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West Germany 1976-1979: VW Golf establishes leadership

VW Golf

* See ‘Read more’ for the Top 80/100 best-selling models! Thanks to Florian for the data *

The VW Golf progresses all through the period to establish itself as Germany’s solid leader, passing the 200,000 annual sales for the first time in 1976 (202,265) and the 250,000 mark in 1979 (257,673).

Opel Ascona

The Opel Ascona shines in 1976 and reaches a best-ever 2nd place at 149,348 units before falling to #3 in 77, #5 in 78 and #7 in 79.

Mercedes W123

The Mercedes W123 on the contrary replaces the ‘Strich 8’ on the German ranking’s podium, grabbing an outstanding 2nd place each year from 1977 to 1979, peaking at 203,320 units in 1979 and therefore becoming only the third model in Germany’s car history to sell more than 200,000 units in a single year after the VW Beetle and Golf…

Audi 80

The 3rd place changes hands each year and is held by the Ford Taunus in 76 (143,750 sales), the Opel Ascona in 77 (153,992), the Opel Rekord in 78 (168,730) and the Audi 80 in 79 (157,216), the very first time an Audi climbs onto the German podium!

VW Scirocco

Other models selling more than 100,000 annual units over the period are the Opel Kadett, peaking at 143,906 sales in 79, the VW Passat (151,330 in 78), the Audi 100 (115,853 in 78) and the Ford Granada (113,922 in 78). Notice also the arrival of the Ford Fiesta in 76, peaking at #8 in 79, the VW Derby landing directly in 12th position in 77 and the VW Scirocco peaking at #17 in 78.

Mazda 323

All through the period, the Renault 4 continues to be the best-selling foreign model in Germany, brilliantly maintaining itself within the Top 20. Other successful imports are the Simca 1307/1308 (#20 in 76), the Renault 5 (#21 in 76), the Fiat 131 (#22 in 76), Fiat 128 (#24 in 76), Peugeot 504 (#25 in 76), Fiat 127 (#25 in 77), Renault 18 (#18 in 79) and Fiat Ritmo (#23 in 79). The Mazda 323 is the first Japanese car to rank within the German Top 30 at #30 in 1979.

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Full 1976-1978 Top 80 and 1979 Top 100 Ranking Tables below.

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