Did you know that every single minute of every single day, two brand new Corollas drive out of a Toyota factory somewhere in the world?
Meaning a ‘group of flowers’, the original brief to the very first Corolla Chief Engineer was to create a car that would cause full-scale, global motorisation to blossom. It would seem then that the Toyota Corolla has definitely lived up to its name.
Of course it’s not just about the numbers, but when you’re talking Corolla, they tell a fascinating story:
An inauspicious start in 1966 saw Toyota kick off annual production of the Corolla in November of that year with approximately 240 000 vehicles produced at its new Takaoka Japan factory and exports began immediately;
Eleven generations on and with 16 manufacturing sites in America, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Pakistan, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam and Venezuela, Corolla has clocked up more than 40 million sales worldwide, making it the best-selling automotive nameplate in history;
With customers in more than 150 countries, over 1.1 million Corollas find new homes each year;
Up to November 2013, over 1 million Corollas had been produced and about 980 000 sold in South Africa alone.
And, as Glenn Crompton, Toyota SA Motors Vice President of Marketing, points out: “South Africa’s love affair with the Corolla began in the mid 70’s and the passion is still burning.
“Always the poster-child for Toyota's legendary quality, durability and reliability, the all-new 2014 Corolla is ready to shake off its point-A-to-point-B image with expressive styling, a premium interior, and extrovert driving dynamics.
“Corolla has taken a considerable step forward. The newcomer has real gravitas, a characteristic not readily associated with previous generations.
“It serves notice to competitors that Toyota is not about to give up the segment it has defined and dominated for all these decades. At 40 million we’re just getting started! ”
These sentiments are echoed by Shinichi Yasui, the Chief Engineer for the all-new Corolla: “I believe this new model clearly breathes the Corolla DNA that has been inherited over a period of more than 47 years.
“That DNA sets forth the mission of the Corolla to constantly provide concepts and technologies that lead the times and to create the world’s best-selling car, and that DNA has now been inherited for a new era.
“Each generation of the Corolla has pursued the “customer satisfaction” and “customer delight” around the world, and through those efforts the Corolla has constantly evolved.
“I am confident that we have developed an 11th generation Corolla that can be driven with Waku doki*, peace-of-mind, and of course, pride.”
*Waku-Waku is the anticipation of pleasure. Doki-Doki is the sound of your heart beating.
So, Waku doki is when you get excited about having fun, and your heart beats faster.