As it has been the case for almost two years now, Toyota and Ford are at odds when it comes to declaring which is the best-selling car in the world. Ford quotes Polk saying the Ford Focus is #1 (as it did in 2012) with 1,097,618 units sold last year including 317,110 in Europe and 403,219 in China. Toyota for its part says the Corolla leads the way with 1.2 million units, adding up to 40,820,000 sales since the nameplate originally launched in the sixties. Who is right?
BestSellingCarsBlog has spoken, and the Toyota Corolla wins the title of best-selling car in the world for 2013, roughly confirming both manufacturers’ figures. The Corolla leads with 1,245,404 sales vs. 1,107,253 for the Ford Focus. Keep in mind these remain temporary figures and will be slightly refined in the next couple of weeks.
As usual there are a lot of different ways to skin this cat especially on Toyota’s side, and the decisions to include or not certain versions have created a lot of debate over the years on BSCB. So today and for the first time I detail the exact splits for the different models and generations that make up these worldwide sales figures, with the only unknown being the split between the last two generations of Corolla (10 and 11) which were both on sale worldwide in 2013. This way you can play with the figures and decide which car in your view should earn the world best-seller title.
The Corolla methodology is as follows: the sales figure includes the 9th generation still sold in China, as it is slightly facelifted now but still for the most part faithful to the original model, unlike for example the Chinese Jetta not into worldwide Jetta sales as the current model is not a facelifted 2nd gene anymore but an entirely new car. In the same vein, the Japanese Corolla was not included in the Corolla total as it has departed from the original model. Estimated US Matrix sales have been deduced from the Corolla total as well, and finally Auris sales were included as this very same model is called Corolla hatchback outside of Europe.
For the Focus it’s much simpler, as the total figure includes the IIf generation still on sale in China and the hatchback and station wagon versions which retain the Focus nameplate. Based on all these numbers, Ford is still not right to claim the title of best-selling nameplate in the world. If we count the cars that actually have the Corolla nameplate printed on them (no Auris but including the Japanese Corolla) we arrive at 1,201,238 sales vs. 1,107,253. Only when deducting both the Auris and the Japanese Corolla is the Ford Focus worldwide best-seller by the skin of its teeth at 1,107,253 units vs. 1,099,574.
Toyota Corolla vs. Ford Focus – Full Year 2013:
|including Corolla IX (China)||147,921|
|including Auris (Europe)||145,830|
|NOT including Matrix (USA)||unknown, est. 2,000|
|NOT including Corolla XI (Japan)||101,664|
|including Focus IIf (China)||unknown, est.133,200|
Source: All usual sources worldwide.