Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Toyota Corolla Victim of China-Japan Tensions

Matt Gasnier
by Matt Gasnier

Last time I shared with you 10 things I don’t understand. Today I suggest we simply check out what are the Top 150 best-selling cars worldwide. Too lofty an ambition for you? That’s ok, you can check out 170 countries and territories in my blog, all from the comfort of your home. Or today I can also offer you the 264 best-selling models in the USA in October 2012. Every single one of them.

Back to the world.

Something big has happened in the world.

Yes, Sir.

Very strong sales in China have pushed the Ford Focus to #1 worldwide

You can check out the Top 150 best-selling cars worldwide in September here.

Now that September sales figures are all in, I can share with you the Top 150 most popular cars around the planet. May I just stress again that these are September figures, not October. The October World Roundup will be published here on TTAC over the next few days. This ranking is based on sales in the 60+ countries that are updated monthly on my blog, except for Ford and Renault/Dacia where sales are official worldwide figures. By clicking on the “Top 150 models” link above you will see the entire lists and notes at the bottom of the table explaining which models/generations are taken into account for each nameplate.

Massive event in September: benefitting from the Japanese drama in China, the Ford Focus becomes the best-selling model in the world thanks to a huge 95,929 units sold worldwide, helped by over 30,000 sales in China. The Toyota Corolla drops to a distant #2 at 82,074 sales that include the Matrix and Auris versions. Year-to-date however, the Corolla keeps the lead with 864,674 sales vs. 747,228 for the Focus. The Focus domination could go on until the end of the year as sales of Japanese models in China have actually worsened in October…

The current gen VW Jetta is called Sagitar in China.

The VW Jetta continues to shine in third position with 69,188 units, note this figure still includes Chinese sales of the 2nd generation 1984 Jetta but these will be removed once the new Chinese Jetta kick-starts later in the year as it is now totally distinct from any other Jetta generation sold worldwide (see the China: Volkswagen who’s who article for more details). Excellent showing for the VW Golf up 4 spots to #4 and the Hyundai Elantra up one to now helped by a very successful launch of the new generation in China.

Top 10 best-selling cars worldwide in September 2012:

You can check out the Top 150 best-selling cars worldwide in September here.

PosModelSepAug9m 2012Pos1Ford Focus95,9292747,22822Toyota Corolla82,0741864,67413VW Jetta69,1883539,747104VW Golf68,2608582,62145Hyundai Elantra67,4216566,81276Chevrolet Cruze66,6405571,17257Ford F-Series66,5894569,90668Toyota Camry65,0347590,75939VW Passat63,7089553,416910Ford Fiesta59,72515556,4288

You can check out the Top 150 best-selling cars worldwide in September here.

Mitsubishi L200

In 7th place we find the Ford F-Series with 66,589 sales, down 3 ranks on last month but still way ahead in the worldwide pick-up truck ranking at 569,906 units year-to-date. The Toyota Hilux excels, up 5 spots to #12 with 52,789, while the Chevrolet Silverado is up one to the Dodge RAM up 3 to #32 and the Isuzu D-Max down 2 to The Nissan Frontier/Navara ranks followed by the Chevrolet Colorado at Toyota Tacoma at Mitsubishi L200 at Toyota Tundra at Fiat Strada at and Ford Ranger at

BMW 3 Series

Back to the overall ranking and the best performers in the Top 50 this month: the Opel/Chevrolet Corsa is up 20 ranks to #19 thanks to a strong UK market, the Hyundai Tucson/ix35 is up a further 4 spots to #21 vs. #35 year-to-date, the Suzuki Wagon R is up 27 to #23 now that Japan and India are back to strong sales, the Mercedes C-Class is up 22 to #34 and the BMW 3 Series up 33 to

Hyundai Santa Fe

Further down, the Toyota Aqua is getting close to the Top 50, up 5 ranks to the Peugeot 208 is up 44 to a best-ever the Hyundai Santa Fe is up a massive 58 spots to #67 thanks to the new generation, the Nissan Note lands at #70 with 19,484 sales mainly due to the new model launched in Japan, the BYD F3 is up 50 spots to reclaim the title of best-selling Chinese passenger car worldwide at #81 thanks to the new ‘Surui’ model, the Subaru Impreza/XV is up 47 ranks to #83 with the launch of the XV in Japan, the Emgrand EC7 is up a brilliant 53 spots to the Great Wall Haval H6 stays in the Top 100 at #98 and the Mazda CX-5 is up 19 to

You can also check out:

World 8 months 2012: Discover the Top 170 best-selling models!

World August 2012: Discover the Top 150 best-selling models!

Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.

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3 of 4 comments
  • Spw Spw on Nov 27, 2012

    Important thing to note is that Corolla has a big factor going against it in general when it comes to sales - it sells almost nothing in Japan these days, due to the fact that Prius got so popular. Now next year new Corolla is coming and it might get hybrid version, which in turn might mean that Corolla sales might go above its record years.

  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Nov 29, 2012

    Of the top ten, the only one I wouldn't be pissed off at having to drive is the F150. The rest of them are penalty cars.

    • Th009 Th009 on Nov 29, 2012

      Me, I'd rather drive a Focus or a Gold instead of an F-150. I'd be pissed off if I had to drive a pickup truck every day, unless it was something I needed for my work. THAT would be a penalty for me!

  • Damon Thomas Adding to the POSITIVES... It's a pretty fun car to mod
  • GregLocock Two adjacent states in Australia have different attitudes to roadworthy inspections. In NSW they are annual. In Victoria they only occur at change of ownership. As you'd expect this leads to many people in Vic keeping their old car.So if the worrywarts are correct Victoria's roads would be full of beaten up cars and so have a high accident rate compared with NSW. Oh well, the stats don't agree.
  • Lorenzo In Massachusetts, they used to require an inspection every 6 months, checking your brake lights, turn signals, horn, and headlight alignment, for two bucks.Now I get an "inspection" every two years in California, and all they check is the smog. MAYBE they notice the tire tread, squeaky brakes, or steering when they drive it into the bay, but all they check is the smog equipment and tailpipe emissions.For all they would know, the headlights, horn, and turn signals might not work, and the car has a "speed wobble" at 45 mph. AFAIK, they don't even check EVs.
  • Not Tire shop mechanic tugging on my wheel after I complained of grinding noise didn’t catch that the ball joint was failing. Subsequently failed to prevent the catastrophic failure of the ball joint and separation of the steering knuckle from the car! I’ve never lived in a state that required annual inspection, but can’t say that having the requirement has any bearing on improving safety given my experience with mechanics…
  • Mike978 Wow 700 days even with the recent car shortages.