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World March 2012 updated: is the Prius the #1 car in the world?

Toyota Prius

* See the Top 20 best-selling models by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Austin *

In my March 2012 World round-up I had ventured a rough estimation of the Top 10 best-selling cars in the world for that month, with the Toyota Prius family at 106,522 units and the Corolla at 102,000, making it the first time ever a hybrid car topped the worldwide models ranking. Now that pretty much all splits and detailed data has come through and thanks to the work of Austin Rutherford I can share with you a Top 20 ranking for March that is a little less rough…

Toyota Corolla

Disappointment for Prius fans at first sight: with 106,909 units sold in March the Prius family trails the Corolla at 111,725. Still astounding figures for both nameplates, placing them at a rate of above 1 million annual units! As a reminder the Prius figure includes 3 different bodystyles: the Prius ‘standard’ sells 48,160 units, the Prius c aka Aqua sells 34,522 and the Prius MPV sells 24,227. However from the Corolla’s side, the total figure includes loads of Matrix sales (the two models are not split in the US), over 8,000 Auris and 13,411 previous generation Corollas sold in China. Without these, the Prius family is on top an by far… So it all depends which way you look at it…

Ford Focus

The Ford Focus is very close to my original estimate and stays in third position with 97,365 sales which has to be one of the nameplate’s strongest worldwide months ever since it launched in 1998. Boosted by a huge market in the UK the Ford Fiesta is up one spot compared to my original estimate to #4 with 87,315 sales, followed by the VW Golf at 83,426. Very strong in the States, the Toyota Camry takes a remarkable 6th place with 77,431 sales vs.#12 over the Full Year 2011.

Honda CR-V

Extremely strong figures as well for the VW Jetta at #7 with 76,964 units, the Chevrolet Cruze at 75,200 and the VW Polo at 74,610. Helped by a successful launch in Brazil and India the Nissan Versa/Tiida/Sunny rounds up the Top 10 at just under 72,000 units. At 66,240 units, the Honda CR-V sells even more than what I had predicted (61,200) and should deliver the nameplate’s strongest worldwide month ever, but ranks #13 vs. #8 in my original estimate.

Honda Fit

The Hyundai Elantra drops from #6 in 2011 to #14 this month and the Wuling Sunshine goes from #7 to #17, reversely the Hyundai Accent is up to #16 with 56,645 sales while the Honda Fit, boosted by a best-ever score in Japan, goes from #32 to #18 and the Suzuki Swift/Dzire, helped by record-breaking sales in India, goes from #31 to #19. Now that production is back to normal in Thailand, the Toyota Hilux returns inside the Top 20 at #20 this month.

Previous article: World March 2012 round-up: Toyota Prius breaks a leg

Previous year: World 2011: Updated Top 100 now available!

Full March 2012 World Top 20 Ranking Table below.

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