It is time to write about the best-selling car in the world. No, it is neither the T-model from Ford nor the VW Beetle. There is one from which so many have been sold as of both together. We are talking about the Toyota Corolla.
The year is 1966. There was the engineer Tatsuo Hasegawa working for Toyota in the United States. The observed inter alia, the scene also and reported it to Japan. Who would have thought that there thereupon a certain Opel Kadett was perceived, produced at the Bochum plant since 1962.
A new car with a new plant in order to defy the VW Beetle who governs relatively unchanged for almost 30 years. Toyota wanted exactly the same and took the Kadett as an example. At that time the program consisted of the Publica with 0.7 and the Corona with 1.5 litres displacement. Therein would fit a new car with initially planned 1.0 litre.
Cars up to 1 litre were tax-favored in Japan at that time.
But the Corolla would hardly become so famous, had not played a role several factors. There was first the slightly sophisticated equipment by the previously known rather as a low cost producer in this class. With 1.1 litre of displacement one fought first of all successful the Nissan Sunny appearing simultaneously in Japan.
Four-speed transmissions with stick shift were mainly sold, although in Japan were found rather three gears until then, which were changed at the steering wheel. It was an automat with two stages optional, the car was even prepared on the installation of an air conditioning. This was certainly not a bad precondition for the export to USA starting two years later.
There were still more positive developments in connection with the 'birth' of the first Corolla. So the already close component suppliers worked together more intensively with the factory. That was the just-in-time production, many years before it came to Europe. And then there were the serious deficiencies in the American quality assurance and customer treatment.
To make it short, Toyota managed a doubling of sale the Corolla in U.S. in the first-year. Together with the improvements carried to the vehicle in 1970, one gradually rose from 21 to 2nd place at the imported vehicles behind the Volkswagen Beetle. The Corolla development branched in addition to the 1.2 litre with 54/57 kW (73/78 SAE HP) in engines with 1.4 litre displacement and various bodies since the Tokyo Motor Show in 1970. There were two-, four-door limousines three- and five-door station wagons, coupé even with hard top in different variations.
The reason why the Corolla was refused the officially expressed fame as top-selling car in the world, were the countless variations which had partially removed also far from the original construction. There were subsumed already existing type series under the name 'Corolla'. Once that was a chassis with front engine and rear wheel drive via a rigid axle, depending on body structure already leaf or coil sprung. There were always disc brakes up front and space-saving MacPherson struts.
The engines were all four-cylinder in-line engines with up to 1.84 liters of displacement. Among them there were also DOHC power trains with up to 85 kW (115 HP) and a diesel engine in the eighties. Amazingly, at early times of the standard drive the wheelbase was the same as at the competitor VW Beetle, 2.4 meters. The change to transverse front-wheel drive was done for the station wagon not until 1987, otherwise as one of the last manufacturers in this segment 1983.
The success of the Corolla was continued. Especially the 1992 appearing version was considered as not eye-catching nice, but as legendary durable. It will counted a total of 10 model generations. There are counted a total of 10 model generations. The model series overcame the 40 million hurdle in 2013. It is still sold under that name, e.g., only no longer in Germany. 06/13