Thursday October 13, 2016
This year the Toyota Corolla reaches its 50th anniversary, another leap for the world’s most popular car.
The Corolla was designed to be a “people’s car”. It had a high build quality, as well as estate body styles, which for its time, were lavish features. These features included such luxuries as a gear lever mounted to the floor, a spacious rear bench that was linked to a family sofa and individual font bucket seats. However, the car was in fact classed as a compact car, with its high roof making the interior feel capacious.
There were high hopes for the Corolla, hope which were soon realised with the first generation model becoming Japan’s Top –selling vehicle within three years. Furthermore, since it was introduced in Japan in 1966, more than 44 million have been sold worldwide. Incredibly, one in every five vehicles sold in Toyotas 79-year history, has been a Corolla.
Following the Toyota Corona, the Corolla was the second model to be imported by Toyota, into the UK showrooms. It continued to be available up to 2008. When the Corolla name was dropped from the original Verso compact MPV, it had achieve more than 560,000 sales.
Within two years of Toyota opening a purpose built factory in Takaoka, the production of region specific versions in Australia and Malaysia where underway. Annual production for the original Corolla would more than double to 1.1million cars produced, per year, by 1968.
Although the Corolla was designed to be a family car, the car was often modified by enthusiasts, and even used for racing. The famous Corolla GT rear-wheel drive model was driven by Chris Hodgetts to victory in the 1986 British Touring Car Championship.
The cumulative sales of the Corolla reached 22.65 million. However, by 2013 that figure passed through the 40 million mark. The Toyota Corolla has truly been the world’s best-selling car model since 1997.