2011-2013 Toyota Corolla

Both Toyota and Ford claim to have the world’s top-selling car for the second time in seven months, and once again demonstrate that claiming that title isn’t as simple as just counting cars. Yesterday Ford claimed its Focus was the leading car with 1.02 cars sold, according to data compiled by R.L. Polk & Co.; that same data claimed Toyota sold 872,774 Corollas. However, today Toyota says that it sold 1.16 million Corollas.

Last year in August, both automakers had a similar argument, where Ford cited IHS Automotive data to say the Ford Focus lead in global sales, but that data excluded the Corolla Matrix in the US, Auris in Europe, and Verso in Japan.

“There’s no simple answer here–it’s basically for bragging rights, so you define it however you like to suit your purposes. Suffice it to say these are both global models that are extremely popular and whose sales are likely to grow as the volumes in developing countries increase,” said Alan Baum, principal of Baum & Associates, an auto consulting firm in West Bloomfield, Michigan told Boomberg Businessweek.

It is hard to come up with a pure number for both parties, as Polk isn’t able to provide the data on nameplates beyond what is released, especially as the global reports lag by three to four months. Polk numbers for Toyota come up almost 300,000 units short, a large enough discrepancy that Toyota has formally requested clarification.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

Ford, Toyota

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