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Sweden 1955: VW Beetle and Volvo 444 head-to-head

Volvo 444

* See the Top 5 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Rene *

The fight for the title of best-selling model in Sweden is extremely tight in 1955 with the VW Beetle taking the lead with a shiny 19.1% market share while the Volvo 444 has to settle for second place at an equally impressive 18.6% share. The Opel Rekord rounds up the podium ahead of the Opel Kapitan and the Saab.

Full Year 1955 Top 5 Ranking Table below.

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Germany 1951-1954: VW Beetle first model over 100,000 sales

VW Beetle

* Many thanks to Florian for making this post possible! *

Car sales in Germany grow steadily over the period, from 245,100 in 1951 to 383,400 in 1954. The VW Beetle grows faster than the market, selling 58,469 units in 1951 for a 23.9% market share, then 71,440 and 25.8% in 1952, 89,157 and 27.9% in 1953 and finally 113,169 units and 29.5% market share in 1954.

1954 will therefore remain the first year any model managed to sell over 100,000 units in Germany.

VW Beetle sales evolution below.

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Sweden 1950: VW Beetle best-seller

VW Beetle

* See the Top 5 best-selling brands by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Rene *

There is only a brands ranking available for 1950 in Sweden and Ford is the best-seller with 16.2% of the market, however Volkswagen coming second at 13.3% means the Beetle should lead the models ranking that year. Volvo is the third best-selling brand with just under 12% share and is followed by Opel and Morris.

Full Year 1950 Top 5 Ranking Table below.

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France 1950: Renault 4CV and Citroen Traction Avant shine

Renault 4CV

* See ‘Read more’ at end of post for the France 1950 Top 15 best-selling models – thanks STAC for the tip! *

In 1950, the French market is rebooted: it is 5 years since the end of World War II, sale of petrol is not controlled anymore and raw materials are more widely available. Consumers are buying new cars again: 174,305 exactly that year, making France the largest car market in Europe by far, 3 times the volume of the UK, the 2nd biggest. Three models hold 2/3 of the market:

The Renault 4CV is king with 50,291 sales and 28.9% share. Presented at the 1946 Paris Motor Show, its production started in August 1947 and 37,000 units had been sold by mid-1949, making it the most popular car in France. It was nicknamed “La motte de beurre” (the lump of butter) due to its shape and colour: early deliveries used surplus paint from the German Afrika Korps Army vehicles which were a sand-yellow color.

Peugeot 203

In 2nd place the Peugeot 203 sells 34,012 units for a 19.6% market share. The 203 launched in 1948, was the first model Peugeot launched after the War and the only model it produced up until 1954 when the larger 403 debuted.

Citroen Traction Avant

The legendary Citroen Traction Avant takes the 3rd spot with 30,180 units sold in 1950 and 17.3% share in spite of its much higher price. Launched in 1934 it is the oldest model in the ranking.

Two more cars sell upwards of 10,000 units this year: the Simca 8 (10.2%) and Ford Vedette (7.5%). At that time Ford had a French branch and produced cars in the country. Notice the Panhard Dyna at #6 with 6,825 sales and the all-new Citroen 2CV at #7 and 6.177 units, up from 876 in 1949 which was its launch year.

Full Year 1950 Top 15 best-selling models below.

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Germany 1950: VW Beetle, Bus and Fiat Topolino on top

VW Beetle

* Many thanks to Florian for making this post possible! *

In 1950 German consumers bought 223,900 new cars, up 65% on 1949. The VW Beetle continues to progress and sells 50,562 units for a 22.6% market share.

Fiat Topolino

The Fiat Topolino sells 3,123 units while the VW Type 2 or Kombi/Bus launches this year and sells 2,117 units for its first year.

VW Kombi

Notice also the Renault 4CV at 1,760 sales, the Traction Avant at 393 and the Tatra T600 at 88.

Full Year 1950 Ranking Table below.

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France 1949: Renault 4CV ramps up

Renault 4CV

Presented at the 1946 Paris Motor Show, the Renault 4CV started its production in August 1947 and 37,000 units had been sold by mid-1949, making it the most popular car in France. It was nicknamed ”La motte de beurre” (the lump of butter) due to its shape and colour: early deliveries used surplus paint from the German Afrika Korps Army vehicles which were a sand-yellow color.

This is all the information I have for this period in France so if you have more details please make sure to get in touch by commenting on this post!

Australia 1948-1949: Austin A40 dominates sales

Austin A40

I have very little information about the Australian car market over the period, only that the locally assembled Austin A40 is the best-selling model in the country in 1948 and 1949 just before the Holden cranked up its production.

If you have more information please make sure to get in touch!

Next post: Australia 1949-1959: Holden ‘Australia’s own’ launches

Source: Wheels magazine March 2012

Germany 1946-1949: Volkswagen brings the car to the people

The VW Beetle was originally named KdF-Wagen

* Many thanks to Florian for making this post possible! *

The VW Beetle (Kaefer in German) was first called ‘Type 1’ and lead the models ranking during the second half of the forties, when production ramped up. Originally launched in 1938, the first 1,785 units of the model were produced in 1945 and by March 1946 the Wolfsburg factory produced around 1,000 units every month. The Beetle sold 8,184 units in Germany in 1948 and 32,557 in 1949.

Source: Wikipedia, many thanks to Florian for sharing the data!

France 1948: Last year of reign for the Citroen Traction Avant

Citroen 2CV France 1948The Citroen 2CV is unveiled at the 1948 Paris Auto Show.

* See the Top 24 brands production ranking by clicking on the title! *

Finally a frank year of growth for the new car market in France: up 64% overall to 120,557 registrations, including 50,253 cars and buses, a 4-fold improvement on 1947, and 70,304 trucks, up 27%. Only production figures by brand are available for now for 1948 and based on these my estimation is that the Citroen Traction Avant leads the models sales charts in France for the last time in 1948, before the Renault 4CV really ramps up in 1949 and most significantly before the 2CV, unveiled at the Paris Auto Show this year, becomes the brand’s best seller in the early fifties.

Citroen Traction Avant France 1938Citroen Traction Avant

Renault keeps the lead of the manufacturers ranking with 67,576 vehicles produced in 1948 (+56%), stepping away from Citroen at 42,785 (+48%) and Peugeot at 33,414 (+27%). However Citroen is the most prolific private cars manufacturer once again at 34,164 units (+49%) ahead of Renault and Peugeot. Notice the Top 6 manufacturers production ranking unchanged vs. 1947 with Simca in 4th place above Ford SAF and Berliet while Panhard overtakes Hotchkiss to rank 7th and Delahaye Delage and Chenard et Watcker rounding out the Top 10 like in 1947.

Full Year 1948 Top 24 brands Ranking Table below.

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