Ford says Polk 2012 new vehicle registration data shows the Focus was the world’s best-selling passenger car last year. The company says the Polk data also shows the Ford-F-series pickup, which is sold only in a handful of global markets, was the third best-selling vehicle, behind the Toyota Corolla and Corolla variants, like the Matrix. The Fiesta was the top subcompact with terrestrial buyers.
The folks in Dearborn claim Focus registrations totaled 1,020,410 cars worldwide, which would put the Focus in close contention with the 1965 Chevrolet Impala/Impala Super Sport for the most sales by a single model line in a single year.
China was the key to Focus growth last year. Registrations in the world’s largest new vehicle market were up 51% in 2012 , accounting for more than a quarter of global sales. U.S. Focus sales were up 40% to 242,922, with a 58.3% jump in December to close out a banner year.
In addition to holding the title of world’s best-selling vehicle overall, Polk data also confirm the Ford Fiesta earned the top spot as the best-selling subcompact car globally, with 723,130 registrations last year. Together, registrations of Ford’s small cars – Fiesta and Focus – totaled 1,743,540 vehicles in 2012, according to Polk.
“Focus and Fiesta represent the culmination of our One Ford global product strategy,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president, global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln. “Our global products are resonating with consumers – especially in the best-selling, most competitive segments – with their unique combination of fuel efficiency, high quality, rich content and fun-to-drive personalities. Through One Ford, we’re able to bring economies of scale and fantastic value to customers all around the world.”
“Since its launch in China in late March of last year, Focus sales continue to strengthen, with the car now ranking as the best-selling passenger car in China in 2012 for the first time ever,” Farley said. “With additional manufacturing capacity added last year, we now have a tremendous opportunity to further strengthen our global small car sales in 2013, with sales off to a very strong start already.”
Grain of salt warning: While there is no reason to suspect the numbers aren”t correct, a call to Polk’s PR firm revealed the data was prepared by Polk specifically for Ford and that Polk does not have an official statement confirming the final results of the compilation of new vehicle registrations. It should be noted that other sources, using estimates of sales from over 100 countries, say the Corolla was still the best-selling car, though its sales were negatively impacted by the growing tensions between China and Japan over the Senkaku islands. With the slump in Toyota sales, the Focus was able to pass it to become China’s best-selling car.
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