Man has bought more Toyota Corollas than any other car in history. On its 50th birthday, we celebrate the true
Man has bought more Toyota Corollas than any other car in history. On its 50th birthday, we celebrate the true "people's car" and its 44 million global sales.

Toyota Corolla's 50th birthday: the world's best seller

HAPPY 50th Toyota Corolla, you've had a pretty good first half century old mate.  

It was October 1966 when what was to become the best-selling car of all time first hit showrooms in Japan.

Australia swiftly followed as we became the first destination for Corolla exports, and we duly received the "people's car" locally in early 1967.  

Half a century on some 44 million Corollas have been sold globally, outselling other old stagers the Ford F-Series truck, VW Golf and VW Beetle.   

1967 Toyota Corolla KE10.Photo: Contributed
1967 Toyota Corolla KE10.Photo: Contributed

Best selling cars of all time:   

1. Toyota Corolla (44 million).   

2. Ford F-Series truck (35 million).   

3. Volkswagen Golf (28 million).   

4. Volkswagen Beetle (24 million).   

5. Honda Civic (19 million).   

6. Ford Escort (18 million).    

To put those incredible figures in perspective, that global sales tally equates to approximately 100 Corollas being built and sold every hour over the past 50 years, or one ever 36 seconds.  

Most Australians will have a story or two to tell involving a Toyota Corolla. Perhaps your parents had one while you were growing up, maybe it was your first car or the one that served faithfully on your first road trip...or first romantic encounter.  

Anecdotally speaking, we know they're bomb proof. Think what you like about Toyotas, but most will admit they're bloody reliable, and the Corolla can be thanked for playing a huge part in that. It's why you'll see numerous decades-old Corollas still littering the classifieds sections. Drive it 'til it dies? You'll be waiting a long time.  

So they may not be the sexiest cars to ever grace our roads and driveways, but we Aussies have bought over 1.35 million of them across the years. We took home over 666,000 locally built ones as part of that number; Corollas constructed in Melbourne between 1968 and 1999 in Toyota factories at Port Melbourne, Dandenong and Altona.

1975 Toyota Corolla KE30.Photo: Contributed
1975 Toyota Corolla KE30.Photo: Contributed

Any sign of sales slowing down? Not a chance. Corolla has been our best selling car for the past three years.

It took more than eight years for the first 100,000 Corollas to be sold in Australia, while the most recent 100,000 sales took just over two years and four months.  

Just imagine how many they'll shift in the next 50 years...   

2016 Toyota Corolla Hybrid.Photo: Contributed
2016 Toyota Corolla Hybrid.Photo: Contributed

Model: Toyota Corolla.  

First produced: October 1966, Toyota City, Japan.  

Arrived in Australia: 1967.  

Australian built Corollas (from 1968-99): Over 660,000 in Victoria.  

Corollas sold in Australia: 1.35million and counting.  

Number sold globally to date:  Over 44 million.  

Number of generations: Eleven.  

Fun fact: In the last 50 years, on average, a Corolla has been sold every 36 seconds.    

1989 Toyota Corolla AE90 Seca.Photo: Contributed
1989 Toyota Corolla AE90 Seca.Photo: Contributed


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