More than 44 million units have been sold worldwide since 1966.

Toyota is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its best-selling model and also the world’s most popular car - the immortal Corolla. Introduced for the first time in Japan in 1966, the vehicle now has more than 44 million sales worldwide.

Back in the 1960s, the Corolla was designed to be a people’s car and featured a roomy interior with floor-mounted gear lever, individual front bucket seats, and a spacious rear bench. The model needed only three years on the local market to become the top-selling vehicle and soon its success quickly spread to other countries around the world.

Toyota Corolla is the world's best selling car after 50 years

Only two years after its launch, the Corolla’s annual production more than doubled to 1.1 million units, all assembled in a new purpose-built factory in Takaoka. Exports to North America started in 1968, helping the model reach its first million sales by 1970.

Now in its eleventh generation, the model has enjoyed the status of being the world’s best-selling model since 1997, when cumulative sales reached 22.65 million. Currently, Toyota is selling two different versions of the Corolla for the North American and European markets. Both they are powered by the front wheels and offered as sedans.

Speaking of the latest generation Corolla, it’s good to mention it has basically nothing in common with the original model, as it is wider and longer, and uses a mechanically unrelated platform. For comparison, the Volkswagen Beetle, the second best-selling model in history and the first car to achieve twenty million units sold, remained virtually unchanged over the course of its 65-year run. Some even say it changed so little over the years that it is possible to mount a 1936 body on a 2003 chassis or vice-versa.

2017 Toyota Corolla 50th Anniversary Special Edition

Back to the Corolla, earlier this year Toyota launched the Corolla 50th Anniversary Edition (pictured above) for the United States based on the 2017 Corolla SE. The special edition model brings 17-inch alloys with dark gray inserts and a machine finish, revised LED headlights, and a Smart Key system with push button start.

Happy birthday, Corolla!

Source: Toyota

Photos: Toyota

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