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by Matt Brogan

According to the latest sales figures*, the Toyota Corolla is the world’s best-selling car, with 908,661 new Corolla’s finding a home in 2009.

The figures see the popular small car selling 16.3 per cent more sedan and hatch models (or 127,500 units) than its nearest competitor.

Adding to that tally, China will from 2012 also produce Corolla. The newly announced plant capable of building 100,000 units annually.

The Toyota Corolla nameplate has been around for 44 years, with the model seeing nine full model changes. Corolla is manufactured in 16 countries across the globe and sold in more than 140.

Locally, Australia produced Corolla from 1968 to 1999, and although the model is now fully imported, cumulative sales here now top 1.1 million.

Australia was the first export market for the Corolla, the first example shipped here in November 1966, just one month after being launched in its home market.

The original Toyota Corolla (as pictured above) featured a 1.1-litre four-cylinder engine and was available in two-door coupe body style only.

Other Toyota brands among 2009’s top-ten sellers list include the Toyota Camry (ranked 6th with 679,117 units) and the Toyota Yaris (ranked 10th with 466,267 units)

*Economic forecaster IHS Global Insight compiled the sales figures for 2009, which were published by Forbes magazine.