Corolla, Not Focus, World's Best-Selling Car, Toyota Says

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
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corolla not focus world s best selling car toyota says

Yesterday, Ford announced that its Focus “is officially the world’s best-selling passenger car,” with 1,020,410 units sold worldwide in 2012. That according to registration data compiled by Polk.

“Wrong” Toyota said today.

Toyota’s spokesman Ryo Sakai told Reuters that Toyota sold 1.16 million Corollas in 2012 and that “Toyota still sees the Corolla as the world’s most popular car”.

Last year, Ford got into similarly hot water by quoting a report by HIS Automotive, setting off an intense discussion about the finer differences of models, body styles and name plates.

Global Corolla Sales CY2012CountryCorolla S/DCorolla H/BCorolla H/B HVU.S.A.286,560 Corolla00North America Total345,033 Corolla00Europe (incl W. RU)63,481 Corolla59,320 Auris23,693 Auris HybridChina Total269,078 Corolla & EX00Asia (except China)153,386 Corolla Altis00Oceania14,417 Corolla29,727 Corolla0Middle East83,949 Corolla00Africa29,410 Corolla2,671 Auris434 Auris HybridCentral & South Am91,071 Corolla538 Auris47 Auris HybridJapan33,794 Corolla Axio10,119 AurisGlobal Total1,083,61929,727Corolla W/GCorolla MPVMATRIXCorolla TALL H/BU.S.A.004,387 Matrix19,787 Scion xBNorth America Total0017,369 Matrix21,274 Scion xBEurope (incl W. RU)037,335 Verso00China Total022,331 E’Z00Asia (except China)0000Oceania706 Corolla Wagon00921 RukusMiddle East0000Africa0824 Verso00Central & South Am028 Verso00Japan39,705 Corolla Fielder7,007 Corolla RumionGlobal Total40,4117,007Global Corolla nameplate total1,160,764Including derivatives1,381,842

TTAC obtained a spreadsheet from Toyota’s car counting department that shows the Corolla ahead of the Focus any way you look at it. The Toyota Sedan alone racked up 1,083,610 in sales, handily beating the 1,020,410 of the Focus. Various other Corolla versions bring the name plate total to 1,160,764.

Would one count the many derivatives and other model names under which the Corolla is sold around the globe, the total would grow to 1,381,842 units.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • ExPatBrit ExPatBrit on Apr 10, 2013

    Like others have said, we have some Carollas and then there are these other different Carollas over here. Drove one in Melbourne a few weeks ago, completely different car to the outdated one we have here in the US.

    • Corntrollio Corntrollio on Apr 10, 2013

      Don't forget the Corolla Tercel (80s) or the Corolla Matrix. :) The Rumion is the xB. The C-Max should really be the Ford Focus C-Max, no?

  • Car_guy2010 Car_guy2010 on Apr 10, 2013

    I rented a 2012 Focus last year and found it to be pretty impressive for a newer Ford. Would I buy one? Nah. Would I rent a Toyota? Nah. But as long as they bring in the profits, who cares who's #1?

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