Both Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. claim that they have the top-selling car in the world in the first half of 2012. It’s actually not that simple and the criteria have to be defined first. Ford released a statement, citing researcher IHS Automotive, that the Focus is the No. 1 "single-car nameplate" (a vehicle sold under only one name) in terms of sales.
Ford sold 489,616 units in the first half of 2012, surpassing the 462,187 Corolla units sold. But when using this criterion, over 100,000 units that Toyota sold would be excluded such as the Corolla Verso wagon offered in Japan. Toyota said that the total Corolla sales in the first six months totalled 603,840 units, which include Corolla derivatives like the wagon offered in the U.S. as the Matrix.
Consumers are typically attracted to brands that top sales. Ford CEO Alan Mulally aims to increase worldwide sales by 50% to 8 million vehicles by 2015 but he is now pressured by the slow growth in China. Meanwhile, the European market has fallen to its lowest level in 17 years. Ford spokesman Mark Truby said that it is proud of the Focus’ momentum and customer demand worldwide.
Chris Hopson, a sales analyst for IHS, pointed out that aside from the Matrix, the calculation also excludes sales of Toyota's Auris (the Corolla;s name in Europe) as well as the Corolla Verso wagon offered in Japan. The IHS also leaves out the C-Max wagon, a Focus derivative, from Ford’s total figure. Toyota U.S. spokesman Mike Michels said that Toyota considers the Corolla to still be the most-popular car in the world, with about 722,000 units sold through July.