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World 2011 Updated: Toyota Corolla above Ford Focus and VW Golf

Toyota Corolla

* See the Top 35 best-selling models by clicking on the title! *

I have been telling you that this world’s best selling models ranking published by Forbes was looking dodgy. Now that most 2011 world markets have come through, it is time for a big update and more accurate figures. Mixing up my own estimates with the hard work of Austin from Ford Inside News I can now share with you a definitive Top 35 best-selling models ranking for 2011!

Ford Focus

And if the Toyota Corolla is confirmed as 2011 world’s best-selling car with 1,141,709 sales, a big disappointment is in store for Hyundai fans: the Elantra is far from threatening the Corolla for the pole position and is not millionaire in 2011 in spite of what Forbes told you. Even including the 3 generations of the model still in production somewhere in the world, Elantra sales amount to 745,823 units, placing the model in 6th position…

VW Golf

In 2nd place we find the Ford Focus with 877,640 sales, followed by the VW Golf at 864,452 units and the VW Polo with 788,789 sales. The Ford Fiesta comes in 5th position at 765,511 units, ahead of the Hyundai Elantra, Wuling Sunshine (731,689 sales and not the 900,000+ reported by Forbes), Chevrolet Cruze, Ford F-Series and VW Jetta. Suddenly it all makes sense, doesn’t it?

Wuling Sunshine

Notice the Iranian Saipa Pride at #13, the Suzuki Alto at #18, Honda CR-V at #19, Hyundai Accent at #20 and just under 500,000 sales, Toyota Hilux, #1 in 34 countries, at #22, Toyota Prius at #28, Kia Forte at #29, Nissan Qashqai at #32, Skoda Octavia at #33 and Dacia Logan at #36.

You can see my original World 2011 article here (Caution: figures in that article are not correct).

Full Year 2011 Top 35 Ranking Table below.

World Full Year 2011:

1Toyota Corolla1,141,709
2Ford Focus877,640
3VW Golf864,452
4VW Polo788,789
5Ford Fiesta765,511
6Hyundai Elantra745,823
7Wuling Sunshine731,689
8Chevrolet Cruze704,691
9Ford F-Series698,306
10VW Jetta695,159
11VW Passat628,097
12Toyota Camry621,679
13Saipa Pride (e)618,265
14Opel Corsa591,505
15Nissan Tiida/Versa567,154
16Toyota Yaris/Vios555,952
17Honda Civic555,071
18Suzuki Alto542,940
19Honda CR-V (e)530,000
20Hyundai Accent499,556
21Hyundai Sonata497,401
22Toyota Hilux (e)490,000
23Honda Accord (e)488,000
24VW Gol479,134
25Chevrolet Silverado468,977
26Renault Clio (e)460,000
27Opel Astra457,957
28Toyota Prius435,000
29Kia Cerato/Forte410,709
30Suzuki Swift/Dzire389,624
31Wuling Rongguang/Xingwang382,762
32Nissan Qashqai382,564
33Skoda Octavia377,900
34Chevrolet Aveo373,888
35Chevrolet Spark362,377
36Dacia Logan350,671
37Buick Excelle350,582

Source: All usual sources for each country, many thanks to Ausrutherford for your help!

(e): Best Selling Cars estimate


Sales of Toyota Corolla include Corolla IX, X, Altis, Blade, Corolla hatch and Matrix, sales of Toyota Camry include Aurion as it is called Camry in most countries
Sales of VW Golf include Golf Plus, Golf IV, V and VI and does not include Jetta or Bora. Sales of VW Jetta include Jetta 2, 5, 6, Sagitar (China) and Clasico (Latin America). Sales of VW Gol include Voyage (sedan) and Parati (station wagon). Sales of VW Passat include Passat V, VI, VII, Magotan and CC, sales of Skoda Octavia include Laura (India) and Octavia I and II.
Sales of Hyundai Elantra include Elantra III, IV and V, i35 and Avante, exclude i30 and Elantra Touring. Sales of Hyundai Accent include Solaris, Verna and i25.
Sales of Buick Excelle include Excelle, Excelle GT and Verano. Sales of Opel Astra include Vauxhall Astra, Chevrolet Astra and Buick Excelle XT. Sales of Chevrolet Aveo include Sonic, Lova and Holden Barina. Sales of Chevrolet Spark include Spark I, II, Beat, Matiz and Holden Barina Spark. Sales of Opel Corsa include Vauxhall, Chevrolet Corsa, Chevrolet Classic and Chevy. Sales of Chevrolet Cruze include Holden Cruze.
Sales of Suzuki Alto include Alto 5 (India), Alto 7 and Japanese Alto
Sales of Renault Clio include Clio II and III, sales of Dacia Logan include Renault Logan
This Post Has 25 Comments
  1. At last, someone who has the nous to put together a proper global ranking! And it’s beautifully researched: you did what I would have done by including the Excelle XT with the Opel Astra, all the Corolla variants together, Sagitar and Clasico with Jetta, etc.

    Tiny question: did the Indian-market Chevrolet Optra Magnum and Colombian Chevrolet Optra Advance get counted among the Buick Excelle numbers (same car again)? I’m wondering if that might put it just ahead of the Logan.

    I am really grateful that you are transparent enough to have those notes and this is a really valuable page!

    1. Thanks Jack I really appreciate your praise!
      Make sure you check the more recent world updates as well 🙂
      Yep all Chevrolet Optras are counted with the Buick Excelle.
      Hope this helps

  2. Hi. Is the Auris not counted as part of the Corolla sales? It is just a rebadged Corolla hatchback no? As much a part of the Corolla family as the Matirx I’d have thought.

    1. Hi Carson,
      Yes the Auris is counted as part of Corolla sales.
      If you look at the notes at the bottom of the chart you will see an explanation about which models are counted as part of the different nameplates.

  3. One question to Matt: Volkswagen counts Passat, CC, Magotan and Santana together. Is the Santana (which is Passat II sedan) included in the Passat-sales? You also counted Jetta II together with Jetta/Bora etc.

    I know, this list is may be the most difficult one … 😉

  4. Amazing sales for the Qashqai. I think Nissan had estimated sales of about 60-80k cars a year, you can just image the type of money they’re making on each car they sell now.

  5. Well done Matt,far more reliable looking now…

    I assume Honda Accord figures are for both the US and Euro versions,with the Euro versions including the Honda Spirior in China,and Acura TSX in US markets ???

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