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Netherlands 1998: Opel Astra reigns

Opel Astra

I only have official figures for July 1998, if you have more complete data please make sure to get in touch!

The launch of the new generation has given an impressive boost to the Opel Astra’s sales in the Netherlands: it grabs no less than 11.5% of the market in July at 5,691 sales. The VW Golf follows at 2,649 units (5.3%), above the Renault Megane (3.8%), Ford Escort (3.6%) and VW Passat (3.3%).

Full July 1998 Top 15 Ranking Table below.

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USA 1998: Ford F-Series above 800,000 sales

Ford F-Series

* See the Top 20 best-selling models and Top 70 Passenger Cars by clicking on the title! *

Excellent year for car sales in the USA: 9 out of the Top 10 best-selling models in the country see their sales grow year-on-year! The Ford F-Series leads the charge as it has done for the last 17 years in a row and passes a new mark: at 836,629 sales up 12% it sells more than 800,000 units for the first time in the nameplate’s life…

Its margin over the #2, the Chevrolet C/K, keeps growing as the latter only gains 5% this year at 538,254 units. The Ford Explorer reclaims its 3rd spot thanks to a best-ever 431,488 sales, up 8%, ahead of the Toyota Camry, the best-selling passenger car in the country again with 429,575 sales up 7%. The Dodge Ram and Honda Accord follow, both above 400,000 units for the first time.

Previous year: see the 1997 USA post here.

Full Year 1998 Top 20 All Vehicles and Top 70 Passenger Cars Ranking Tables below.

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World 1998: GM Corsa the best-selling car in the world

Opel Corsa

* See the Top 30 best-selling models by clicking on ‘Read more’ at end of post! *

Contrary to common belief, the Toyota Corolla has not been the best-selling car in the world each year since 1975. I do not have any official data for the 1975-96 period so I cannot say for sure but 1998 could very well be the first time in over 20 years that another car jumped the queue and became the world’s best-seller.

In 1998 the Opel Corsa is the best-selling car in the world, based on info collected by Italian website Interautonews. Manufactured worldwide under the Opel, Chevrolet and Vauxhall brands and also sold as a Holden Barina and Buick Sail, the ‘GM Corsa’ sells 910,839 units this year, up 2% year-on-year which is enough to pass the Toyota Corolla, down 9% to 906,953 sales.

The VW Golf is a threat to both cars, up 3 spots and a massive 43% on 1997 to 892,367 units. It is followed by the Toyota Camry at 697,258, the Renault Megane/Scenic at 692,471 and the Honda Civic at 688,998.

Further down the ranking, notice the VW Passat up 7 spots to #15 with 484,682 sales and the BMW 3 Series breaking into the Top 30 at #22 with 332,460 sales, up 27% and now above its nemesis the Mercedes C Class at #23.

Full Year 1998 Top 30 Ranking Table below.

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Philippines 1997-1998: market plunges but Toyota Corolla resists

Toyota Tamaraw FX

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

If the Filipino car market loses only 11% in 1997 at 144,441 registrations, it plunges by 45% in 1998 at 80,193 units as a result of the financial crisis hitting the region. The Toyota Corolla however maintains its leadership with 13,911 sales and 9.6% in ’97 and 7,629 and 9.5% in ’98.

Mitsubishi Adventure

The Toyota Tamaraw FX reclaims its 2nd spot in ’97 at 12,182 units and 8.4% before stepping out with the arrival of its replacement the Toyota Revo in ’98. The Honda Civic replaces it at the #2 position that year with 6,352 sales and 7.9%, just above the Mitsubishi Adventure, another Filipino curiosity and an instant hit in the country: #3 for its first year at 6,319 units and 7.9% in ’98.

Other successful models over the period include the Mitsubishi Lancer, #3 at 7.8% in ’97, the Nissan Sentra, #5 both years and the Isuzu Hi-Lander, #6 at 4.5% share in ’98. Note 1998 is the only year Mitsubishi passes Toyota in the manufacturers ranking…

Previous post: Philippines 1995-1996 Toyota Corolla and Tamaraw FX dominate

Full 1997 Top 10 and 1998 Top 100 Ranking Tables below.

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Greece 1998: Hyundai Accent dominates

Hyundai Accent

* See the Top 235 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Thanks to Bill and Kostas *

In 1998 Greek consumers bought 180,046 cars and 5% of them were a Hyundai Accent, making it the best-selling car in the country with 9,033 units sold. The Toyota Corolla takes the 2nd spot with 8,544 sales and 4.7%, followed by the Citroen Saxo (4.5%) and Fiat Punto (4.4%). Notice also the Citroen Xsara in 7th place with 3.1% share and the Toyota Starlet in 9th position with 2.8%.

Previous post: Greece 1997: models sales info needed

Next post: Greece 1999: Opel Astra an instant favourite

Full Year 1998 and each Monthly Top 50/235 Ranking Table below.

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Germany 1998: VW Golf #1 for 18th consecutive year

VW Golf

In 1998 the VW Golf celebrates its 18th consecutive year atop the German model ranking (it’s an adult now!) with a 21% sales increase thanks to the arrival of the 4th generation launched in late 1997. The Golf nameplate is back above 300,000 annual sales with 338,550 units changing hands this year.

Opel Astra

The Opel Astra also has the benefit of a new generation this year and it showed: with sales up 15% it reinforces its 2nd spot at 220,095 units. The VW Passat is back on the podium for the first time since 1992 with 160,127 sales, up 13%, passing the Opel Corsa, down 10% to 128,147 units. The Opel Vectra stays solid at #5 and the BMW 3 Series is up 3 spots and 15% at #6.

VW Passat

The Renault Twingo is the import king for the second year in a row with sales up 2% to a best-ever 58,495 units a good 6 years after its launch! Following are the Fiat Punto at #20 and 55,491 sales, the Renault Scenic at #21 and 47,986 units and the Renault Megane at #23 and 40,431 sales.

There are a few interesting newcomers in the German Top 50 this year: the Mercedes A Class lands in 16th place for its first full year, already above its main competitor the Audi A3 (#18), the Skoda Octavia is #36 and the all-new VW Lupo arrives at #46.

Full Top 100 Ranking Table below.

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South Korea 1998: Daewoo Matiz takes pole position

Daewoo Matiz

* See the Top 40 best-selling local models by clicking on the title! Thanks to Pedro *

The financial crisis hit the South Korean car market with a vengeance: going from 1,512,935 units in 1997 to 779,905 in 1998, a drop of 48%! Small cars are more popular this year with the Daewoo Matiz, just launched, taking the lead with 88,951 sales and 11.4% share and the Hyundai Atos at #2 and 51,931 units or 6.7%.

Hyundai Atos

The Samsung SM5 shines in third position with 41,593 sales and 5.3% ahead of the Hyundai Avante (aka Elantra) at 39,767 and the Hyundai EF Sonata at 36,130 – note the previous generation Sonata also sells 26,964 units at #8. Notice also the Kia Carnival at #6, the Daewoo Leganza at #7, the SsangYong Korando at #17 and the Asia Rocsta at #39.

Previous year: South Korea 1997: Hyundai Accent in the lead

Full Year 1998 Top 40 Ranking Table below.

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Poland 1998: Daewoo’s year: Tico and Lanos best-sellers

Daewoo Tico

* See the Top 50 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

The Polish car market is up a very healthy 8% in 1998 to 518,019 registrations. With the passage of relay from the Fiat Cinquecento to the Seicento launched this year, the models ranking gets completely reshuffled, and Daewoo is the big winner! The Daewoo Tico, in spite of its 7 years of age, is the best-selling car in Poland this year with 48,566 sales and 9.4% share, up 15% year-on-year.

Daewoo Lanos

But wait there’s more: the Daewoo Lanos comes at a brilliant 2nd place at 40,425 units and 7.5% of the market for its first full year of sales, up a huge 637% and 18 spots on 1997… Unaffected by time, the Fiat 126p manages to stay on the last step of the podium thanks to 36,230 sales and 7% share, down 25%.

Fiat Palio Weekend

The FSO Polonez is hit a bit harder, down 2 ranks and 45% to #4 and 27,940 units. Below the Skoda Felicia stable at #5 and all-new for this year, the Fiat Seicento makes its first appearance in the Polish ranking in 6th place with 25,300 sales and 4.9%. The Cinquecento is down 63% to #9. Fiat also manages to place the Siena at #8 (+173%), the Uno at #10 (-34%) and the Punto at #11 (-17%) while the Palio Weekend lands directly at #19 with 7,720 units. The Daewoo Nubira is up 676% and 26 spots to #13, the Toyota Corolla up 107% to #14 and the Renault Clio up 231% to #21.

Previous year: Poland 1997: Fiat Cinquecento and FSO Polonez on top 

Full Year 1998 Top 50 Ranking Table below.

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France 1998: Renault Clio reclaims top spot

Renault Clio

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

French car sales are up a healthy 14% this year at 1,943,553 registrations. The race for the first place was very close, with the Renault Megane leading up until August. However thanks to the 2nd generation launched on March 11, the Renault Clio reclaims the title of best-selling car in France with 166,937 sales and 8.6% share compared to 161,219 units and 8.3% for the Megane.

Renault Megane Scenic

The Peugeot 306 (5.1%) and Renault Twingo (4.4%) hold onto their #3 and #4 spots and the Citroen Xsara makes a remarkable first appearance in the year-end Top 10 in 5th place with 83,331 sales and 4.3%. It reached #4 in May. Below the Peugeot 106 (-1%), the Renault Laguna (+11%), Citroen Saxo (+17%) and Peugeot 406 (+12%) all improve their sales figure. The Fiat Punto is the best-selling imported model for the first time at #10 at 59,120 units and 3%.

Citroen Xsara

1998 is the year Peugeot finally replaced the 205 with 206, launched on September 10. It ranked #2 that month and finishes the year above Peugeot’s 40,000 units target at 44,025 sales. The Renault Kangoo is a great success at #19 in its non-commercial version.

Previous year: see the France 1997 Top 100 best-selling models here.

Full Year 1998 Top 100 and monthly Top 10 Ranking Tables below.

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Colombia 1990-1998: Chevrolet, Mazda and Daewoo most popular

The Chevrolet Corsa could be the best-selling model in Colombia from 1995 onwards

* See the Top 30 best-selling brands in 1997-98 by clicking on the title! *

I only have total sales data over the period and a brands ranking for the Full Year 1997 and the first 3 months of 1998. Please get in touch by commenting on this article if you have more info!

Car sales in Colombia shot up from 48,068 units in 1991 to 148,000 in 1993, reached a record 156,300 in 1994 before falling for a couple of year and getting back to 155,700 registrations both in 1997 and 1998. Chevrolet is by far the best-selling brand in the country with 28.1% of the market in 1997 and 29.5% over the first 3 months of 1998. It is followed by Mazda (12.5% and 11.8%) and Daewoo (9% and 11.8%).

Renault is #3 in 1997 with 10.8% share but falls to #5 in ’98 with 7.6%, passed by Hyundai at 7.7%. Other successful brands are Ford (5.6%), Mitsubishi (5.1%), Toyota (4.4%) and Nissan (3.1%).

Total sales for 1990-1998 and Top 30 brands Ranking Table below.

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