It’s not news that the Toyota Corolla is the world’s best selling car. Anybody who knows a thing or two about automobiles would be knowing the fact that the Corolla has been the largest selling car in the world for many years now. In fact, the Toyota Corolla zoomed past Volkswagen Beetle recently to become the best selling automobile nameplate of all time. In such a scenario, when another model almost sells as much as the Corolla to topple it from the top of the charts, it definitely makes news worldwide. And, as the corporate heads of Toyota, Honda and Ford have all agreed at various points of time of being wary of, it is none other than the South Korean manufacturer Hyundai that has achieved this feat.
Starting from the massive earthquake and tsunami that caused widespread destruction and disrupted production in the first half to the flash floods in Thailand that affected the production in the second half, 2011 has been a devastating year for Japanese manufacturers, especially Toyota and Honda. This then is not the right time to judge their performances. At the same time, let us give the credit where it is due. Hyundai, along with its group company Kia has been slowly and steadily climbing its way up over the past few years. Their climb up the ladder was not only in terms of quality, reliability and brand image, but also in terms of sales. As a result, the Elantra and Sonata are fast catching up and, in some cases, have beaten the perennial best sellers from Toyota (Corolla and Camry) and Honda (Civic and Accord).
A recent report published by Forbes states that Hyundai sold a massive 1.01 million units of Elantra in 2011. The Elantra thus joins an elite list of cars that have all sold more than a million units in a single year that includes Toyota Corolla, Ford Model T and Volkswagen Beetle. As if that was not enough, Hyundai sold just 10,000 Elantras less than the global top-seller Toyota Corolla. If ever proof was needed that Hyundai is the company to watch out for, then this is it. We expect Toyota to bounce back strongly in the next few years. We are game for watching this fight between the Corolla and the Elantra. With Hyundai having already showcased the all-new Elantra at the 2012 Auto Expo and with its launch expected later this year, India will also play a part, though a small one, in this interesting battle.