There are lots of advantages to buying a car which lots of other people have chosen to drive too. It’s much easier to find a mechanic to service or repair a car which is a common sight on British roads, and parts and spares might be more available at reasonable prices too.
A manufacturer which has produced millions of units of the same car should have refined their manufacturing to the stage where fewer things will go wrong.
That’s good news when you book your car in for its annual MOT test and hope that it will pass without any faults. However, the most common cars on UK roads aren’t always the same cars which sell best globally.
Model T Ford
It’s not a car you’ll see on British roads often in the 21st century, but Ford’s iconic model T was the most popular car in the world in the 20s and 30s. Ford made over 16.5 million Model Ts, and by the outbreak of the first world war, had cornered the world car market with over 90% of cars on the road made by the brand.
The Model T doesn’t really match up to modern motoring standards – no power steering, no seatbelts, no radio and no electric windows. But there are still thousands of the cars on the road, even though the last one rolled off the production line over 90 years ago.
The good news is that if you have a Model T in the garage you won’t have to pay any road tax or book it in for a MOT as it’s old enough to fall into the category of classic car.
Just before the second world war the VW Beetle hit German roads and became the first car to sell 20 million units worldwide. Volkswagen have refined the design and specification over the years, although the 21st century Beetle doesn’t bear much resemblance to the original 1940s version.
VW built its fleet of Beetles all over the world, starting in Germany and expanding across the globe to factories in Mexico, the Philippines and South Africa. The last original Beetle rolled off the production line in Mexico in July 2003. Original Beetles were designed to last, and are easy to maintain and service.
Another brand which is still around today is the Japanese made Toyota Corolla. The model was introduced by Toyota in the 1960s, when Japanese car manufacturing was in its infancy. In 2016, Toyota announced that it had sold 44 million Corollas worldwide.
Part of the Corolla’s success has been Toyota’s drive to innovate, and the Corolla has gone through twelve different generations since the 60s, keeping it fresh for every new generation of motoring.
Toyota has a reputation for safe, reliable motoring so if you’re looking for a car which will get you from A to B and require the minimum of mechanical intervention, then the Corolla could be the ideal choice.
One way of guaranteeing that you’ve got a top selling car on your hands is to make it the only one available to buy, which is exactly what the Soviet Union did when it introduced the Lada Classic in 1970. Until the demise of the brand in 2012, almost 18 million Ladas were sold.
The appeal of the car was that the car was cheap and basic, which appealed to some motorists in Western Europe as well in in the former Soviet Bloc. However, the Lada had a reputation for shoddy manufacture and being unreliable, which is probably why it hasn’t become a classic like the Beetle or even the Corolla.