Final new car sales figures for 2016 are still to be finalised, but here is a snapshot of markets where the numbers have been crunched.
In the UK, 2016 was the best year on-record for new car sales with a total of 2,692,786 - 2.3 per-cent up on 2015. Small and mid-size vehicles continued to hold the top rankings - the made-in-Britain Nissan Qashqai the only SUV cracking the top-10 – and, as always, company-registered vehicles dominated British sales and underwrote sales success for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
UK best-sellers were the Ford Fiesta (120,525); Vauxhall Corsa (77,110); Ford Focus (70,545); Volkswagen Golf (69,492); Nissan Qashqai (62,682); Vauxhall Astra (60,719); Volkswagen Polo (54,448); Mini (48,328); Mercedes-Benz C-Class (44,184); Audi A3 (43,808).
Sales in Germany rose by 4.5 per-cent in 2016 to a total of 3,351,607 and the diesel emissions scandal hasn’t impacted Volkswagen too much at home ranking first, second and third with four models in the top 10. Here’s how things ranked in Germany as of 31 December: Volkswagen Golf (235,935); Volkswagen Passat (80,900); Volkswagen Polo (72,017); Mercedes-Benz C-Class (66,898); Opel Astra (65,173); Volkswagen Tiguan (63,979); Audi A4 (61,597); Skoda Octavia (58,683); Audi A3 (57,176); Opel Corsa (55,191).
And if you thought Toyota dominated sales in Australia in 2016, things are even more spectacular at home in Japan. Here is the Japanese 2016 Top 10: Toyota Prius (248,258); Toyota Aqua, sold in Australia as the Prius C (168,208); Toyota Sienta (125,832); Honda Fit, sold in Australia as the Jazz (105,622); Nissan Note (102,402); Toyota Voxy (91,868); Toyota Corolla (84,770); Honda Vezel, sold in Australia as the HR-V (73,889); Nissan Serena (73,502); Toyota Vitz, sold in Australia as the Yaris (71,909).
To put things into perspective, total Australian new car sales last year were a new record with 1,178,133 recorded (2.0 per-cent up on 2015) and our top-selling individual model was the Toyota HiLux (42,104).
At this stage analysts are sticking with their predictions that the Toyota Corolla will top the Volkswagen Golf for the title of the world’s number one best-seller.