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America's New Darling: Toyota Corolla

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2009 Toyota Corolla

2009 Toyota Corolla

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Yesterday, when even the radical weenies over at HuffPo were making hay about auto sales in June, the big obvious story was a step beyond the "death of GM, Ford and Chrysler" crapfest. Yes, truck sales took another swan dive last month. HUMMER down nearly 60 percent? Check.

The big story is the symbol of the times: the Toyota Corolla. Toyota's sales were down 24 percent, too, but the iron horse Corolla continues to surge. Even in a year of changeover, from the bland 2008 model to the tastier 2009 version, Toyota's kept enough Corollas coming out of California and elsewhere to feed its sales machine--and to become the first vehicle to trump Ford's F-Series in 20-odd years of counting.

The bigger tectonic moves in car sales are easy to see--just look at the monthly tea leaves compiled by AutoData. Last year's champ was the Ford F-Series; this year, June sales of the big truck were off 40 percent and the Ford truck ranked behind two Hondas and two Toyotas. SUVs and pickups are way, way down--and only Honda seems immune to the huge monthly drops in numbers right now.

A little then and now will tell you how dramatically your tastes have changed in just 12 short months--and show you more evidence for the magnitude of change at showrooms and boardrooms across the industry.

Then:
  • Ford F-Series

  • Toyota Camry

  • Chevrolet Silverado

  • Honda Civic

  • Toyota Corolla

  • Chevrolet Impala

  • Dodge Ram

  • Honda Accord

  • Nissan Altima

  • Toyota Tundra

And now:
  • Toyota Corolla/Matrix

  • Toyota Camry

  • Honda Civic

  • Honda Accord

  • Ford F-Series

  • Chevrolet Silverado

  • Nissan Altima

  • Chevrolet Cobalt

  • Ford Focus

  • Hyundai Sonata
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Comments (10)
  1. I have a 2003 Corolla, only 45K miles. It'll last forever.
     
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  2. I was shocked to see those sales figures. Things must be really bad out there. I thought people would step down from the Ford Explorer to midsize cars, they seem to be leaping down to the compacts. The Corolla can seat 5, 4 comfortably.
     
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  3. It should have been that for so many years. The market wants small economical cars like those in europe. Detroit is awekaning late !!
     
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  4. I dont think people "want" small cars, they are just being forced into them with fuel prices so high.
     
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  5. The automakers are all rushing to compete for the compact car market. Why? rather than produce a me too product come up with something unlike anyone elses product that fills a need.
     
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  6. I am not surprised. Small cars are a way of life for Chinese people. When resources are limited and becoming more expensive. Even though we do see a lot of S Class and 7 Series on the road, the majority of cars is small and has engine size of 1.4L to 2.0L. And now, the Chinese government has announced a big increase in tax on cars that have an engine size of 3.0L and above. So if the Chinese can do it, I don’t see why Americans cannot. We have Audi A8 in China with the 2.8L FSI engine and that’s what the majority of wealthy people use. We also have the BMW 730Li and the only made for China Mercedes Benz S300, which you would never see in the US. With fuel price becoming more and more expensive, people will change their driving style and the cars they drive.
     
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  7. Don't even start talking about the Chinese. Most will be back to scooters once the communist gov't stops (or bankrupts) subsidizing gasoline. I'm hoping it will happen right after the Olympics - anything now would cause riots.
     
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  8. Jim - well said. Corollas and Civics have been around forever. People buy them more because they're forced to. I'll keep my family safe in a big van as long as I can afford it. And I'd love to buy a Corvette which is something I really "want" :-) However, at this rate I may be back to a Corolla soon which I bought new in 1998 when I was just a poor student...
     
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  9. Oh Maarty dahhlink, thank you for the shout out. kisses, A.H.
     
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  10. What do these abbreviations stand for: NATL, GS, SE?
    Thank you.
     
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