The Ford Focus made big waves recently after market researcher R.L. Polk & Co. reported that the car outsold all other vehicles in 2012 thanks in part to strong sales in China. While this should be a cause for celebration among fans of non-boring compact cars, Toyota, the king of boring compact cars, fired back to say that their Corolla is still number one.

Reuters reports that Toyota claims 1.16 million Corollas were sold globally last year, which the company says trumps Ford's 1.02 million Focus sales. This figure includes tons of exciting Corolla flavors in various markets, including the Corolla Altis, Corolla Axio, Corolla Wagon, Corolla Fielder and Corolla Rumion, a Toyota spokesman told Reuters. (Interestingly, their figure doesn't count derivatives like the Scion xB or Toyota Matrix.)

Bertel Schmitt over at The Truth About Cars obtained data that seems to back up Toyota's claim. Here's what he reported:

TTAC obtained a spreadsheet from Toyota’s car counting department that shows the Corolla ahead of the Focus any way you look at it. The Toyota Sedan alone racked up 1,083,610 in sales, handily beating the 1,020,410 of the Focus. Various other Corolla versions bring the name plate total to 1,160,764.

Would one count the many derivatives and other model names under which the Corolla is sold around the globe, the total would grow to 1,381,842 units.


Assuming all these methods of counting cars and gathering data are equal, it seems Ford may have spoken too soon when they said the Focus outsold all other cars, including the Corolla. I know which one I would rather drive, though.

Update: Toyota VP Mike Michels sent this statement on the situation. The important part is in bold.

"Toyota sold 1.16 million Corolla vehicles globally in 2012 compared to 1.02 million Focus nameplate registrations recently attributed to R.L. Polk by Ford Motor Company. Corolla sedan alone sold 1.08 million. Corolla registrations attributed to Polk come up short by nearly 300,000 units. This discrepancy is glaring and we have requested clarification.