Home > Brazil > Brazil 1996: Fiat launches Palio to challenge Gol domination

Brazil 1996: Fiat launches Palio to challenge Gol domination


Fiat Palio in Quatro Rodas, 1996

The VW Gol has been dominating the Brazilian market for nearly 10 years, its reign only interrupted by the Fiat Uno in 1994. However the Fiat Uno is now 13-years old, so Fiat orchestrated its biggest launch in Brazil early in the year when it launched the Palio with for firm objective to become Fiat’s first world car and dislodge the Gol from its Brazilian throne. It would become the Gol’s only true challenger in Brazil over the next 15 years! More on the Fiat Palio here.

The Fiat Palio first appeared in the Brazilian rankings in April 1996 when it sold 2,439 units (#10). It quickly climbed the ranking, selling 6,428 units in May (#4), 10,478 in June (still #4) and 20,367 in July (#2), peaking at 26,860 in November. The Palio would however have to wait until late 1997 to reach the monthly #1 spot for the first time.

In the meantime, the VW Gol managed to pass the 30,000 monthly sales mark for the very first time in Brazil in May 1996 at 31,650. It would pass this mark again 5 more times during the year, peaking at 34,767, its best ever figure to date, in August.

Before the arrival of the Palio, the Fiat Uno, still #2 over the full year at 203,249 sales, lodges some impressive numbers, probably boosted by generous offers to clear stocks: 27,589 sales in March, 26,126 in May and 26,079 in June. The Chevrolet Corsa takes the 3rd spot at 190,462 sales and the Ford Escort is #5 at 60,712 units.

Full Top 20 Ranking Table, 1996 Gol-Palio sales comparo and vintage magazine covers and articles below.

Quatro Rodas, March 1996 cover

The first appearance of the Fiat Palio in Brazilian car sales, April 1996

Gol-Palio sales over 1996:

Month VW Gol units Pos Fiat Palio units Pos
Jan-96 21,490 1 0  –
Feb-96 26,450 1 0  –
Mar-96 28,783 1 0  –
Apr-96 26,425 1 2,439 10
May-96 31,650 1 6,621 4
Jun-96 27,329 1 10,478 4
Jul-96 32,722 1 20,367 2
Aug-96 34,767 1 24,136 2
Sep-96 34,197 1 22,389 2
Oct-96 31,612 1 22,996 2
Nov-96 31,485 1 26,860 2
Dec-96 29,814 1 20,609 2

Brazil Full Year 1996:

Pos Model 1996 % 96/95 1995 Pos
1 VW Gol 356,724 25.5% 24% 287,443 1
2 Fiat Uno 203,249 14.5% -19% 250,464 2
3 Chevrolet Corsa Hatch 190,462 13.6% 25% 152,000 3
4 Fiat Palio 156,930 11.2% new 0  –
5 Ford Escort 60,712 4.3% -39% 99,546 4
6 Ford Fiesta 54,059 3.9% 85% 29,246 11
7 Chevrolet Vectra 49,679 3.5% 80% 27,597 12
8 Chevrolet Kadett 41,463 3.0% 12% 37,129 8
9 VW Santana 41,134 2.9% 23% 33,432 9
10 Fiat Tempra 34,502 2.5% -13% 39,736 7
11 VW Parati 34,104 2.4% 26% 27,129 13
12 VW Saveiro 30,300 2.2% new 0  –
13 Chevrolet S-10 28,900 2.1% new 0  –
14 VW Golf 24,221 1.7% -48% 46,622 6
15 Ford Pampa 18,000 1.3% new 0  –
16 Chevrolet Blazer 17,500 1.2% new 0  –
17 VW Logus 17,209 1.2% -29% 24,261 15
18 Chevrolet Monza 13,000 0.9% -59% 31,924 10
19 Fiat Tipo 12,102 0.9% -85% 83,295 5
20 VW Quantum 11,898 0.8% 2% 11,674 18

Source: Quatro Rodas

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