World 1975-1979: Toyota Corolla should take the lead
With the launch of the VW Golf in 1974, sales of the VW Beetle dropped and in all likeliness this changeover allowed the arrival of the Toyota Corolla on top of world sales. Note this is pure speculation based on estimated production figures but I have no official data backing this claim. If you do, please get in touch!
Originally launched in 1966, the Toyota Corolla nameplate is already at its third generation by 1975, and is encountering exceptional success both in Japan and in export markets, notably in the USA. This should be enough to establish it as the best selling model in the world, a title it still holds as at 2010! By 1979, Australian advertising officially promotes the Corolla as “the best selling car in the world”.