* 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.