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Switzerland: 1970-2023 Historical Data available

1974 VW Golf. Picture by Lothar Spurzem.

The best-selling models from 1970 to 2022 are below.

We now have more detail about the best-selling models in Switzerland since 1970. For 1993, 1994 and 1996 I now have a Full Top 50 models ranking. For the seventies, eighties and nineties there is a Top 25 best-sellers for the overall decade, from 1998 to 2003 an annual Top 10 models and from 2004 onwards at least an annual Top 45.

The Opel Astra was #1 in Switzerland in 1993.

The big news is that the VW Golf’s reign, starting in 1975, was interrupted in 1993 by the Opel Astra. Since 1994 the VW Golf has been the most popular model in Switzerland every single year up to 2017 when it was toppled by the Skoda Octavia, itself toppled by the Tesla Model 3 in 2021 and Tesla Model Y in 2022 and 2023. At this stage we cannot 100% confirm whether the Golf’s domination was uninterrupted between 1975 and 1992 as we are missing annual models ranking before 1993. If you do know any official info for these dates please get in touch by commenting on this article.

All-in-all, the VW Golf may have been the best-selling car in Switzerland for at least 40 of the last 50 years since its original launch in 1974… This is double the time the VW Beetle would have been #1 in the country possibly between 1948 and 1968.

Subaru Leone

These new historical articles will show you that Switzerland was an early adopter of Japanese cars, promoting the Toyota Corolla to a brilliant 10th place in the seventies and third place in the eighties. 7 Japanese models were in the eighties’ Top 25, among them the Subaru Leone, a real success story in Swizerland and ranking #7 in the eighties, starting a tradition of strong Subaru sales in the country that endures till today with the Subaru XV, #1 in August 2012.

The Toyota Previa was #39 in Switzerland in 1994

Switzerland was also an early adopter of MPVs, with the Renault Espace, Chrysler Voyager, Toyota Previa, VW Sharan and Ford Galaxy strong sellers in the mid-nineties.

Direct links to 22 Switzerland Historical articles below.

Switzerland – Decades Historical Data:

Switzerland 1970-1979: VW Golf interrupts Opel domination

Switzerland 1980-1989: VW Golf and Opel Kadett on top, the Japanese land

Switzerland 1990-1999: VW Golf and Subaru Legacy shine

Switzerland – Yearly Historical Data:

Switzerland 1993: Opel Astra surprise leader

Switzerland 1994: VW Golf reclaims top spot

Switzerland 1996: VW Golf #1, 3 Opels in Top 4

Switzerland 1998-2001: VW Golf and Opel Astra dominate

Switzerland 2002-2003: VW Golf and Audi A4 on top

Switzerland 2004: Golf, Audi A4 and Peugeot 307 on podium

Switzerland 2005: Golf and Astra dominate, Octavia up 72%

Switzerland 2006: Golf leads, BMW 3 Series up to #2

Switzerland 2007: VW Golf, BMW 3 Series and Skoda Octavia on podium

Switzerland 2008: Skoda Octavia closes in on VW Golf

Switzerland 2009: VW Golf and Skoda Octavia up, VW Tiguan #11

Switzerland 2010: VW Golf on top, BMW X1 at highest in the world

Switzerland 2011: VW Golf at its highest volume in 10 years

Switzerland 2012: Subaru XV and Skoda Octavia impress

Switzerland 2013: VW Golf leads, BMW 3 Series up 53% to #4

Switzerland 2014: VW Golf and Skoda Octavia ultra-dominant

Switzerland 2015: VAG Group dominant, Mercedes up to #3

Switzerland 2016: VW Golf snatches last minute 23rd win

Switzerland 2017: Skoda Octavia ends 23 year-long VW Golf reign

Switzerland 2018: Skoda Octavia repeats at #1, Mercedes signs historical wins in lowest market since 2010

Switzerland 2019: 4WDs above 50% share, Skoda Octavia 3peats at #1, Tesla Model 3 wins 2 months

Switzerland 2020: Skoda Octavia leads again, Tesla Model 3 up to #2 in market down -24%

Switzerland 2021: Tesla Model 3 topples Skoda Octavia in market edging up 0.7%

Switzerland 2022: Tesla Model Y takes charge, sales off -5.3%

Switzerland 2023: Tesla Model Y repeats at #1 followed by Skoda Enyaq

This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. Hello Matt,

    SUISSE 1967 (source L’AUTO-JOURNAL)

    1 Volkswagen 22 508
    2 Opel 21 266
    3 Fiat 17 066
    4 Ford D 10 043
    5 Renault 9 682
    6 Simca 7 727
    7 Ford GB 7 720
    8 Peugeot 7 750
    9 Volvo 5 954
    10 Citroën 5 268


  2. Hello Matt,

    Suisse 1963 (source L’AUTO-journal)

    Volkswagen 25150
    Opel 17800
    Fiat 9400
    Ford-Cologne 7650
    Peugeot 6870
    Simca 6250
    Renault 5939
    Ford G.B 5800
    Citroën 5780
    Austin 3350
    D.K.W 3150
    Morris 3070
    Vauxhall 2290
    Mercedes 2940 !
    Volvo 2560 !
    Alfa-Roméo 1860
    Chevrolet 1860
    Chrysler 1470
    Triumphe 1440
    M.G 1210
    B.M.W 1050

    C’est bizarre Mercedes et Volvo derrière Vauxhall avec des ventes supérieures, je vais scanner le document et l’envoyer lundi

  3. Brilliant statistics, shame you can’t do it year by year! It’s amazing how a small country of 7.5 million people buys so many cars. Lower taxes than other european countries are probably the cause.

  4. I knew that the VW Golf is still No. 1 since the first generation!
    As against the last year, she is No. 1 thanks the Golf Plus and Cabrio …

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