Corolla: World's most popular car

  • One sold every 40 seconds
  • Global sales of 37.5million mean it replaces Ford's F-series truck as best selling vehicle of all time
By Daniel Miller

It'll never stir the passions like a Ferrari and you won't see its picture adorning the bedroom wall of the average adolescent teenage boy. But the venerable Toyota Corolla has overtaken Fords F-series truck to become the best selling vehicle of all time.

The ultra-reliable, if perhaps rather dull, Japanese runaround has clocked up global sales of around 37.5 million since it was first rolled out in 1966. With its winning recipe of value-for-money, thrifty gas mileage and a huge dealer network, a Corolla has been sold on average once every 40 seconds for the past 40 years.

Record breaker: The humble Toyota Corolla has become the world's best selling car of all time
A Ford F1 truck from 1948 (right) and a modern F-150 (below). The F series was the best selling vehicle for 28 years and remains the best selling truck of all time
Original: A first generation Toyota Corolla from 1966
Volkswagen's Golf (below) and Beetle (above) are in third and fourth place respectively

Now into its tenth generation Corollas are manufactured in Japan, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and Venezuela.
However production in the US, based in Fremont, California, ended in March 2010.

Sales of the car really took off during the 1970s oil crisis as its frugal four cylinder engine offered great mileage, a feature that continues to add to its popularity today. It's success brings to an end an impressive 24 year run by Ford's F-series pick-up truck which, with sales of over 35 million, now pulls over into second place.

In third place is the Volkswagen Golf having notched up sales of 27.5 million. VW's Beetle comes in at fourth with 23.5 million sold and Ford's Escort which has sold 20 million, is in fifth. Despite only being in eighth place over all in terms of total sales many experts still rate the Ford Model T as the most successful car ever.

Nearly 17 million cars were produced between 1908 and 1927 - a period when car ownership was far less widespread than it is today. Like the Model T the Corolla succeeds because it is inexpensive to buy, inexpensive to operate, reliable and easy to repair.

Early Corollas were rear-wheel drive while later models were mostly front-wheel drive and some models were four-wheel drive. Although always regarded as sensible rather than sporty the Corolla has had some racing pedigree.

In 1999 Toyota entered Corollas driven by Carlos Sainz and Didier Auriol into the World Rally Championship subsequently winning the manufacturers title. Despite concerns that the earthquake and Tsunami which hit Japan last year would seriously damage production, Toyota, which is Japan's largest vehicle manufacturer, has posted surprisingly upbeat sales predictions for next year.

The firm lifted its 2012 domestic sales forecast to 1.63 million vehicles, up 6.5 percent from its previous prediction and 36 percent higher than 2011, after the government last month decided to re-introduce subsidies for fuel-efficient cars.

It is expected to be among the biggest beneficiaries of such green car incentives and subsidies thanks to its broad line-up of hybrid vehicles, including the Aqua, its cheapest and most fuel-efficient hybrid to date, launched late last month.

The company's forecast for 18 percent sales growth overseas was unchanged, bringing the global forecast to 8.58 million vehicles, up 21 percent on the previous year, excluding Daihatsu and Hino.
That would be a record for the company, whose sales slipped 6 percent to 7.1 million vehicles in 2011, hampered by the massive earthquake in northeast Japan and Thai flooding.


1 Toyota Corolla (1966 - present ) Sales: 37.5 million
2 Ford F-Series (1948 - present ) Sales: 35 million
3 Volkswagen Golf (1974 - present ) Sales: 27.5 million
4 Volkswagen Beetle (1933 - 2003) Sales: 23.5 million
5 Ford Escort (1968 - 2000) Sales: 20 million
6 Honda Civic (1972 - present ) Sales: 18.5 million
7 Honda Accord (1976 - present) Sales: 17.5 million
8 Ford Model T (1908 - 1927) Sales: 16.5 million
9 Volkswagen Passat (1973 - present) Sales: 15.5 million
10 Chevy Impala (1958 - present) Sales: 14 million

© Daily Mail, London

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Corolla: World's most popular car


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