Very oblique reference: a Fiat is an all-time best seller:
The bestsellers that never say die
By Giles Chapman of The Sunday Times
There have been many lists of motoring bestsellers but, as far
as we can tell, none that celebrates only those cars that have remained
virtually unaltered from the day they first went on sale.
That's why there is no Toyota Corolla on our list . Although 29m
cars bearing the name have been sold since 1966, it has been redesigned nine
times and no single version has reached the crucial 5m level to qualify for
the league table. It's the same for the Toyota Camry and the Ford Mustang,
each with some 10m sales but almost as many makeovers.
On the other hand, the Fiat Uno in fourth place soldiers on in
Brazil in much the same shape as it was 22 years and 8.5m models ago. Then
there is the Fiat 124 - or more precisely the Russian-built Lada version of
it. Dismissed years ago in the West as an embarrassing anachronism, the car
is still being built in Russia (since 1970) in essentially the same form as
when launched in Italy in 1966.
That the venerable Model T has been ousted from second place by
a Lada might be hard to take but there is no disgrace in being beaten by a
car we suspect will one day take over the top spot. For now that honour
remains with the VW Beetle, which has worn the crown since February 17,
1972, when it overtook the Model T.
Like the Beetle the Mini (Britain's only entry) has recently
been revived and updated but BMW's version is not included in sales figures
since its Mini is the same in name only.
Today, in its frantic scramble for quick sales, the car industry
would rarely allow a model to stay in unaltered production for 10 years,
much less the 31 years of the VW Golf MK1 or the 64 years of the Beetle.
In fact unlike other bestselling lists - and with one eye on the
unstoppable Lada - this one looks set to remain largely unchanged for good.
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