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Germany: Nameplates Records now updated with 2015 data

The VW Golf sold 414,132 units in Germany in 1992 – a record year.

* Click on the title for the Top 40 best-selling nameplates & Top 40 foreign nameplates *

We can now share with you an updated ranking of the the best-selling nameplates in Germany, ranked based on their record year in volume, since records began in 1946. Only 28 nameplates managed to sell upwards of 100,000 units in a single year over the entire period, among them only one foreign model: the Skoda Fabia. Only three nameplates delivered at least one year above 300,000 sales: the VW Golf, Beetle and Opel Astra, and only six were above 200,000: adding the Opel Kadett, VW Passat and Mercedes W123.

Check out 70 years worth of German Archived data here *

The VW Beetle’s record year was 1961 with 348,929 sales

Among foreign models, the Renault 19 is #2 with a record 97,262 units in 1991 but it never managed to break into the annual German Top 10, peaking at #11 in 1992. The legendary Renault 4 is #3 and was the best-selling import in Germany for a whopping 14 consecutive years between 1967 and 1980, peaking at 84,900 sales in 1970 for an estimated 5th place overall that year. This is estimated to the be the highest ranking ever hit by a foreign nameplate in Germany, equalled by the Skoda Fabia in 2009.

The Renault 4 was the best-selling import in Germany without interruption from 1967 to 1980 

Peugeot is also very well represented with the 206 holding the record for the brand’s highest single model annual sales volume at 63,426 units in 2003 (#12), ahead of the 205 (61,220 in 91) and 207 (58,222 in 09). Fiat’s highest seller is the Punto with 60,197 units in 1995. The Toyota Corolla leads all Japanese models with a high of 52,870 in 1991, followed by the Mazda 323 and 626.

Skoda Octavia Germany 2015. Picture courtesy autobild.deThe Skoda Octavia beats its annual volume and ranking records in Germany in 2015. 

Records beaten in 2015 include the Skoda Octavia stepping up both its volume (57.907) and ranking (#6) bests, the Seat Leon improving to 42,125 sales and the Fiat 500 to 33,908 sales and #24, making its entrance within the Top 40 most successful foreign nameplates in Germany at #35.

Top 40 best-selling nameplates and Top 40 foreigners below.

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Argentina: 1962-2017 Historical Data now available

The Ford Falcon was a regular fixture atop Argentina’s ranking in the sixties and seventies

NOW UPDATED with 11 additional articles for the 1962-1989 period and the most produced models in Argentina since 1951

Historical Data spanning 55 years is now available for Argentina. We now have the #1 model for each year since 1962 except 1964, 66, 67 and 68. For 1988 and each year from 1994 onwards there is at least a Top 10 best-selling models ranking.

Renault 12 Alpine Argentina. Picture courtesy of Renault 12 topped the Argentinean sales charts 9 times between 1976 and 1988!

The IKA-Renault Dauphine is the oldest known best-seller in Argentina (in 1962) with the sixties dominated by the Fiat 600 (in 1969 and 1970). An Argentina-specific Ford Falcon manages to hold the annual pole position six times, the first time in 1965 and the last nearly two decades later in 1983… The Renault 12 does even better, best-seller nine times between 1976 and 1988…

Fiat Duna Argentina 1995. Picture courtesy of Fiat Duna was #1 in Argentina from 1990 to 1994.

The Peugeot 504, launched in 1969, is the most produced car in the country’s history at 494,693 units and still ranked inside the Top 10 in 1996 in a facelifted version only sold in Argentina. It however never managed to rank #1 at year-end… Argentinean consumers are big fans of sedans and made the Fiat Duna, a Uno Sedan, their favourite from 1990 to 1994 whereas at the same time the Uno hatchback struggled to break into the Top 10… At first, the VW Senda (sedan) was also more successful than its hatchback version, the Gol…

1996 is the first year the VW Gol ranked #1 in Argentina (1987 in Brazil)

This changed from 1996 onwards, when Volkswagen’s longtime best seller in South America started a reign that would originally last for 10 years until 2008, only interrupted in 1997 by the Renault 19 and in 2001-02 by the Renault Clio, before the Chevrolet Corsa took the lead in 2009 and kept it until 2013 under a new name: Classic. In 2014 the VW Gol reclaimed the lead, adding three more years to its reign and interrupted in 2016 by the Toyota Hilux.

You can see the ranking of all models produced in Argentina here:

Argentina – Historical Data:

Argentina 1962: Locally produced IKA-Renault Dauphine most popular

Argentina 1963: IKA Rambler takes the lead

Argentina 1965: Ford Falcon instant best-seller

Argentina 1969-1970: Fiat 600 sovereign

Argentina 1971-1972: Ford Falcon reclaims leadership

Argentina 1973-1975: Fiat 128 and Ford Falcon fight it out

Argentina 1976-1978: First years of Renault 12 reign

Argentina 1979: Ford Falcon comes back

Argentina 1980: Renault 12 best-seller

Argentina 1981: Last hurrah for the Fiat 128

Argentina 1982: The only year the Ford Taunus tops the charts

Argentina 1983: Swan song for the Ford Falcon

Argentina 1984-1988: Renault 12 dominates for 5 years in a row (with Top 10 for 1988)

Argentina 1989: Fiat Spazio surprise (and quick) leader

Argentina 1990-1993: Fiat Duna leads the way

Argentina 1994: Fiat Duna and Spazio on top

Argentina 1995: Renault 9 and Fiat Duna fight it out

Argentina 1996: VW Gol takes the lead

Argentina 1997: The only year the Renault 19 finished #1

Argentina 1998-1999: VW Gol, Fiat Palio and Chevrolet Corsa on top

Argentina 2000: VW Gol leads, Peugeot 206 on podium

Argentina 2001-2002: Renault Clio on top

Argentina 2003-2005: VW Gol dominates

Argentina 2006-2008: VW Gol, Chevrolet Corsa and Peugeot 206 on top

Argentina 2009: Chevrolet Corsa new leader, Peugeot 207 Compact #2

Argentina 2010: Chevrolet Corsa Classic best-seller

Argentina 2011: Chevrolet Classic #1 in record year

Argentina 2012: Chevrolet Classic #1, Renault Duster shines

Argentina 2013: Chevrolet Classic #1, Renault Clio Mio on podium in record year

Argentina 2014: VW Gol new leader in market down 29%

Argentina 2015: VW Gol Trend leads, market still troubled

Argentina 2016: Toyota Hilux takes control for the first time

Argentina 2017: VW Gol, Renault Sandero and Chevrolet Onix top market up 27%

Source: ADEFA and ACARA

Spain: 1973-2017 Historical Data now available

The Seat Ibiza topped the Spanish charts ten times between 1987 and 2013.

* The direct links to the 39 Spain Historical posts are below! *

Thanks to Alberto from La Tribuna de Automoción who shared 1997 and 1999-2004 data, I can now share with you the #1 model in Spain for each of the last 45 years all the way back to 1973 with no interruption. Also, thanks to Ricardo the years 1978 and 1979 have now been corrected with the Seat 127 still in the lead, and many thanks as well to René for your help. As always if you have access to more detailed data please make sure you get in touch by commenting on this article.

The Renault 7, a Renault 5 Sedan, was sold exclusively in Spain from 1974 to 1984

The Seat Ibiza first ranked #1 at home in 1987.

Follow the reign of the Seat 127, the first model to sell over 100,000 annual units in the country, still holding the annual Spanish record at 125,066 sales in 1974, Renault monopolising the Spanish pole position for 6 consecutive years between 1981 and 1986 with the 5, 9 and 11, Opel placing the Kadett at #1 in 1988 and the Astra on top in 1993

The Renault 11 held almost 14% of the Spanish car market in 1985!

…the Seat Ibiza jumping into pole position at home for the first time in 1987 and repeating this feat 9 times since: in 1996, 1997, 20032006, 2009, 2010, 20112012 and 2013. Renault continued to dominate the ranking for a long time, with the Renault 19 #1 in 1989, 1990 and 1991, the Renault Clio in 1992 and the Renault Megane in 1998, 2004 and 2005… Finally, the Seat Leon snapped the annual crown in 2014 and hasn’t looked back since: it also ranked #1 in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Spain Historical Data:

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Spain 1973: Seat places 4 models in Top 4, 127 leads

Spain 1974-1977: Seat 127 reaches record levels

Spain 1978-1979: Seat 127 and Ford Fiesta lead the way

Spain 1980: Ford Fiesta, Renault 5 and Seat Ritmo on top

Spain 1981-1982: Renault 5 reigns

Spain 1983: Renault 9 most popular model

Spain 1984: Renault 11 takes the lead

Spain 1985: Renault 11 distant leader

Spain 1986: Renault 11 still on top

Spain 1987: Seat Ibiza in pole position for the first time!

Spain 1988: Opel Kadett tops the ranking

Spain 1989: Renault 19 takes the lead

Spain 1990-1991: Renault 19 stays on top, Renault Clio arrives

Spain 1992: Renault Clio passes Renault 19, Citroen ZX on podium

Spain 1993: Opel Astra new best-seller

Spain 1994: Ford Escort takes the lead

Spain 1995: Ford Escort still on top

Spain 1996: Seat Ibiza in pole position for the second time

Spain 1997: Seat Ibiza in the lead again

Spain 1998: Renault Megane clear leader, Seat Ibiza #2

Spain 1999: Citroen Xsara takes the lead

Spain 2000: Citroen Xsara and Seat Ibiza dominate

Spain 2001: Peugeot 206 new leader

Spain 2002: Ford Focus most popular

Spain 2003: Seat Ibiza and Ford Focus on top

Spain 2004: Renault Megane back on top

Spain 2005: Renault Megane leads, Citroen C4 arrives

Spain 2006: Seat Ibiza #1 in record market

Spain 2007: Ford Focus takes the lead

Spain 2008: Ford Focus and Seat Ibiza fight it out

Spain 2009: Seat Ibiza best-seller for the 6th time

Spain 2010: Seat Ibiza leads again ahead of Nissan Qashqai

Spain 2011: Seat Ibiza #1 for the 8th time in lowest market in 18 years

Spain 2012: Seat Ibiza and Nissan Qashqai resist in worst year since the eighties

Spain 2013: Seat Ibiza marks 10 years in the lead

Spain 2014: First ever year of reign for Seat Leon

Spain 2015: Second year of reign for the Seat Leon

Spain 2016: Renault, Seat Leon win in market pushed by rentals

Spain 2017: Seat Leon wins 4th straight crown in largest market in a decade

Europe: More detailed 1990s Historical Data now available!

The VW Golf III sold 43,838 units in March 1993 in Germany alone, a record.

* See the direct links to these 8 Historical Data posts by clicking on the title! *

Looking to buy a new car? Find out about budget car insurance here.

Thanks to STAC and a thorough exploration of my personal (handwritten) archives I can now share with you more detail about some of the biggest European car markets in the nineties. For Germany, I now have a monthly Top 15 models ranking for the whole of 1993, there is now a full Top 50 for 1996 in the UK, for Italy I have a Top 50 for 1993, 1994 and 1996 and a monthly Top 15 for 1993 and for Spain there is now a full Top 50 for 1993, 1994 and 1996 which were missing years on BSCB… (Note: The budget car insurance link is brought to you by

What I learnt:

The VW Golf III grabbed a huge 14.5% of the German market in January 1993 and sold 43,838 units in March, its highest monthly volume in Germany ever. Note that at the time, Golf III sales were separated from the Golf II (Cabriolet) and Vento sedan, unlike today where all generations, the Golf Plus and Jetta are counted together, making this 1993 record even more impressive.

The Renault 19 was a regular Top 10 ranker in Germany in 1992-1993

The Renault 19 ranked #6 in March 1993 in Germany with 12,385 sales and 3.4% share, the ranking, volume and market share records at the time for any foreign model in the country. This record would last for 16 years until a scrappage scheme-boosted Fiat Panda reached #4 and 12,457 sales in March 2009, while the ‘half-German’ record of #2 at a5,453 units and 3.9% share was hit by the Skoda Fabia in March 2009 also.

Did you know the Fiat Uno survived as the Innocenti Mille in Italy up until November 1997?

In Italy a couple of lesser-known models by now-defunct brand Innocenti found their way into the annual Top 50 over that period: the Innocenti Elba, a rebadged Fiat Uno station wagon, ranks #43 in 1993 with 7,164 sales while the Innocenti Mille, a rebadged Fiat Uno hatchback (itself discontinued in 1995) ranks #45 in 1996 with 7,979 units. Both models were imported from Brazil. The Innocenti brand would be killed off with the Mille in November 1997.

The Seat Ibiza was #1 in Spain for the first time in 1996

In Spain, now that we have access to 1993-1996 information I was able to find out that the first year the Seat Ibiza managed to be in the pole position at home was 1996 and not in 2006 as originally thought. This is still a full 12 years after the nameplate’s original launch in 1984 and means the Ibiza was only #1 twice in its first 22 years of sales in its own country.

The Hyundai Accent was the best-selling Asian model in Spain in 1996, beating all the Japanese

Last interesting bit of trivia: in 1996 and for the first time in Spain, the best-selling Asian model is not Japanese but Korean: it’s the Hyundai Accent ranking #29 with 8,319 sales. It is one of 4 Koreans (vs. 6 Japanese) in the Top 50: the Daewoo Nexia is #33, the Daewoo Aranos (aka Espero) is #37 and the Hyundai Lantra is #48. The #1 Japanese that year is the Honda Civic at #31.

The direct links to Germany, UK, Italy and Spain Historical Data are below.

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Germany: 1990-1999 Detailed Historical Data now available!

Opel Astra

* See each year’s Top 100 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

Thanks to the amazing work of Florian from Germany, I can now share with you a Top 100 Models Ranking Table for Germany for each year from 1990 to 1999!

The decade started with the 1991 reunification and a new record for German car sales at 4.2 million units, still unbeaten to this day. 1991 also marked the launch of the VW Golf third generation which would bring the nameplate to an all-time volume record in 1992 at 414,132 units, beating its own 378,856 sales record from 1987 and the Beetle’s 348,929 units from 1961.

While in 1991 the Opel Kadett nameplate hit its highest volume ever at 261,308 sales for its last year of activity, its replacement the Opel Astra went nuts in 1992 and sold 300,804 units, the highest volume ever achieved in Germany by a new nameplate for its first full year… The Beetle took 13 years to reach that annual figure and the Golf took 11!

BMW 3 Series

But wait there’s more records. In 1991 the VW Passat passed the 200,000 annual sales mark for the first time and therefore became the 6th nameplate to do so in Germany since the invention of the automobile. In 1991 also the Renault 19 sold 97,262 units, the highest annual volume ever reached by a foreign model in Germany and a record that would last up to 2009 and the scrappage scheme-boosted Skoda Fabia sales.

Other events that happened in the nineties include the first appearance of a BMW model on the German podium since the Isetta in the fifties: the 3 Series is #3 in 1993, 1995 and 1999, peaking at 148,257 sales in 1992. The progression of the new generation Opel Corsa to a best-ever 157,421 units in 1996, same for the VW Polo to 145,117 sales that year, and still robust: the Opel Vectra, Audi 80 then A4, Mercedes C Class, and many more…

Click on ‘Read more’ below for the direct links to these 10 revised posts!

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Guinea: Prado possible leader, Renault 19 rules the streets

* Click on title for street scenes and videos! *

In Guinea, new cars are reserved to the elite who seems to prefer big Toyotas like the Prado, Land Cruiser 70 and 200. Most cars are taxis and among them, the most popular models are the 1992 Renault 19 Phase 2 and the 1989 Renault 21 Phase 2. Guinea is indeed one of the countries where European Renault sedans go to die…

Conakry, Guinea street scenes and street videos below.

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Argentina 1998-1999: VW Gol, Fiat Palio & Chevy Corsa on top

Chevrolet Corsa, VW Gol & Fiat Palio

* See ‘Read more’ for the Top 10 best-selling models, many thanks to Bruno for the data *

After one year off in 1997, the VW Gol reclaims the title of best-selling car in Argentina in 1998 with 29,486 sales and retains it in 1998 at 28,003 units. The Fiat Palio comes 2nd in 1997 with 26,237 sales and drops to 3rd in 1998 at 20,540 units. The Chevrolet Corsa does the reverse: it is #3 in ’97 with 22,843 sales and #2 in ’98 at 21,572 units.

Below, notice the Renault Megane (#6) and Renault 19 (#7) co-exist in the 1999 Top 10, the arrival of the Ford Ka at #9 in 1999 and the resistance of the ageing Fiat Duna, #10 in both 1998 and 1999.

Full Year 1998 and 1999 Top 10 Ranking Tables below.

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Argentina 1997: The only year the Renault 19 finished #1

Renault 19

* See ‘Read more’ for the Top 10 best-selling models! Many thanks to Bruno for the data *

While the Renault Megane has already replaced it in Europe, the Renault 19 manages to snap away from the VW Gol the title of best-selling car in Argentina in 1997 for… 19 units! The 19 sells 29,890 units vs. 29,871 for the Gol, both models holding 9.3% of the market…

Up 108%, the Fiat Uno jumps onto the Argentinean podium possibly for the first time with 23,995 sales and 7.5% share, just above two models breaking into the Top 10: the Ford Escort (7.1%) and the VW Polo (6.9%). Two models that would go on to enjoy phenomenal success in the country make their first appearance in 1996: the Fiat Palio at #7 with 5.7% share and the Chevrolet Corsa at #8 with 5.5%.

Full Year 1997 Top 10 Ranking Table below.

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Argentina 1996: VW Gol takes the lead

VW Gol

* See ‘Read more’ for the Top 10 best-selling models! Thanks to Bruno for sharing the data *

The VW Gol had an interesting career in Argentina: a little bit like in Brazil, it was not an instant hit but once on top of the models rankings it became very hard to dislodge… With the 2nd generation launched in the country in late 1995, the VW Gol takes the command of the Argentinean market in 1996 with 32,250 sales and 10.8% share.

With the Ford Falcon, Renault 12, Fiat Duna and Renaul 9 dominating the rankings since the mid-60s, it is possible that the Gol could be the first hatchback to rank #1 in Argentina in 30 years… The Fiat Duna drops to 2nd place at 26,231 units and 8.9%, followed by the Ford Fiesta with 24,052 sales and 8%.

Peugeot 504

Further down, the Renault 19 (6.6%) and Renault 9 (6.3%) post solid outings while the 28 year-old Peugeot 504 enjoys its last year within the Top 10 best-selling cars in Argentina at #9 with 13,224 sales and 4.4%.

Full Year 1996 Top 10 Ranking Table below.

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Germany 1995: VW Golf #1, BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 strong

VW Golf

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

Car sales in Germany are up 3% this year with 3,314,061 registrations. The VW Golf enjoys its 3rd year in a row above 10% share, leader again with 342,135 sales, down 12%. The Opel Astra hangs onto its 2nd position for the 4th consecutive year, this time at 220,104 units and 6.6%, down 4%

Audi A4

The BMW 3 Series is on the podium for the second time only in the nameplate’s history, up 8% to 148,172 units, followed by the Opel Corsa, up 14% to a best-ever #4 with 138,688 sales. The Mercedes C Class takes a breather in 5th place (4.1%), ahead of the Ford Escort, up 32% to 123,979 units and the new Audi A4 at #7 and 119,118 sales for its first full year. The VW Polo is up 109% and 7 spots to #8. 10 models sell upwards of 100,000 units this year, an equal record with 1991 and 1992.

Big change in the imported models ranking: the Fiat Punto leads this year at #15 with 60,197 units, which remains the highest annual volume ever reached by a Fiat model in Germany. The Renault 19 and Twingo (both at 1.3%) and Honda Civic (1.2%) follow, these 4 models all fitting within the Top 20. The Hyundai Accent is the second Korean model after the Pony in 93 to break into the annual German Top 50 at #49 this year.

Full Top 100 Ranking Table below.

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