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Toyota Snags Two More Sales Records

Corolla again dominates global sales.

by on Jan.25, 2016

Toyota completely redesigned the Corolla in 2014, aiming to shed its plain vanilla image.

While it has yet to release its final, 2015 results, Toyota is expected to retain its crown as the world’s best-selling automaker, a lead it has held since 2012. But the Japanese automaker has two other victories it can celebrate.

The Toyota Corolla was yet again the world’s best-selling vehicle in 2015, with buyers snapping up 1,339,024 of the compact model. That’s up 4.7% for the year, with the Corolla accounting for a whopping 1.5% of the global new vehicle market. It also marks the highest sales for any single vehicle in automotive history, according to tracking service Focus2Move.

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Despite the headaches it suffered as a result of the revelation last September that it had cheated on diesel emissions tests, Volkswagen managed to nudge its way into second place with the compact Golf line delivering a hefty 8.4% jump in sales for the year, at 1,041,279 vehicles sold worldwide.

Despite the strong performance of the Golf, Volkswagen’s total worldwide volume slipped 2%, to 9.93 million, putting it just ahead of General Motors, which reported 2015 sales of 9.84 million. Toyota was also expected to be down slightly for the year, but still over the 10 million mark.

(GM closes the gap, but VW still holds 2nd worldwide. Click Here for the rest of that story.)

The 2015 global round-up delivered a mix of good news and bad news for Ford Motor Co. For much of the past decade, the Detroit maker’s own compact entry, the Focus, was a solid number two behind the Toyota Corolla. It slipped to fourth on the list, reports Focus2Move, global sales for the familiar nameplate down a hefty 19.4% last year.

The VW Golf moved into second place, in part due to slumping sales of the Ford Focus.

All told, Ford sold just 826,221 copies of the Focus in 2015, down from 1,025,467 the year before. That was the sharpest decline of any of the nameplates still on the global top 10 list.

On the plus side, the Ford F-Series line clawed its way up to third on the list, rebounding from a slow start for the all-new aluminum-intensive F-150 model last year. The F-150 retained its crown as both the best-selling truck and best-selling vehicle overall in the U.S. market. But it has relatively little presence outside North America.

All told, Ford sold 920,172 of its full-size trucks in 2015, a 1.6% year-over-year improvement.

(Ford pulling out of Japan, Indonesia. Click Here to see why.)

Toyota rounded out the top five models with the Camry, which underwent an extensive, mid-cycle remake for the 2015 model-year. Sales actually slipped by 1.9% for the full calendar year, to 754,154. But Hyundai saw demand for its Elantra plunge an even more dramatic 9.1% for the year, to 746,924, the Korean compact sliding from fifth to sixth on the chart.

VW was back with the seventh-ranked Polo, with sales of 698,82, up 2.2%. Honda was next on the list with the CR-V. It maintained its eighth-place spot despite a 2.5% drop to 696,594.

The Ford F-Series - the F-150 shown here - is America's top-seller, and third worldwide.

While the global top 10 list has long been dominated by compact models like Corolla, Focus and Elantra, pickup trucks have been the big exception thanks to the critical U.S. market. And last year saw a surge of demand as fuel prices steadily dipped.

The Chevrolet Silverado made the most dramatic leap of any model at the top of the sales charts last year, surging from 16th to 9th on the global list. It finished 2015 with sales of 669,683, a strong 12.9% surge for the year.

Rounding out the top 10 was another compact ute, the Toyota RAV4. The third Toyota on the list, it gained 5.5% to close 2015 with sales of 664,382.

Looking at the top 100 models, Focus2Move reports the biggest losers on the list were the Ford Fiesta, which reported a 21.5% decline in sales – sliding nine spots on the list, to 18th; and the Chevrolet Cruze, which fell five spots, to 16th, with sales off 16.2% for the year.

(For the latest on VW’s diesel woes, Click Here.)

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