We have now gone to China, Europe, Russia, India, Israel, Italia, Indonesia, France, Canada and Germany to explore what cars these countries bought in 2012. While we’re at it, why not explore the entire world?
Way too much to stomach? That’s ok, you can check the best-selling models and brands in 173 different countries and territories on my blog, one by one. So enjoy!
Back to the world. No one up to now had dared to publish a worldwide models ranking because of all the controversy: why is this model not counted as a separate one? But what about the sedan version? The Jetta is really a Golf with a boot, so why don’t you count them together? Is this a Chevrolet, a Buick or an Opel? And so on. But that was up to now. And now is the time to break the last car sales data taboo, take the bull by the horns, draw a line in the sand, or whatever tired expression you choose to insert here.
I give you the 1000 (yes, one thousand) best-selling models around the planet in 2012.
Now I know not everyone will agree with this ranking, so feel free to rant! This ranking is an estimation based on official data in 100 countries. Some models have official sales data (most UK brands, Renault and Chevrolet models for example), some are the results of long nights of work spent adding sales in each country that gives official data.
All the detail of what models are counted within which nameplates can be found at the very bottom of the linked page below.
In an outstanding third place we find the Hyundai Elantra with 829,192 sales spanning 3 generations and helped by the launch of the new gen in China this year. The Toyota Camry ranks 4th at 797,466 units including the Aurion which is in essence the Chinese and Russian Camry, while the Ford F-Series rounds up the Top 5 with 785,028 sales, followed by the Chevrolet Cruze at 784,014 units, however both only relying one one single generation.
The VW Passat is #7, ahead of the Nissan Tiida/Versa/Sunny. Nissan has not been kind to us stat fans by naming their models completely differently in separate regions and not replacing them with their logical successors. It’s a mess: in Australia for example, the new Sylphy and 2nd gen Tiida are both called Pulsar while the Versa sedan is named Almera… So I’ve done my best to keep it simple in the ranking but it’s not perfect.
One notch below we find the VW Golf at #9, Ford Fiesta and the VW Polo/Vento. This might look like a low ranking for the Golf but this year the Golf Plus was stripped out, and also remember the Jetta (#18) is in effect its sedan version, with both models adding up to almost 1.3 million sales worldwide.
Other notable appearances in the Top 20 include the Toyota Hilux at #15 with 637,706 units, the Honda CR-V best-selling SUV in the world thanks to the new gen at #16 and 635,256 sales, the Suzuki Swift boosted by the huge success in India of both its hatchback and sedan (DZire) versions at #19 and 532.462 units and the Wuling Sunshine #1 Chinese vehicle at #20 with 523,724 sales.
There you go.
You now know everything to know about what cars the world bought in 2012.
Next I will take you through the best-sellers segment by segment.
Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.