Chiangrai Times – Ford Motor Co. should be proud of the success of its Focus compact sedan and hatchback models, which use a global design and have received high marks for quality, performance and looks.
The company announced on Friday that through seven months of 2012, the car had sold 522,000 units around the world, making it the best-selling single nameplate vehicle, ahead of the Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Golf. Outselling the Corolla, which similarly is a model sold around the world, would be a great accomplishment for Ford.
But according to Toyota, the Focus actually hasn’t outsold the Corolla. Through that same seven-month period, it said it has sold 722,000 vehicles. Ford, when notified about the difference, said they made a mistake and issued a new press release, saying they actually sold 489,616 units in a six month period – not seven months – and the Toyota Corolla had sold 462,187 units. They also, in the new release, attributed those numbers to IHS Automotive, an independent auto research and forecasting firm that tracks data like global sales.
Problem solved? Well not exactly. According to Toyota, again, it actually sold 603,840 in that same six-month period.
The difference is attributed to variants of the Corolla that have slightly different names in other countries, such as the Matrix, Corolla Fielder and Corolla Rumion, which IHS doesn’t count in its sales tally, but Toyota does.
Still, Toyota says if you want to do an apples-to-apples comparison and just count global sales of the Corolla sedan and Auris hatchback, two body styles also available on the globally-sold Focus, than the Corolla still trumps Ford’s compact in sales. Of those two Corolla body styles, Toyota sold 524,000 units.
Also, IHS’s figures only encompass 90% of the world and “the 10% that we miss out on may be in countries where Toyota is strong,” said Christopher Hopson, who handles the data for IHS in Lexington, Mass.
And if Ford really wanted to get technical, it could say its C-Max model is just a slightly taller variation of the Focus. But at some point, the argument has to be cut off.
In the end, it’s fair to say both companies are selling a lot of cars, even if no one can agree on how many.