Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Japanese Earthquake in Switzerland

Matt Gasnier
by Matt Gasnier
best selling cars around the globe japanese earthquake in switzerland

After marking September 11 with the US 2001 best-sellers, announcing the launch of the Africa Project and a couple of world updates ( Top 150 best-selling models in June 2012 and our monthly World Roundup for July 2012), today I have to stop in Switzerland because we are witnessing a Japanese earthquake there…

Not in the mood for mountainous countries? There are 167 other countries and territories in my blog ready for you to explore, so get to it!

Back to Switzerland.

Japanese earthquake?

I can hear you wondering what the … I’m talking about.

Well you see, Switzerland is very much like Germany when it comes to cars. Actually, the Swiss are more German than the Germans: the Volkswagen Golf has been the best-selling model since its inception in 1974, (that’s a whopping 38 years vs. around 20 for the Beetle!) whereas in Germany the Golf’s reign was interrupted by the Mercedes W123 in 1980.

And here comes the earthquake.

Although I haven’t received access to monthly sales figures in Switzerland before 2011, looking at the market share difference between the Golf and the #2 model at the end of each year, it is fair to assume that the Golf has been dominating the Swiss models ranking almost every single month since 1974.

In August 2012 and possibly for the first time since the nameplate’s original launch in 1974, the VW Golf is not the #1 model in Switzerland, not even #2 but #3 with 625 sales and 2.8 percent share.

‘Switzerland in XV fever’

There are two culprits in this unheard-of move: the Skoda Octavia, ranking at its usual #2 but passing the Golf for potentially the first time ever with 661 units and 3 percent share – still lower than its year-to-date level at 3.2 percent, and the outstanding performer of the month: the Subaru XV. After shooting up to a world-best 4th place last month, the XV does the unthinkable: it is up 3 spots to an unbelievable first place in Switzerland with 722 sales and 3.3 percent share – and this is even without counting sales of its twin Impreza (39)!

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  • FreedMike Race car drivers are all alpha-types. Aggression is part of the deal. I think you see more of that stuff in NASCAR because crashes - the end result of said aggression - are far more survivable than they would be in F1 or IndyCar.
  • Analoggrotto Only allow Tesla drivers to race, we are the epitome of class and brilliance.
  • Wjtinfwb When my kids turned 16 and got their Operators, we spent $400 to send both (twins) to 2 driving schools. One held by the local Sherriff was pretty basic but a good starter on car control and dealing with police officers as they ran the school. Then they went to a full day class in N Atlanta on a racetrack, with the cars supplied by BMW. They learned evasive maneuvers, high speed braking, skid control on a wet skid pad and generally built a lot of confidence behind the wheel. Feeling better about their skills, we looked for cars. My son was adamant he wanted a manual, Halleluiah! Looking at used Civics and Golf's and concerned about reliability and safety, I got discouraged. Then noticed an AutoTrader adv. for a new leftover '16 Ford Focus ST six-speed. 25k MSRP advertised for $17,500. $2500 above my self-imposed limit. I went to look, a brand new car, 16 miles on it, black with just the sunroof. 3 year warranty and ABS, Airbags. One drive and the torquey turbo 2.0 convinced me and I bought it on the spot. 7 years and 66k miles later it still serves my son well with zero issues. My daughter was set on a Subaru, I easily found a year old Crosstrek with all the safety gear and only 3k miles. 21k but gave my wife and I lots of peace of mind. She still wheels the Subaru, loves it and it too has provided 7 years and 58k miles of low cost motoring. Buy what fits your budget but keep in mind total cost over the long haul and the peace of mind a reliable and safe car provides. Your kids are worth it.
  • Irvingklaws Here's something cheaper, non-german, and more intriguing...
  • Wjtinfwb Happy you're loving your Z4. Variety is the spice of life and an off-beat car like the Z4 intrigues me as well. More than anything, your article and pictures have me lusting for the dashboards of a decade ago. Big, round analog gauges. Knobs and buttons to dial up the A/C, Heat or Volume. Not a television screen in sight. Need to back up? Use the mirrors or look over your shoulder. If your Z4 had the six-speed manual, it would be about perfect. Today's electronified BMW's leave me ice cold, as do the new Mercedes and Audi's with their video game interiors. Even a lowly GTI cannot escape the glowing LED dashboard. I'm not a total luddite, Bluetooth streaming for the radio would be nice and I'd agree the cooled seats would be a bonus on a warm day with the top down. But the Atari dashboard is just a bridge too far for me.