Last week, Ford boasted that the Ford Focus was the best-selling car in the world through the first half of 2012, but Toyota fired right back claiming its compact sits in the top spot. Which automaker is correct? Well, both. Kind of.

Ford says that the Ford Focus has sold 489,616 units through June compared to 462,817 for the Toyota Corolla, and it even hired an independent firm, IHS Automotive, to calculate the sales figures. And this is where things get confusing. See, Ford sells the Focus globally under one name, but the Toyota Corolla is also sold with different body styles that carry different names... and IHS Automotive's sales figure for Toyota does not include these models. As a counterpoint to the Focus hatchback, the Corolla is also available in a five-door form carrying the Toyota Matrix and Toyota Auris names, while the Corolla Fielder is Toyota's station wagon alternative to the Ford Focus Estate. The Scion xB is sold in Australia as the Corolla Rumion.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Toyota says that its Corolla-based models accounted for 603,840 through the same six-month period Ford claims its Focus was the top seller. Breaking the numbers down even further, Toyota says that the Auris and Corolla alone have managed 524,000 sales globally which is still more than Ford's Focus sales. In the U.S., the Focus has sold 147,877 units through July while the Corolla has sold 175,366 (including the Matrix).

Like a political debate, the numbers can probably be skewed in anyone's favor, and it should be just as fun to watch as the old General Motors and Toyota "we're the biggest in the world" arguments where each automaker found some obscure brand in its portfolio to add in a few thousand extra units. Regardless of which car actually hold the current top spot, though, what is for certain is that these are the two hottest cars in the world.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 121 Comments
      Aaron
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd accept the Corolla wagon as competitive numbers, but the Matrix and xB are more platform-mates, not true versions of the Corolla. To include those, you'd have to include the Focus platform mates like the C-Max and the Ford Kuga.
      merlot066
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well then the Escape, Kuga, C-max, Grand C-Max and any other "Focus based" car in any other country should count for Ford's Focus sales. Same thing goes for pickups in America. GM needs their trucks branded under two divisions. They decided to rebadge their pickups under GMC so they could charge slightly more. In doing so they can't claim they have the best selling nameplate like Ford can (although recently Ford has been outselling the Silverado and Sierra combined).
      Carpinions
      • 2 Years Ago
      I say Toyota is the loser with this argument, whether or not they've actually sold more cars under the Corolla name. I don't care how many vehicles run on the Corolla platform under different names, a different name is a different name. When did we start calling it the Corolla Matrix anyways? I've only ever seen this start happening in non-marketing references to the Matrix over the last few years. Honda doesn't count CR-V sales in Civic numbers. Ford doesn't count Edge/Flex sales in Fusion sales figures. Plus, Toyota using this strategy could mean they can claim the title almost indefinitely simply because of how they set up their naming/production schemes, ultimately making this statistic pointless.
        Fortune
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Carpinions
        What does the CRV have to do with the Civic? It doesnt mention the RAV 4 does it? The Auris and Corolla hatchback are exactly the same car but named differently but it still counts as the SAME car. Get your facts right.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Fortune
          [blocked]
      MastrCake
      • 2 Years Ago
      Okay, so if Toyota can count all cars based on the Corolla in their Corolla sales figures, and maybe Ford should count all c-platform vehicles. Isn't that a 10-model platform now?
        Bryan Pizzuti
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MastrCake
        Depends on if you still get to count the Mazdas (Mazda3, Mazda5) and Volvos (C30, S40, V50) as well. :)
      nettsu
      • 2 Years Ago
      the scion xB is sold in Australia as the Rukus I think the Rumion is in Japan
      zzz
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Scion XB is sold here in Aus as the Toyota Rukus not the Toyota Corolla Rumion. It's not even the same name plate.
      Squishy
      • 2 Years Ago
      "The Scion xB is sold in Australia as the Corolla Rumion" Nah, it's actually called the Rukus in Australia. A funny competition for bragging right and article though.
      RICHARD
      • 2 Years Ago
      F.O.R.D. fix or repair daily.
        KEN
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RICHARD
        Dick's all drive Chevy's.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RICHARD
        [blocked]
        Jaylgo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RICHARD
        What about Found On Road Dead?
      Addison Harlem Towin
      • 2 Years Ago
      At least Ford doesn't play the stupid platform games in counting sales numbers. Even the Transit Connect is Focus based. If you count all the platform mates of the Focus, Corolla would still lose. Man up Toyota and lick your wounds. You are behind the times and have been beat. The Corolla loses big time in the style contest too. I don't know why anyone with a choice would choose the Corolla. Ford just builds better cars.
      yyz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Please. A Matrix is not a Corolla. A Scion Xb is not a Corolla.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      North American spec Corolla is a piece of ****. Everyone knows that. 3rd gen Focus is a far better car. Not really fair to compare worldwide sales because the Corolla isn't the same car the world over.
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