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Ireland 1996: Ford Fiesta takes the lead

Ford Fiesta

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

The Irish new car market continues on its spectacular progression, up to 116,000 registrations in 1996. The Ford Fiesta is the best-selling model in the country this month with 8,460 sales and 7.3% share, ahead of the Opel Astra at 6,597 units and 5.7% and the Toyota Corolla with 5,768 sales and 5%. Two small models shoot up the ranking this year thanks to their recent facelift: the Opel Corsa is up 58% on its ’94 figure to #4 and 4,867 units while the VW Polo is up a huge 1288% to #5 and 4,788 sales.

The Nissan Almera lands directly in 6th place with 4,580 units and the Fiat Punto is also up significantly, at +304% on ’94 to #7 with 4,508 sales. Other great performers include the Opel Vectra (+56%), Nissan Micra (+51%), Honda Civic (+36%), Rover 400 (+110%), Mazda 323 (+75%), Renault Laguna (+77%) and Mazda 121 (+184%). Other newcomers include the Renault Megane at #20 and the Fiat Bravo/a at #21.

Previous post: Ireland 1993-1994: Opel Astra and Toyota Corolla shine

Next post: Ireland 1998-2000: Fiat Punto dominates

Full Year 1996 Top 50 Ranking Table below.

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Australia 1996: Commodore @ record 12.8%, Hyundai Excel #3

Holden Commodore

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

New car sales in Australia improve again in 1996 at 650,049 registrations, albeit only up 1% year-on-year. This year the Holden Commodore takes a firm grip on the Australian pole position, a grip it will only release in 15 years time when the Mazda3 takes the lead of the Australian car market in 2011… In 1996 the Commodore sells 83,001 units and reaches what will remain its highest ever annual market share at a stratospheric 12.8%. The Ford Falcon is down 4% and one spot to #2 to a still very respectable 12% share thanks to 77,835 units sold.

Hyundai Excel (US version)

The event of the year is the astonishing arrival of the seemingly unstoppable Hyundai Excel on the Australian podium, up a further 36% on 1995 to reach 35,308 sales and 5.4% share… In fact 1996 is the year of the Koreans, with the Daewoo 1.5i/Cielo up 5 spots to break into the annual Top 10 at #10 with 10,405 units and 1.6% while the Hyundai Lantra is up 62% to #22 and the Hyundai Sonata is up 53% to #26… Other great performers this year include the Holden Ute up 18% to #14, the Honda Civic up 33% to #15, the Ford Ute up 17% to #17 and the Toyota RAV4 up 43% to #32.

Previous year: Australia 1995: Last year of reign for Ford Falcon – hits 12.7%

Next year: Australia 1997: Commodore and Falcon down, Kia lands

Full Year 1996 Top 50 Ranking Table below.

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Europe 1996: VW Golf resists Fiat Punto assault

VW Golf

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 293 All-models! Click on title to see – thanks to STAC *

After snatching the European pole position from the VW Golf in November last year, the Fiat Punto confirmed its new supremacy by staying on top for a further 3 consecutive months up until February 1996, peaking at 62,592 sales in January, still to this date (2012) the Punto nameplate’s monthly volume record in Europe.

It all seemed like the Punto would stop 13 years of VW Golf domination over European sales but it was not to be. For the remainder of the year Punto sales dropped significantly and the VW Golf kept the title of best selling car in Europe in 1996 with 634,611 sales, down 4% vs. 560,700 for the Punto, down 8%.

Fiat Punto

In third position and up 2 spots and 13% thanks to its facelift, the Ford Fiesta sells 543,712 units and passes the Opel Astra, down 11% to #4 and 509,929 sales. The Opel Corsa is up one spot to #5, ahead of the Ford Escort (-4%). Excellent performance of the VW Polo: after finishing 1995 up 142% it gains a further 31% in 1996 to rank #7 with 425,740 units sold. The Renault Megane (including the Megane Scenic) breaks into the Top 10 for its first full year of sales at an excellent 357,356 units. Notice also the Fiat Bravo/Brava up to #15 with 269,296 sales.

Previous year: Europe 1995: Fiat Punto interrupts 154 months of VW Golf domination

Next year: Europe 1997: Fiat Punto crowned for the first time

Full Year 1996 Top 293 + Jan to May monthly Top 10 Ranking Tables below.

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Greece 1996: Fiat Punto in the lead

Fiat Punto

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

In 1996 Greek consumers bought 136,856 new cars and Fiat is by far the best-selling brand in the country thanks to exceptional sales of the Fiat Punto, the most popular model in Greece this year with 5,207 sales over 11 months.

It is followed by the VW Polo at 4,627 units and the Nissan Almera with 3,837 sales, with the Hyundai Accent, Fiat Cinquecento and Toyota Corolla occupying the next 3 spots (all figures/rankings over 11 months).

Previous year: Greece 1995: Fiat Punto and Cinquecento shine

Next year: Greece 1997: Hyundai Accent new favourite

Full 11 months 1996 Top 10 Ranking Table below.

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Argentina 1996: VW Gol takes the lead

VW Gol

* See ‘Read more’ for the Top 10 best-selling models! Thanks to Bruno for sharing the data *

The VW Gol had an interesting career in Argentina: a little bit like in Brazil, it was not an instant hit but once on top of the models rankings it became very hard to dislodge… With the 2nd generation launched in the country in late 1995, the VW Gol takes the command of the Argentinean market in 1996 with 32,250 sales and 10.8% share.

With the Ford Falcon, Renault 12, Fiat Duna and Renaul 9 dominating the rankings since the mid-60s, it is possible that the Gol could be the first hatchback to rank #1 in Argentina in 30 years… The Fiat Duna drops to 2nd place at 26,231 units and 8.9%, followed by the Ford Fiesta with 24,052 sales and 8%.

Peugeot 504

Further down, the Renault 19 (6.6%) and Renault 9 (6.3%) post solid outings while the 28 year-old Peugeot 504 enjoys its last year within the Top 10 best-selling cars in Argentina at #9 with 13,224 sales and 4.4%.

Full Year 1996 Top 10 Ranking Table below.

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USA 1996: Ford F-Series at 780,000 sales, new Dodge Ram lands

Ford F-Series

* See the Top 20 best-selling models by clicking on ‘Read more’ at end of post! *

Pick-ups are getting more and more dominant in the overall American models ranking, with the Ford F-Series celebrating its 15th year in a row at #1 with a record 780,838 sales, up 13% year-on-year thanks to the new generation.

Dodge Ram

The Chevrolet C/K is down 2% at 526,960 units and the Dodge Ram appears in the year-end Top 10 for the first time at #5 with 383,960 sales.

Ford Taurus

Below the Ford Explorer up 2% at 402,663 units, the Ford Taurus is the best-selling passenger car for the 5th consecutive year and hits its best-ever volume this year at 401,049 sales, up 9%. The Honda Accord (+12%) and Toyota Camry (+9%) follow.

Previous year: see the 1995 USA post here.

Full Year 1996 Top 20 Ranking Table below.

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Philippines 1995-1996: Toyota Corolla & Tamaraw FX dominate

Toyota Tamaraw FX

* See the Top 10 best-selling models by clicking on the title! – Thanks to myk for the data *

Car sales are buoyant indeed over the period in the Philippines, reaching 128,829 in 1995 and 162,056 in 1996, a new record that would last for nearly 15 years. The Toyota Corolla is master of the roads at 16,323 sales and 12.7% in ’95 and 17,686 units and 10.9% in ’96. That latter figure is still to this date a model yearly sales record in the country.

Honda Civic

In 2nd place in ’95 with 15,661 sales and 12.2% share we find the Toyota Tamaraw FX, a Filipino curiosity and an icon in the country, widely used as a taxi minivan in the streets of Manila. It drops to #3 in ’96 at a still very robust 9.3% share behind the Honda Civic at 15,899 units and 9.8%.

Other successful models over the period include the Nissan Sentra, #3 in ’95 at 9.8%, the Mitsubishi Lancer, #4 both years and the Mitsubishi L300 Crew Cab, #6 in ’96 at 5.6%. Mitsubishi is the second best-selling brand in the Philippines over the period at a strong 24.6% share in ’95.

Full Year 1995 and 1996 Top 10 Ranking Tables below.

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Germany 1996: Golf leads, Opel Corsa and VW Polo at their best

Opel Corsa

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

A very good year for German car sales, up 5.5% to 3,496,709 registrations. The last 5 years’ dominating duo, the VW Golf and Opel Astra, are starting to show their age: the Golf is down 6% to 321,089 sales and 9.7% share, below the 10% mark for the first time since 1992. The Opel Astra drops under 200,000 yearly sales for the first time ever in a full year, down 10% to 198,384 registrations.

1996 is the year of the small car in Germany: the Opel Corsa threatens its big sister the Astra for the 2nd spot and finishes at a best-ever third place with 147,421 units and 4.5%, while the VW Polo also hits its best-ever position in Germany at #4 with 145,117 sales, up 22% on 1995 and here too its best annual volume ever.

VW Polo

Further down the ranking, the Audi A4 is up 13% and 2 spots to #5, ahead of two great performers: the Opel Vectra in 6th (+58%) and Mercedes E Class in 7th (+56%). No less than 5 more models sell more than 100,000 units this year in Germany, bringing the total to 12 models at that level, a new record!

New for this year, the Renault Megane lands directly in 15th place with 62,806 sales and is already the best-selling imported model! The Fiat Punto at #16 and the Renault Twingo at #19 follow. Notice the Fiat Bravo/Brava up to #22 at 37,599 units.

Full Top 100 Ranking Table below.

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France 1996: Renault Clio softer, Megane already #2

Renault Clio

* See the Top 100 best-selling models by clicking on ‘Read more’ at end of post! *

Boosted by another row of scrappage schemes, the French new car market is up 10% in 1996 at 2,132.091 registrations, back above 2 million units for the first time since 1992. The Renault Clio keeps its title of best-selling model for the 5th consecutive year but in spite of a facelift during the year drops 4% to 163,696 sales and 7.7%.

Renault Megane

The big event of the year is obviously the thundering arrival of the Renault Megane in 2nd place at 136,688 units and 6.4%. Launched in November 1995, the Megane climbed to #2 as early as January 1996 with 6.2% share. The arrival in September of the MPV version, the Megane Scenic, enabled to Megane to take the lead of the market in November and December.

Peugeot 106

The facelifted Peugeot 106 lodges its best year so far with 129,017 sales and 6.1%, up 11%. It even threatened the Clio for the monthly #1 spot in April and May. At #4 the Renault Twingo continues to progress at +2% to 115,178 units and 5.4%, just above the Peugeot 306 down only 4% but 3 spots to 113,356 sales and 5.3%.

Daewoo Nexia

The Ford Fiesta is the best-selling imported car at #8 and 3.6%, up 16% ahead of the Opel Corsa (+18%) and Fiat Punto (+11%) for the first time in the year-end Top 10. Other good performers include the Peugeot 406 up to #12 and the Citroen Saxo up to #14, breaking into the monthly Top 10 for the first time in July at #7 and 4%.

Notice the Fiat Bravo/Brava at #19 and the Opel Vectra at #20. 1996 is the first year a Korean model ever ranked within the year-end Top 50 in France: the Daewoo Nexia is #39 with 9,541 sales and 0.4%, up 118% on 1995. The Ford Ka, which will give Ford’s design a new direction in the next decade, lands at #59.

Previous year: see the France 1995 Top 100 best-selling models here.

Full Year 1996 Top 100 and monthly Top 15 Ranking Tables below.

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Sweden 1995-1996: Volvo 850 at its best

Volvo 850

* See the Top 50 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Thanks to Torbjörn and STAC *

Swedish car sales are up 9% in ’95 to 169,756 registrations and up 6% in ’96 to 180,181 units. The Volvo 850 delivers its best year ever in ’95, up 10% to 24,514 sales and 14.4% market share. It is then down 8% in ’96 to 22,625 units and 12.3%. The Volvo 900 follows, up a massive 41% in ’95 to 19,351 sales and 11.4%, then down 31% in ’96 to 13,292 units and 7.2%.

Volvo 940

The Saab 9000 ranks #3 in ’95, up 33% to 9,537 sales and 5.6% but is down 19% in ’96 to #6 and 7,733 units. In 4th place in ’95 we find the Saab 900 (-18%), it will drop down one spot and 11% in ’96 to #5. The VW Golf reclaims the title of best-selling foreign model in Sweden in ’95 at #5 with 4.7% and keeps it in ’96, climbing onto the podium at #3 with 9,251 sales and 5% share. The Ford Escort (4.4%), Opel Astra (3.8%), Ford Mondeo (3.2%) and Volvo 400 (3%) follow in ’95 while in ’96 the Volvo S40/V40 makes a thunderous arrival directly in 7th place.

Previous post: see the Swedish 1993-1994 Top 25 best-selling models here.

Full Year 1995 Top 25 and Full Year 1996 Top 50 Ranking Tables below.

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