiat Uno keeps pole position

Next year: Italy 1992: Fiat Uno and Panda dominate, Fiat Cinquecento arrives

Full Year 1991 Top 10 Ranking Table below.

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Europe 1991: VW Golf leads, Ford Fiesta & Renault Clio on podium

Ford Fiesta

1991 is the year of the change-over for the VW Golf: the 2nd generation, originally launched in 1983, is replaced by a 3rd one in October. As a result, the overall sales figure is lower this year for the Golf at 648,200 units and 4.8% share. The rest of the podium is completely new: revamped in 1989, the Ford Fiesta continues to progress and gains 2 spots to land in 2nd position this year with 594,200 sales and 4.4%.

Renault Clio

The Renault Clio, launched in May 1990, manages to make its way onto the podium for its first full year of sales with 542,100 units changing hands and 4% market share. It was even the best selling car in Europe in September 1991 when the Golf was in the midst of its generation change-over (see note on this below the fold).

In 4th position, the Fiat Uno drops one place at 4% share. The Opel Kadett, at the end of its career with the new Opel Astra released at the end of year, is down 3 spots in 5th with 487,000 sales and 3.6%, just above the Peugeot 205. The Ford Escort, Opel Vectra, Renault 19 and VW Passat complete the Top 10. Fiat places 3 models in the Top 20 with the Panda and #16 and the Tipo at #17.

Full Top 20 Ranking Table below.

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Spain 1990-1991: Renault 19 stays on top, Clio arrives

Renault 19

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

The Renault 19 stays the best selling car in Spain in 1990 with 70,833 sales and 1991 at 58,531 units and 6.9%, however only 163 units above the Renault Clio, launched in 1990 and already fighting for the first place the following year. The Ford Fiesta rounds off the podium at 5.6% share.

The 7 year-old Seat Ibiza is still a strong seller in its native country, ranking 4th in 1991 with 41,073 sales and 4.9% share. Notice the Ford Escort (#9) and Ford Orion (#10) very close and, combined, reaching over 59,000 sales and 7% of the market, more than the Renault 19!

Full Top 10 Ranking Table: click on ‘Read more’ below the Seat Ibiza pic.

Renault Clio

Seat Ibiza

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