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.
The Toyota Corolla is considered to be America’s best-selling subcompact vehicle. This is mainly due to an excellent combination of performance that is fun to drive and responsive, that important safety record, and great value. Since it was first launched in 1966, it is estimated that at least 30 million units have been sold around the world.
For the 2011 model year, Toyota disclosed that a number of changes have been implemented. The exterior for instance shows that both the front section and the rear end have a new design. On the interior, changes were done to the design as well. The 2011 Corolla will have the Smart Stop Technology equipped as standard and it will even have the complimentary maintenance plan known as Toyota Care.
Toyota also said that two new colors will be offered for the exterior. Customers can choose from the three grades being offered for the 2011 Corolla which are the base model, the LE, and the S. Regardless of what trim is chosen though, they will be powered by the same four-cylinder DOHC 1.8-liter engine. The engine is able to deliver output of 132 hp available at 6,000 rpm with peak torque of 128 lb.-ft. and accessible at 4,400 rpm.
With the engine fitted with the Dual Variable Valve Timing that has intelligence controls, or VVT-i, this results in both the performance and the fuel economy being optimized. What this does is to control the timing of the valves not just on the intake but also on the exhaust camshafts. Further, the internal components of the engine have been optimized so that friction is lowered.
The brand’s very own Star Safety System is included which has systems like the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assist, and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). Included as well is the Traction Control (TRAC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). As mentioned earlier, the brake-override system known as Smart Stop Technology is included as standard. The 2011 Corolla will make its official debut during the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show with sales expected to begin by December.