October 26, 1966 – Toyota introduces what will become the best selling car ever, the Toyota Corolla

1966 toyota corolla
1966 Toyota Corolla debut (Toyota)

The Toyota Corolla, one of the most iconic and enduring nameplates in the automotive world, made its debut at the 13th Tokyo Motor Show on October 26, 1966. This marked the beginning of a remarkable journey for a compact car that would eventually become the best-selling nameplate in the world.

When was the Toyota Corolla first made?

At the time of its introduction, small Japanese cars like the Toyota Corona were already gaining popularity in the United States. However, the big news in Japan was the unveiling of the first Corolla. Toyota’s display at the 1966 Tokyo Motor Show featured the Corolla 1100 Deluxe, alongside the 2000GT sports car and other models, attracting the attention of more than 1.5 million visitors.

toyota corolla interior
1966 Toyota Corolla interior (Toyota)

A press release issued by Toyota on October 20, 1966, positioned the Corolla as the “most accessible car” in the market, designed to bring together the best of Toyota’s technologies for the public. The Corolla was described as a five-passenger vehicle from Japan, built to become a main fixture in Japanese society. It featured a water-cooled inline-four engine with 1,077 cc displacement and 60 horsepower, providing impressive performance for its class. The press release also emphasized that the Corolla boasted acceleration exceeding that of European cars in the same vehicle class, setting a high standard for Japanese compact cars.

What’s the best selling car ever?

The introduction of the Corolla to the United States in 1968 marked the beginning of its global presence. Since then, production of the Toyota Corolla has taken place in 13 countries and sold in more than 150 countries worldwide. With annual sales of more than 1.3 million units, the Corolla has achieved a remarkable milestone, with more than 50 million units sold globally to date. This achievement positioned the Toyota Corolla as the best-selling car of all time, surpassing even the iconic Volkswagen Beetle in 1997. For reference, the VW Beetle changed little over its production and sold 21,529,464 units between 1938 and 2003. The Toyota Corolla has consistently evolved throughout its life, keeping up with safety, style and technology norms.

First generation Toyota Corolla

The Corolla’s success can be attributed to its reliability, fuel efficiency, and affordability, making it a popular choice for consumers around the world. Its continued evolution and adaptability to changing automotive trends have cemented its place in history as a symbol of Toyota’s commitment to producing high-quality, accessible, and dependable vehicles.

2 Responses

  1. Toyota,Honda, and Subaru are almost bullet proof cars. I have owned all three, and never had any trouble with any of them. I bet GM, Ford, and Chrysler wish they could say that!

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