Toyota Motor Corp says Toyota Corolla sales worldwide indicate this small car has retained its top global sales lead in 2012, despite claims from Ford that Focus is No. 1.
Could it be that Focus will be unseated?
Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest automaker, said its Corolla small car retained the global sales lead in 2012, contradicting Ford Motor Co’s position that the Focus small car was No. 1.
Ford yesterday said it grabbed the title with 1.02 million Focus compact sales, citing data compiled by R.L. Polk & Co. The Dearborn, Michigan-based carmaker said that topped 872,774 for the Corolla, citing Polk, an automotive data company based in Southfield, Michigan.
“Toyota sold 1.16 million Corolla nameplate vehicles globally in 2012,” Mike Michels, the carmaker’s U.S. vice president of communications, said late yesterday in an e-mailed statement. “Corolla registrations attributed to Polk come up short by nearly 300,000 units. This discrepancy is glaring and we have requested clarification.”
Polk is unable to provide data on global sales by nameplate beyond what Ford has released, said Michelle Culver, a Polk spokeswoman who works for Lambert, Edwards & Associates.
Erich Merkle, Ford’s U.S. sales analyst, reiterated late yesterday that Focus was the “best-selling nameplate.” The 1.02 million figure “is a pure number that is verified by a third party,” Merkle said in an e-mail statement. “In this case, Polk.”
The difference in global tallies by Toyota and Polk may be that the Japanese automaker includes sales of models with names such as Corolla Axio and Corolla Altis. The U.S. sales unit of the Toyota City, Japan-based company is in Torrance, California.
Ford and Detroit-based General Motors Co. have revamped their U.S. car offerings to win sales in a segment dominated for decades by Toyota and Tokyo-based Honda Motor Co. Fusion, Ford’s mid-size sedan that was redesigned last year, is gaining ground on Toyota’s Camry, the top-selling U.S. car for 11 consecutive years. Camry held a lead over Fusion of 100,830 to 80,558 after the first quarter.