We are all familiar with most of the popular car brands across the world. With as big as most of the major players are, it’s hard to imagine that any other car manufacturers could even sell one car. Well, you might be surprised to see that these lesser-known brands actually had some of the most popular cars on the market. Check out these somewhat “unknown” brands and their most popular cars!
The A112 is a supermini produced by Italian automaker Autobianchi. This 3-door hatchback appealed more towards the female demographic in Italy, with female buyers representing 35 percent of A112 owners by 1984.
Manufactured by Hindustan Motors of India, the Ambassador saw a long production run of over 50 years. The Ambassador was the first car to be made in India and was once even considered a status symbol throughout the country. Known as the “king of Indian roads,” the Ambassador is still used by several of the country’s politicians.
Kaiser Motors produced several varieties of automobiles in Michigan from 1945 to 1953, but no model saw the same success the Deluxe had. Over 100,000 were sold during those few years before the company eventually merged with Willys-Overland.
Russian car manufacturer AvtoVAZ produced the VAZ-2105, VAZ-2104, and the VAZ-2107, but they are collectively known as the Lada Riva. These medium-sized family cars were introduced in the Soviet Union in 1980, and expanded to multiple European markets during the early ‘80s. The Lada Riva is the third best selling automobile platform — trailing the Volkswagen Beetle and Ford Model T.
Edsel was an automobile marque manufactured by the Ford Motor Company from 1958 to 1960. During their brief existence, Edsel came out with the Ranger which ended up being the brand's most popular model. Because of low production volumes, Rangers are quite collectible.
This French beauty is the Alpine A310. Classified as a sports car, the A310 was in production from 1971 to 1984. The A310 not only had great success in sales, but it also performed well in competition — it won the French Rally championship in 1977.
The 2CV is a smaller economy car that Citroën sold to the French market from 1948 to 1990. The 2CV was very popular due to the low purchase cost, simple overall maintenance and low fuel consumption. This little car even earned a unique nickname over the years, “Umbrella on wheels.”
Škoda Auto has been producing the Octavia in the Czech Republic since 1996. The Octavia first started out of a small family car, but was remodeled to a larger size in 2013. Over 4,000,000 Octavias have been sold in the Czech Republic, making it their best-selling car ever.
The ZAZ factory started producing the Zaporozhets in 1958 in Soviet Ukraine. Zaporozhet was a series of superminis that were made up until 1994. The cars are still very popular in most of the former Soviet states.
The Lancia Ypsilon is another top seller that falls under the supermini category. This Italian car has been produced since 1995 and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The third generation Ypsilon adopted the Chrysler name for sales in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Japan.
This three-wheeled bubble car was designed by the aircraft engineer Frtiz Fend. The KR200 was produced by the German aircraft manufacturer Messerschmitt during the period of time where they were not allowed to manufacture any aircrafts. The KR200 microcar was produced from 1955 until 1964, after several years of poor sales.
The Perodua Myvi has been produced in Malaysia since 2005. This supermini came about after Perodua decided to collaborate with both Toyota and Daihatsu. The Myvi is one of the top selling cars in Malaysia, and has earned best-selling car for 8 consecutive years between 2006 and 2013.
Chrysler took a controlling interest in Simca in 1963, and approved the manufacturing of what is now known as the 1100. The first 1100 rolled off the lines in 1967 and was met with great praise. A total of 2.2 million cars were produced before the 1100 was axed in 1985.
Spanish automaker SEAT have been producing the Ibiza since 1984, and it’s no surprise the car is the company’s best seller. This supermini won the 1994 “Car of the year” award in Spain, along with the Portugal’s “Carro do Ano” award that same year. The Ibiza received another facelift in 2015, giving the car a more modern feel.