Toyota's Bread And Butter Nameplate Turns 50

Industry News

In 50 years the Toyota has supplied the world over 44 million of them.

44.3 million units. That's how many Corollas Toyota has shifted in fifty years. When you average that out, we're looking at roughly 886,000 units a year. The success was worldwide after the model started being exported outside of Japan not too long after the 1966 launch of the car. Corollas made their way to the U.S. in 1968 and with such a large market as part of the consumers added to worldwide sales, within a year in excess of a million Corollas were sold. Those are numbers that cannot be argued with.

While the model has had a few performance-orientated variants, it's never really been seen as any sort of tarmac terror, that was left to the aftermarket tuners. Older rear-wheel drive Corollas are commonplace with engine swaps from other Toyotas, like the Supra, and front -wheel drive cars saw big turbo conversions. You'd think that with a cult-like following Toyota would have created a Corolla with some power. The lack of such a model is probably why the Corolla has a reputation as being an affordable and more importantly, a reliable car. It took 33 years for a rival to dethrone the Corolla as Japan's top-seller, and that 2002 title was Honda's practical and equally reliable Fit hatchback.

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The Corolla was designed by Hasegawa San (Tatsuo), and he incorporated some design techniques he has used during World War II when he used to design aircrafts. Tatsuo gave the Corolla an air of sportiness even though it was touted as a family car. We're not sure where sportiness comes in with an 1,100 cc engine and a four-speed manual though. Since those early days there have been eleven generations of the Corolla, and the car is still loved by young and old alike. The car is manufactured in 13 countries around the world and sold in over than 150 countries. With stats like that under it's belt, we don't reckon anyone will match the Corolla's success any time soon.