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UK: Nameplates Records now updated with 2019 data

The Ford Cortina sold 193,784 units in 1979, a all-time annual volume record.

Click on the title for the Top 25 best-selling nameplates and Top 30 foreign nameplates.

We can share with you an updated ranking exclusive to BSCB: the best-selling nameplates in the country, ranked by their volume record year and covering the past 55 years since records began. Since 1965, 15 nameplates have sold upwards of 100.000 annual units at least once, with only one foreign model among them: the Peugeot 206.

The Peugeot 206 is the only foreign model over 100.000 annual UK units.

The Ford Cortina holds the record for the highest sales volume achieved in a single year in the UK with just under 194.000 units sold in 1979. The Ford Escort follows at a little more than 181.000 in 1989 and the Ford Sierra rounds up the podium above 175.000 also in 1989, making it the highest-selling model that never managed to be #1… The Austin Morris 1100, Ford Fiesta and Focus are the only other nameplates to have ever crossed the 150.000 annual sales mark.

The Austin Metro had its best year in the UK in 1983.

Vauxhall’s highest seller is the Cavalier with over 138.000 units in 1990, while the Austin Metro peaked at more than 137.000 sales in 1983. Notice the Morris Marina at #11 thanks to just under 115.000 units sold in 1973 and the Ford Anglia at #18 with just under 85.000 sales in 1965.

The Nissan Micra held the record annual volume for a Japanese model from 1989 to 2015.

The Top 2 foreign models volume records were delivered in 2002: the Peugeot 206 at over 100.000 units, which earned it a 4th place overall that year, at the time the highest annual ranking ever hit by a foreign model in the UK. The Renault Clio comes in 2nd at over 85.000 sales that same year and the VW Golf ranks third with a new record of just under 75.000 hit in 2017, also beating the record for highest ranking for a foreign nameplate at #2 that year and in the following two years.

The Datsun Cherry ranked #8 in 1981, a Japanese ranking record for over 30 years.

The Peugeot 306 at #4 broke the foreign model volume record 4 consecutive times between 95 and 98. In fact Peugeot, once a local producer, places no less than 8 models in the Top 18 highest selling foreign nameplates: the 206 (#1), 306 (#4), 207 (#5), 307 (#9), 205 (#13), 405 (#15), 106 (#16) and 406 (#18). Sister brand Citroen places the Xsara at #6 and the Saxo at #24. Note the BMW 3 Series at #7 thanks to a peak of over 65.000 units in 2003. The next best-selling premium nameplates are the Mercedes A-Class (#14), C-Class (#21) and Volvo 340/360 (#25).

The Mercedes A-Class is the first Mercedes to break into the Top 5 in 2019.

In 2015 the Nissan Qashqai became the first Japanese model to break into the annual UK Top 5, beating this record in 2017 to #4. In 2015 also, the Qashqai broke the annual volume record for a Nippon model at just under 61.000 previously held by the Nissan Micra since 1989 (over 54.000), then lifting it to 62.700 in 2016 and 64.200 in 2017. Interestingly, the Micra never managed to break into the year-end Top 10, a feat that only the Datsun Sunny (in 1977, 78, 82 and 83) and Datsun Cherry (1981) have managed among Japanese nameplates.

UK All-time Top 25 best-selling nameplates and Top 30 foreign nameplates below.

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