Longest Production Run

Longest Production Run
Geoff Wheatley explors the Longest automotive Production Runs
Published by: All Car Central Publishing
Date published: 05/11/2015

Recently I was asked what motor company had the longest run with a single model... to be honest I did not know but decided that I would do a little research to see who held that title.

My first thought was Ford but I was totally wrong. In fact Ford was not in the first three manufacturers.

Beetle Volkswagen Beetle GSR 2014

In terms of years the VW Beetle saw the light of day in 1938 and ceased production in 2003 a total of 65 years but that figure is a little misleading as production stopped in 1939 and did not recommence until 1951 so in reality we are talking about fifty three years, which by any standard is worthy of mention!

2cv Volkswagen Beetle GSR 2014

The next vehicle in the long life achievement is the French Citroen 2 CV from 1948 to 1992 with a total of forty four years. Originally this car was designed to serve the rural community ideal for rough roads and carrying farm items from one place to another. Certainly never designed as a vehicle to grace the avenues of Paris or to win any competition in the area of comfort or design. However the sheer stark image became one of the attractions and it became fashionable in much the same way that the original Mini created a unique appeal.

Mini Mini

While mentioning the Mini it's worth remembering that the original was in the show rooms of dealers in 1959 and continued in its first design until 1995, a total of thirty six years before BMW redesigned the car and turned it into a desired vehicle that is still around today.

Ford Ford

Despite an extensive search for an American car that could compete with these production figures the best I could find was the Model T Ford 1908 to 1927 with a total of nineteen years. It seems that the American motoring public like to see and buy a new design on a regular basis as illustrated by the never ending supply of new models in the post war years. The Ford Model A that followed also holds a record that as yet has not been equaled; it sold over a million in the first eighteen months of production. It also was a few light years ahead of its competitors being the first production car to have a safety glass front screen and brakes on both the rear and front wheels.

In 1966 the Fiat Company designed the successful Fiat 124. A few years later, in 1982 a production license was sold to the Russian manufacturer "LADA" who modified the suspension to meet the needs of the punishing Russian roads and the 124 was reborn as the RIVA LADA. Production continued until 2010 giving the car a life span of forty four years, not quite equal to the VW but close.


OK final question... "What manufacturer had the shortest production run?" That title must go to the"DELOREAN DMC 12" with a production period of ten months. The rear mounted engine was produced by RENAULT and was not an outstanding success, while the body consisted of stainless steel unpainted panels. I think this car will be best remembered as being the star of the movie "BACK TO THE FUTURE" rather than a memorable vehicle, but I would add that every time I have seen one on display it always draws a crowd!

click here click here click here click here