Report: Toyota Claims Corolla is World's Top-Selling Car

April 10, 2013
2012 Toyota Corolla Rear Three Quarter View
Here's hoping that Ford didn't drink too much celebratory champagne yesterday after naming its Focus the world's most popular car: Toyota claims that the Corolla sedan is actually the world's most popular car.
We reported yesterday that R.L. Polk and Company verified 1,020,410 international sales of the Ford Focus, making it the world's most popular car. The Focus was joined on the top 10 list by the F-Series (785,630, number 3) and the Fiesta (723,130, number 6). With that, Ford becomes the brand with the most top-10 models on Polk's list.
That sounded like enough cause for celebration, but Toyota quickly rebutted with a statement hoping to snatch the Focus' crown. The gist of it is this: Toyota claims that the Corolla sold 1.16 million units last year, some 140,000 more than the Focus, and enough to make it the world's most popular car. That number, according to Toyota, does include such international versions as the Toyota Corolla Altis, Corolla Axio, Corolla Wagon, Corolla Fielder, and Corolla Rumion, but it doesn't include Corolla-based variants like the Scion xB and Toyota Matrix. For direct comparison purposes, Toyota says the Corolla sedan alone sold 1.08 million units last year, enough to easily top the Focus.
Toyota does admit that its numbers are internal sales figures, as opposed to the Polk-verified international registration numbers that went into yesterday's news; for what it's worth, Polk claims that the Corolla sold just 872,774 units, making it the world's second most-popular car.
A spokesperson for Toyota Motor Sales says that Toyota staff was unable to recreate that figure internally. This could be for many reasons, including sales of cars made in joint ventures or partnerships (like those in China), although it's unclear exactly which variables were at hand. For its part, Polk says that its numbers are accurate, and that it still stands by the Focus' status as the world's best-selling single nameplate.
Check out Polk's newly released top 10 list below.
Data: R.L. Polk via USA Today
Ford Focus 1,020,410
Toyota Corolla 872,774
Ford F-Series 785,630
Wuling Zhiguang 768,870
Toyota Camry 729,793
Ford Fiesta 723,130
VW Golf 699,148
Chevrolet Cruze 661,325
Honda Civic 651,159
Honda CR-V 624,982


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2013 Toyota Corolla

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2013 Toyota Corolla