On this day in auto history - October 27th

Wed 27th Oct 2021

It was on this day in 1966 that the Toyota Corolla - the world’s best-selling motoring nameplate - was first unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Originally available in two-door and four-door form, the relatively basic, first-generation Corolla was Toyota’s first entry into Japan's rapidly-growing family car segment and profited from the marketability of having a slightly bigger engine (1100cc) than its principal rival, the Nissan Sunny (1000cc), which had been unveiled a few months earlier.

With new car sales in Japan doubling from 2 million to 4 million between 1966 and 1970, the Toyota Corolla was the archetypal 'right car at the right time’ and a well-received second-generation model featuring a more rounded exterior and significant engine upgrades was able to accelerate its growth markedly.

After a third generation Corolla was introduced in 1974, the vehicle officially became the best-selling model in the world with annual sales of over 300,000 - a trend which continued well into the 1980’s and 1990’s and eventually saw the Toyota Corolla officially displace the Volkswagen Beetle as the best-selling car in history during the summer of 1997.

Now on its 12th generation, the Toyota Corolla has over 43 million worldwide sales under its belt and continues to sell in huge across the globe, though less so in the UK where it has been badged as the Auris in recent years.

However, Toyota have confirmed the Corolla nameplate will soon return to the UK when a new generation of the vehicle is expected to be unveiled in 2020.