Ever since the first automobile rolled off the assembly line, the car industry started producing more and more cars. It is estimated that in the last 133 years of car production, around one billion cars were made. Of course, most of those cars were scrapped and recycled at some point. However, the car industry is producing tens of millions of cars each year and there is still a big demand for all kinds of vehicles throughout the globe.
That is why we compiled a list of 20 best selling cars of all times. You will be amazed to see what cars are top sellers and what cars made the cut. Some models achieved that status over the course of several decades and numerous generations but some managed to sell in astronomical numbers in a relatively short period and without any major change to original design or technology. Whatever is the case, here are the 20 world`s bestsellers of all times.
Ford Mustang – 10 million
In 2018, Ford and the Mustang reached an important milestone – 10th millionth car. Interestingly, it was white convertible with V8 engine almost same as the original No 1 car from way back in 1964. It is an impressive achievement and unique moment for Ford and all Mustang loving fans from all over the world.
This makes the Mustang the best selling sports/muscle car in the history and global phenomenon. It took the Mustang just 1.5 years to reach 1 million mark but it took it 55 years to reach 10 million.
Toyota Camry – over 10 million
Since the Camry`s 1982 introduction, Toyota managed to sell over 10 million copies worldwide, most of them on the American market. What is the secret of success since Camry is known for being a dependable but dull car? Well, exactly that, people who are not car enthusiasts look for something with good quality, decent performance, and equipment as a basic transportation device. Apparently, there are millions of such buyers all over the globe.
Volkswagen Jetta – over 10 million
Volkswagen scored big with the Golf but realized that they needed a sedan to fill the gap between the Golf and Passat. So, in 1979, Jetta was born and it was basically just the Golf with the trunk. However, it proved to be successful in selling all over the world with different names but the same technology. So far, it sold in over 10 million copies.
Mazda 323 – over 10 million
The first Mazda 323 was introduced in the early `60s as a compact family car which it still is, over 50 years later. In the early 2000s it was replaced by Mazda 3 which was just the name change, but basically, it is the same product which occupies the same market share. Buyers all over the world loved 323 and that is why Mazda managed to sell over 10 million cars.
Oldsmobile Cutlass – 11 million
Even though Oldsmobile brand was discontinued by General Motors in the early 2000s, their venerable Cutlass model still makes the list of best-selling cars of all times. From the early `60s till 1999, Cutlass was a mid-size model very popular with the buyers all over America and Canada. During the `70s and `80s, it represented the majority of Oldsmobile sales and that is why the company produced and sold 11 million of them.
Opel Astra – over 11 million
Virtually unknown in the States, Opel Astra (sold also as Vauxhall in the UK) is one of the Opel`s best selling models of all times. The Astra replaced venerable Kadett nameplate which was in service since the late `30s. Astra was introduced in 1991 as modern compact family hatchback or sedan and it is still in production. The fifth generation Astra was introduced in 2015.
Renault Clio – 12 million
The Renault Clio is compact mini hatchback common on European roads and produced in 12 million examples. This car is also exported all over the world, but not in the USA. Introduced in the early `90s, Clio was a replacement for venerable Renault 5 and brought much-needed modernization to the segment. Renault produced several generations of this model and numerous different versions including few sporty and performance variants.
Volkswagen Polo – over 12 million
In the States we have Golf but in Europe, Polo was the smallest and cheapest Volkswagen model. First presented in the `70s, Polo is in its sixth generation with lots of cool features, versions and even proper GTI variant. The combination of dependable Volkswagen mechanics, decent engines and lots of features made Polo favorite with the customers all over the world.
Chrysler Town & Country Minivan – over 12 million
The first minivan was Chrysler Town & Country which proved to be the right car for the times and basically the world`s first mass-produced minivan. The model established the minivan class and became the first of Chrysler`s sales hit in decades. It was a perfect car for suburban America replacing big and thirsty station wagons and preceding the SUV craze of today. The Town & Country proved very influential and revolutionary and stayed in production until today.
Ford Focus – 13 million
Currently, in its fourth generation, Ford Focus proved to be not just successful but very influential car as well. Presented in 1998, Focus was designed to be a global vehicle sold everywhere with minimal differences. Ford managed to do that and Focus Mk1 was equally at home in Europe, America or South Africa. However, the latest generation will be sold everywhere except in the States and we think it is a big shame since America loved Focus as much as Europe did.
BMW 3-Series – over 14 million
The first BMW 3-Series was legendary E21, introduced in 1975. With this car, BMW revolutionized the compact performance market and introduced driver`s car with moderate price and lots of driving excitement. Fast forward 44 years and nothing is changed. Currently, in its 7th generation, BMW 3-Series still represent the best compact executive car on the market. That is why the 14 million sold is a totally understandable number.
Chevrolet Impala – over 14 million
Introduced in 1958 as the top of the line trim on full-size Chevrolet models, Impala is one of the most legendary car nameplates. For decades it was synonymous with big four-door sedans and even today, Impala is a classic sedan with lots of space and power. Despite the fact that SUVs have killed the sedans, Impala is still on the market and we are sure that it will sell over 14 million units.
Volkswagen Passat – over 15 million
Back in the late `60s, Volkswagen had the Beetle and its variants in form of TL or Van, however, the company wanted to go further so in 1973 Passat was introduced. It was a totally modern sedan with inline four cylinders, front wheel drive, and modern design. It marked the rebirth of the company and the first modern car in decades. Today, 46 years later, Passat is still one of the best selling VW models globally and managed to go over 15 million units sold.
Ford Model T – over 15 million
There are not enough words to describe the importance of Ford Model T for the automotive history and car culture since this was the car that singlehandedly created the car world in 1908. The Model T was the first truly mass-produced automobile with over 15 million made until 1927 and a car which motorized the world and laid the foundation of the modern car industry with assembly plants in foreign countries and on other continents. When the Model T was introduced in 1908, the world was still using horse-drawn carriages, but by the time it was discontinued in 1927, the automobile age had successfully started.
Honda Civic – over 18 million
Even though it wasn’t first Japanese car to become popular, Civic managed to evolve in a very interesting way and become a true icon of the industry. From humble beginnings in the early `70s, till today`s landmark status, Honda has managed to sell over 19 million units worldwide. Civics were always great cars for the price with decent equipment, good engines, and respectable overall quality.
Lada Riva – over 19 million
This is a very interesting item on our list and one of the cars you wouldn’t normally associate with extreme sales numbers, but in fact, Lada Riva or VAZ 2101 is one of the best selling cars in the world. Introduced in 1980 and based on old Lada 1500 which was a copy of old Fiat 124 Sedan, this model is in production today. Over the decades the car changed very little and still retains the recognizable boxy shape. Lada managed to sell it worldwide but the majority of production ended up on the domestic Russian market.
Volkswagen Beetle – over 22 million
Despite its dubious beginnings as a propaganda gimmick for the German Nazi party, Volkswagen Beetle became the car of Hippy movement, the bestselling car in the world and the symbol of Germany`s rebuilding efforts. In just a few decades, this little economy car went from having Swastikas on the doors to transporting millions of peace-loving hippies to rock festivals.
Officially, the production of the VW Beetle started in 1938 and ended in 2003 during which time, more than 22 million cars were made in 14 countries around the globe. The Beetle was truly the first global car in terms of popularity, affordability, and presence.
Volkswagen Golf – over 30 million
The Beetle maybe created the Volkswagen as industry`s giant but the Golf was the model that really moved the company into modern times. Introduced in 1976 as totally modern, compact, a family hatchback, Golf had nothing to do with old Beetle. Everything was new, improved, more modern and much nicer. Today, over 30 million examples and 43 years late, Volkswagen still try to provide the same qualities to its customers all over the world.
Ford F-Series – over 35 million
Among dozens of pickup models produced in this country, there is one nameplate which has been the definitive symbol of quality, durability, consistency, and tradition for over 70 years and that is the Ford F-Series truck. Produced in thirteen generations, over 35 million examples and countless different variants, the F-Series is the definitive US pickup. Over the years it evolved from a rugged workhorse into a lifestyle model and even a performance vehicle with Lightning and Raptor versions. However, it is still the best-selling and one of the best US vehicles of all times and a true piece of Americana on four wheels.
Toyota Corolla – over 43 million
The Toyota Corolla is the world`s bestselling car with over 43 million made since 1966. This amazing achievement is just a testament to effort Toyota put in this model, countless versions, generations, models for different markets and so on. Although critics will point that Corolla is just basic dull car which is bought by people who don’t know better, it is still amazing that one company managed to produce 43 million examples of the same model over the course of 53 years.