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World's Most Popular Cars in 2012

Ford Focus

Ford Focus

Ford has built its global strategy around a handful of cars that sell in large numbers around the world. The Focus compact is the best example. LMC Automotive says Ford will sell an estimated one million of them worldwide in 2012, including about 250,000 in the U.S. It's enough to unseat the Toyota Corolla as the best-selling car in the world.


Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla

The Corolla has been the most popular car on the planet, but in 2012, a long-simmering territorial dispute between Japan and China sparked protests in China, the world's largest automotive market, and led to a boycott of Japanese products, including cars. Toyota's sales in China fell about 25 percent below expectations. Thanks to strong sales elsewhere, however, the Corolla still ranked second globally, with estimated sales of 966,000.

Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen Jetta

The Jetta (sold as the Vento or the Bora in certain markets) is Volkswagen's best-selling model worldwide, thanks to its acceptance in the U.S. and in China, two markets that are crucial to the German carmaker's plan to dominate the global industry by 2018. Through November, VW sold about 8.3 million vehicles worldwide. Jetta sales for the year are expected to hit 822,000.


Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai of Korea has been growing by leaps and bounds around the world and gaining respect along the way. Its compact Elantra (sold in Korea as the Avante) is now the fourth most-popular car in the world. LMC Automotive forecasts sales of 777,000 for 2012.


Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta

The subcompact Ford Fiesta isn't a huge seller in the U.S. -- about 55,000 units a year -- but it's very popular in Europe and is growing in China, where Ford is making a big market push. That's why it ranks as the fifth most popular car in the world. LMC Automotive projects 2012 sales of 728,000.


Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf

The popular Golf hatchback is another reason Volkswagen sales have been climbing globally. Though less popular in the U.S. than the Jetta or the mid-sized Passat, the Golf, including the TDI diesel, is one of Volkswagen's best-selling vehicles. LMC Automotive projects sales of about 726,000 for 2012.

Toyota Camry

Toyota Camry

The Camry is the only mid-sized car in the global Top 10, which is a testament to its comfortable ride and reliable performance. It is the best-selling car in America, and has been for years, selling about 400,000 a year. Worldwide, LMC Automotive projects Camry sales of about 705,000.


Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen Polo

The Polo is a super-mini car that isn't available in the U.S. But it's immensely popular in Europe and other markets, where fuel is expensive and streets are crowded and narrow, which is why it's in the global Top 10. LMC Automotive projects Polo sales of 704,000.


Chevrolet Cruze

Chevrolet Cruze

The compact Cruze has been General Motors' best-seller since its introduction in 2009 in China, with more than 1.6 million produced around the world since then. LMC Automotive says 2012 sales will be about 694,000. In 2013, a diesel version debuts in the U.S.


Honda Civic

Honda Civic

The redesigned 2012 Civic was criticized for lackluster dynamics and uninspired design, but that hasn't really hurt global sales. LMC Automotive expects Honda to sell 638,000 Civics in 2012. Nevertheless, Honda made the unusual decision to refresh the Civic for the 2013 model year. And next year, the Civic won't even be available in Japan.











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