Half century of Corollas
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One of New Zealand's best-selling cars, the Toyota Corolla, has just celebrated its 50th anniversary.
The Corolla, which is rarely out of the New Zealand best-seller lists, first went on sale in Japan on November 5, 1966.
Since then, 44.1 million have been sold globally, including station wagons and other variants.
In the late 1950s, as Japan's economy recovered from World War II , carmakers aimed to produce an affordable car for the average family, most of whom didn't have a vehicle.
Toyota first came out with the Publica, which wasn't very well received.
But in 1966 it introduced the sportier two-door Corolla with a jaw-dropping plan: to build 30,000 of them a month, at a time when Toyota's total monthly production was 50,000 vehicles.
Three years after the launch, the Corolla became the country's top-selling car and helped usher in an age of motorisation in Japan.
Toyota has stuck to its tradition of introducing new technologies to the masses with each remodelling of the Corolla.
Now in its 11th generation in Japan, the car is made in 13 countries around the world and sold in more than 150 countries.
After 33 straight years as Japan's top-selling model, it lost the crown in Japan to rival Honda Motor's Fit (or Jazz) hatchback in 2002.
It is now also outsold by the Toyota Aqua and Prius hybrid-only models in Japan, as domestic customers opt for more fuel-efficient cars.
The outlook at home is bleak, with the overall car market shrinking along with the population.
Domestic sales of the Corolla are now about a quarter of their peak of around 400,000 in 1973.
But the Corolla is still a cash cow in the US, where it is the No.2 best-selling passenger car so far this year, behind the Toyota Camry.
In New Zealand the Corolla led the passenger car market again last month, with 1210 new registrations. This included 1026 rental car registrations.
It was one of only three conventional cars in the top 10, with the Toyota Yaris and the Holden Cruze.