Toyota has retained its number one spot as the world’s biggest manufacturer beating its closest
rival GM by 270,000 units. Toyota sold 9.98 million vehicles during 2013 up 2% from the year before as Toyota also announced plans to sell 10.32 million vehicles in 2014. Toyota has still managed to revive its fate after the damages it faced in the 2011 tsunami. The tsunami and earthquake in 2011 caused extensive widespread devastation which affected car suppliers and production.
Toyota has also been facing reputational issues after a series of recalls and safety issues as more than 14 million vehicles have been recalled since 2009. However, at the end of 2013, Japan’s exports saw their biggest annual rise for three years. Car exports also rose to 31.3% year-on-year, as the Japanese yen saw big falls in value against the dollar. Toyota has been the top manufacturer in the world for more than 70 years. Toyota was the king of automakers till 2011. However, it regained the number one position in 2012.
GM sold 9.71 million vehicles last year, while Germany’s Volkswagen came in third with sales of 9.5 million vehicles. Toyota’s leading models have been Lexus and Prius hybrid models. Toyota’s sales target for 2014 is 10.32 million which is significant as no carmaker has gone beyond the 10 million mark. The three largest carmakers all had a strong 2013, and the figures are an indication of a healthy global automotive sector.
There are more people carriers to choose from than ever before, but as well as practicality and space – style is now a key requirement for many buyers. That may explain why the first Corolla Verso was only sold for two years before being replaced. The original model looked bulky, didn’t drive well and lacked the practicality of rivals. Thankfully its replacement was a much better offering with a well appointed cabin, stylish looks and clever seven-seat flexibility. The third row of seats is a little cramped and difficult to access but the Corolla Verso is comfortable on the move and feels refined and well built.
A top five-star Euro NCAP rating makes the Corolla Verso one of the safest MPVs around. Nine airbags are fitted as standard – two front, four side, two curtain and a knee bag to prevent the driver’s legs hitting the dashboard while Isofix child seat mounts are fitted to the rear seats. All models get anti-lock brakes and stability control is available on top-spec T3, T-Spirit and T180 cars.
Like any Toyota the Corolla Verso will be superbly reliable, The interior is robust and well finished and reported problems with Toyota’s are rare while the dealer service is excellent.