The Toyota Corolla has reached yet another major milestone, with global sales having surpassed the 40 million mark in July.
First launched in Japan in 1966, the Corolla always had global ambitions and was destined to be a success - in fact Toyota managed to sell a million of them within four years.
South Africa got its slice of the action when Toyota SA began production of the third-generation model in 1975 and subsequent generations went on to become the country's best selling car in the 1980s and 1990s.
The Corolla, along with its hatchback derivatives - Conquest/Tazz and RunX - enjoyed numerous successes in both circuit racing and rallying. In fact, Serge Damseaux won all of his 10 South African rally championships in Corolla derivatives.
The Corolla's cup continued to flow abroad too and 1997 saw the Corolla overtake the VW Beetle as the world's top-selling vehicle nameplate of all time, with sales having surpassed the 22.65-million mark.
Today the Corolla is built in 15 countries, and sold in over 150 countries, as it enters its eleventh generation, and the new model is due to make its mark on our shores from early 2014.
According to current Toyota Corolla Chief Engineer Shinichi Yasui: “The key to the Corolla's success is the faithful passing down of its original development concept from Tatsuo Hasegawa: that the Corolla must bring happiness and well-being to people around the world.”