Article by Mark Atkinson
When it comes to best-selling vehicles, most people should be reasonably aware of Canadians’ preference for the Honda Civic and Ford F-Series. Even our neighbours to the south share the big Ford’s appreciation, but car-wise, prefer the larger Toyota Camry. But what about the hundreds of other countries around the world? Some should be familiar, most others probably not.
Rather than go through every single one, we’ve pared the list down considerably, and take a broader look at most regions of the planet. And a huge thanks goes to Matt Gasnier’s BestSellingCarBlog.com for the sales figures and much more.
Heading south to Mexico is a pretty Canadian thing to do in the winter, so why not start there? It has a pretty diverse market that includes some European brands we can’t get. And like plenty of other regions, cars that have come and gone to Canada are still sold in Mexico. The Chevrolet Aveo is the best-seller for third-straight year with 65,394 units sold. The Nissan Versa and ancient Nissan Tsuru – basically an early ‘90s Sentra sedan — held onto the other podium places.
In South America, there are several countries dealing with very rough economic and social struggles. Argentina has a severely devalued currency and huge tax increases that boosted sticker prices by around 50 percent. As expected, that cramped vehicles sales in 2014 with around a third fewer sales year-over-year. Small basic hatchbacks are always a favourite, including Volkswagen’s regionally built Gol Trend winning with 29,667 sold. Toyota’s legendary Hilux pickup is second with 27,635 and Renault Clio Mio third despite losing a fifth of its sales year-over-year.
After being the B in the BRIC countries that provided nearly a decade of record-setting growth, Brazil’s bubble popped during the tense lead-up to the world cup, and hasn’t quite recovered yet. Also, after mandating more intensive regulations both for driver safety and to lessen their environment impact, the Fiat Palio Way scores first win with 183,741 units against the previously dominant Volkswagen Gol by a mere 385 cars. The more modern Fiat Strada jumped into third place with 155,130, which also helped the company to hold over 20 percent of the market.
Things are even worse in Venezuela in the chaos that’s followed long-time leader/dictator Hugo Chavez’s death. With a nearly stagnant economy damaging car sales in Venezuela for the last couple years, every manufacturer is down radically. In the ashes, the best of the worst is the Civetchi pickup, which is a Chinese rebadge of the ZNA Dongfeng Rich, which is a Chinese rebadge of a 20-year-old Nissan Navara. The Civetchi had 3,181 sales, although even those are still down nearly 70 percent year-over-year. No one is sure when things will recover.