• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

‘Corolla was 2012 global sales leader’

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 Toyota has contradicted Ford’s opinion that the Focus was the best-selling car in 2012, saying that in fact it was Corolla which retained the global sales lead. Last week Tuesday, Ford announced that its Focus was the best-selling vehicle last year with 1.02 million units sold, citing data published by R.L. Polk & Co, surpassing the 872,774 Corolla vehicles sold by Toyota.

But in a swift reaction, Mike Michels, the Toyota United States vice president of communications, said in an e-mailed statement, that “Toyota sold 1.16 million Corolla nameplate vehicles globally in 2012. Corolla registrations attributed to Polk come up short by nearly 300,000 units. This discrepancy is glaring and we have requested clarification.”

It would be recalled that Ford and GM struggled to revamp their US vehicle line-up in an effort to surpass Toyota and Honda in a segment dominated by them for decades. Ford Fusion mid-size sedan, which was redesigned in 2012, continues to gain ground on the Toyota Camry, which is the best-selling car for the past 11 years in the country. During the first quarter, the Camry led the Fusion with almost 100,000 units.

The difference between the numbers reported by Toyota and those posted by Polk might be the fact that the Japanese automaker has taken into consideration sales of the Corolla Axio and Corolla Altis models.

According to R.L. Polk data, the Ford Focus was last year’s best-selling passenger vehicles in the world. In 2012 Ford sold 1.02 million Focus vehicles, followed by Toyota Corolla with 872,774 units and the Ford F-Series with 785,630 units, from which 645,316 units sold in the US. The Ford Fiesta managed to take the 6th place. “Focus and Fiesta represent the culmination of our One Ford global product strategy,” said Ford marketing chief Jim Farley.

It seems that Ford’s ‘One Ford’ strategy really pays off thanks to CEO Alan Mulally who spent years to make Ford’s compact cars, such as the Focus, be manufactured the same way at a plant anywhere in the world. A car which is known by the same name in any market boosts brand equity and helps the automaker to reduce costs.