Corolla Most Popular Car Ever

Mon 23rd Aug 2021

Launched in 1966, the Toyota Corolla has endured through many different generations of drivers and is still going strong having secured its 50 millionth sale this month.

In the 55 years since its birth in Japan the Corolla is now in its 12th generation, with hatchback, SUV and saloon versions all launched in 2018, and while it may not be the sexiest of cars, it certainly ticks the boxes on a number of level. 

Like many Japanese cars, it is reliable, it is fuel-efficient and comes with lots of practicality, which makes the Corolla name the most popular to leave showroom forecourts ever. It’s nearest rival, the Volkswagen Golf has yet to register sales of 40 million and having started the race eight years later is unlikely to catch Toyota anytime soon. According to the Japanese brand’s own research there is a Corolla-badged vehicle sold once every 28 seconds across a geographical footprint that covers 150 countries around the world. 

Originally the Corolla was produced solely in Japan, but with huge popularity in the US, China and Europe, it is now built in 12 different factories. While officially the Corolla wasn’t sold in the UK for a number of years, it was just hidden in plain sight with a different badge, the Toyota Auris.

The word “corolla” refers to the ring of petals around the central part of a flower (which is considered to be the most beautiful part of a flower). The name was intended to evoke the image of a beautifully styled, eye-catching, high-quality compact car.

Speaking five years ago on the 50th anniversary of the car’s launch, Tatsuo Hasegawa, chief engineer of the 1st generation said: “We started developing the first generation Corolla in around 1963-64, taking into consideration all aspects of society at the time, such as the wealth of the Japanese society and that of our customers, as well as their lifestyles, alongside how technology would advance as Japan’s economic development continued. We thought hard about what kind of technology was required, the costing and production output, and a suitable timeframe in which to develop the Corolla.”