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Toyota Corolla turns 50

It overtook the Ford Model T and VW Beetle 20 years ago as the biggest selling car on the planet. Now 44 million have been sold.

The world's biggest selling car, the Toyota Corolla, has turned 50 after celebrating more than 44 million sales.

The Corolla overtook the Ford Model T (16.5 million) and VW Beetle (21.5 million) as the biggest selling car on the planet almost 20 years ago, in 1997, and hasn't looked back since.

Japan’s “people’s car” was introduced in October 1966 but, 11 generations later, it is now made in 16 factories around the world.

Australians have always loved Corolla because it has continually captured their imagination.

The Corolla was even made in Australia for 31 years, from 1968 to 1999, across Toyota assembly lines in Dandenong, Port Melbourne and Altona, with more than 666,000 built here.

But these days Australia sources the Corolla hatch from Japan and the sedan from Thailand.

Toyota says the global sales tally equates to approximately 100 cars being built and sold every hour throughout the past half a century, or one every 36 seconds.

The Corolla has been Australia’s best-selling car for the past three years in a row, and there are now more than 1.35 million on our roads; the one-millionth Corolla was sold in Australia in September 2007.

“Australians have always loved Corolla because it has continually captured their imagination by being affordable, fuel-efficient, dependable and fun to drive through each of its 11 generations,” said Toyota Australia’s executive director of sales and marketing, Tony Cramb.

It took more than eight years for the first 100,000 Corollas to be sold after its introduction in 1967. The most recent 100,000 sales took just over two years.

Do you have a Corolla story? Tell us your experience in the comments below.