Though big marketing firms with their ever-bigger budget campaigns would have you believe that the Ferraris and the Mercedes rule the world of automobiles, the fact of the matter still remains that success in this field, as with any other industry, is measured solely on the basis on net sales. Whether you had a poster of a McLaren F1 above your bed or had fantasies of owning a Rolls Royce or an Aston Martin as a child, chances are you still grew up to buy a sensible car that gets you from point A to B in the most convenient, economical and cost-effective way.
It is, therefore, not surprising at all the some of the most iconic vehicles of all times do not even figure on this list which is filled by brands you may have seen in your grandparents’ homes but the ugly truth still remains that these vehicle, though they may not be the most swashbuckling or iconic hall-of-famers but they still made the shareholders of their parent companies very rich indeed and were re-launched across many different generations that only added to their measure of success! Here’s a compilation of the top 10 best selling cars of all time:
1. Toyota Corolla 1966
Approximate Sales: 35,050,000
Small by North American standards, the Toyota Corolla was first launched in Japan in 1966 before being brought over to the US a couple of years later. The rear wheel drive featured a 1.1 liter engine that outputted 60 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and this original engined Corolla lasted only two years in the market. With a few modifications, however, the model proved to be quite a success and the modern unit-body shell of the model appealed to a range of buyers. The two-barrel carburetor-fitted engine stood out from its single-barrel competitors with a synchronized four-speed manual transmission also beating the three-speed standards on other vehicles.
2. Volkswagen Golf I 1974
Approximate Sales: 25,100,000
The best selling Volkswagen car ever with its five generations selling approximately 25 million units, the Volkswagen Golf was launched as a model that would the popular Beetle. Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, an Italian automobile designer/architect from the ItalDesign design studio, the history-making Golf debuted in May 1974 and used the Citroën Traction Avant-pioneered water-cooled, FWD layout that won it the Car of the Year award given by Wheels magazine for the year 1975. Short for Golf-Strom, the German word for the Gulf Stream, the Golf’s name was supposed to reflect its international character though its marketers decided that buyers in the west would not understand the German name and hence launched the model as Rabbit in the US and as the Caribe across Latin America.
3. Volkswagen Beetle 1938-2003
Approximate Sales: 21,529,464
The first prototypes of the Beetle were seen in the year 1935 and the Wolfsburg-based VW plant began series production of the model in the December of 1945. the first customers of the VW Beetle was the British military who ordered 200 trailers, 500 special vehicles and 20,000 cars; that order could only be completed in mid-1945. beginning with a humble 55 units in its first year, the last Beetle to have rolled off the production plants bore the number 21,529,480, rounding off an amazing and record-breaking run for the vehicle that almost single-handedly became a symbol of the post-war German economic boom.
4. Honda Civic 1972
Approximate Sales: 16,500,000
The car that almost single-handedly created a nice for Japanese cars in the American and European markets, the subcompact Honda Civic was first introduced in July 1972 as a 2-door model with 3-door hatchback variant following soon after. sold as a 1973 model, the first generation Honda Civic was a front-wheel drive with an 1169 cc engine that outperformed its lesser economic American rivals with its well finished and reliable construction making it a crowd favorite during the oil crises of the ‘70s. having gone through several generational changes since, the first gen Honda Civics were infamous for rusting and were considerably depreciated in less than three years from purchase especially in colder regions where salt was widely used in the snow season though consumer demand for the fuel efficient vehicle remained high throughout its lifetime.
5. Ford Escort/Orion 1983-2003
Approximate Sales: 20,000,000
Built specifically for the European market, the Ford Orion sold over 3,534,239 units though its 10-year lifespan making it a real international success story for the American automaker. based on the Ford Escort, the Orion came with a greater rear overhang, a notch-back rear end and a separate trunk which kept the silhouette of the car closer to the traditional four-door saloons an filled in the gap left by the rising number for hatchbacks in the market. Fitted with 1300 cc and 1600 cc CVH engines, the Orion also came with a 1.6 diesel engine with small family car getting up market airs thanks to the inclusion of a tachometer, rear head restraints, electric windows, front sport seats, sunroof, and central locking all of which weren’t the standard equipment for models in its segment.
6. Ford Model T 1908-1927
Approximate Sales: 16,536,075
Introduced in 1908, the Ford Model T can easily be billed the automotive industry's truly first global car. With dealerships in six continents, the Ford Model T was manufactured in several countries and held almost 57 percent of the world's automobile production by the year 1921. For the social impact it had in America and the influence it had on the automotive industry at large, the iconic Ford vehicle was dubbed the Car of the 20th Century. Introduced at a retail price of $850, the model later sold for as less as $260 since moving assembly line enabled mass production of vehicles and led to radically lower car costs.
Opening the way for industrial production of automobiles, the Model T factories also employed minorities, people with disabilities, women, immigrants, and other people who could not find jobs and the rise of the middle-class via the establishment of an eight-hour work day and minimum wage. Easily the best sold model of its time, the Model T had sold over 472,000 units by the year 1916.
7. Nissan/Datsun Pulsar 1966-2006
Approximate Sales: 16,000,000
a bestseller from a Japanese automaker, the Nissan Pulsar is also known as the Nissan Sunny/Sentra/Tsuru though it came into being as the Datsun 1000 in 1966. having gone through 10 reincarnations since its debut, the vehicle proved to be a major rage around the globe and has sold over 16 million units since its launch.
8. Volkswagen Passat 1973
Approximate Sales: 15,000,000
The first of a new generation of Volkswagen vehicles, the Passat had been in the works since 1973 and was partially based on the Audi 80/Fox. Using new engineering expertise from their acquisition of Audi in 1964, the Volkswagen Group’s new models targeted the saloon /sedan market segment with the water-cooled engined modern front-wheel drive car. Like the Golf, the Passat too derived its name from an international climate phenomenon and its name was derived from the German word for the trade winds.
9. Honda Accord 1976
Approximate Sales: 15,800,000
Launched in 1976, the first gen Honda Accord was a 68 hp 3-door hatchback that offered great fueleconomy packed in a moderate size. the first Japanese small car that competed with the like of Mitsubishi Galant, Mazda Capella, Nissan Stanza, and Toyota Corona, the Accord came with standard equipment previously not seen on a car its size like an AM/FM radio, intermittent wipers, a tachometer, and cloth seats.
10. Chevrolet Impala/Caprice 1958
Approximate Sales: 13,000,000
Signaling Chevy's entry into the mid-price vehicle segment, the Impala used its vigorous performance, easy handling and pleasing body style to justify the stunning publicity that preceded its launch. Dubbed the new range-topping Bel Air model, the 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala came as an exclusive model offered only as a convertible or a Sport Coupe.