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Toyota Corolla the world's best selling car

By raccars Published

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Recent research has shown the Toyota Corolla to be the single highest selling vehicle worldwide in 2013 - and of all time. 1,098,524 unit sales were recorded globally last year, according to Polk data from IHS Automotive.

The Corolla saloon was launched in 1966 with a 1100cc engine, followed by the Corolla Sprinter fastback two years later and for the Japanese market only. Since then, an amazing 40.72 million units have been sold overall. However, the Corolla is not available in the UK, when Toyota replaced it in its model line up with the Auris, which is also built in the UK. Nonetheless, the Corolla is ubiquitous outside the UK, forming the basis of taxi fleets worldwide.

The Corolla became a world best seller in the Seventies, but it took until the late Nineties for it to overtake the iconic VW Beetle in terms of cumulative global sales. All time best sellers after the Corolla now include the Ford F- Series truck, the VW Golf and the VW Beetle, in fourth place.

During its time on sale in the UK, from 1966-2007, at least half a million units of the Corolla were sold, of which some 200,000 are believed to still be on the road today. Toyota claims that 80% of all Corollas sold within the last 20 years worldwide are still running.

The Corolla has changed significantly since the introduction of the original model, having received numerous facelifts over 11 generations and growing in size since 2006. The smaller, early cars were rear wheel drive but the formation was later changed to front wheel drive. Various model derivatives have also been introduced to the original saloon shape, with hatchbacks, sports coupes and even mini MPVs known as the Fielder, Corolla Ceres, Corolla Levin, Corolla Verso and Corolla RunX, plus a number of badge engineered models by Holden, Geo or Chevrolet. Total global sales for 2013, including the alternatively badged versions, come to 1.22 million.

The latest generation Corolla appears to be the most successful yet, as economical and practical as ever and posting a 5% sales increase over the past year, spread across the 150 countries in which it is sold.

However, Ford is disputing the global sales data, claiming the title of world's best selling car of 2013 for its Focus model. With the Focus reaching 1,107,253 unit sales, it's certainly a close call, but Toyota wins based upon the inclusion of a variety of model variations all bearing the Corolla nameplate.

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