The Toyota Corolla is one of a line of subcompact and compact cars manufactured by the Japanese automaker Toyota, which has become very popular throughout the world since the nameplate was first introduced in 1966. In 1997, the Corolla became the best selling nameplate in the world, surpassing the Volkswagen Beetle. Over 39 million Corollas have been sold as of 2012. The series has undergone several major redesigns.
The name "corolla" is part of Toyota's naming tradition of using the name Crown for primary models: the Corona, for example, gets its name from the Latin for crown; Corolla is Latin for small crown; and Camry is an Anglicized pronunciation of the Japanese for crown, kanmuri. The Corolla has always been exclusive in Japan to Toyota Corolla Store locations, and manufactured in Japan with a twin, called the Toyota Sprinter, sold at a specific Japanese Toyota dealership called Toyota Auto Store, then renamed Toyota Vista Store in 1980.
Corollas are manufactured in Japan and in Brazil (Indaiatuba, São Paulo), Canada (Cambridge, Ontario), China (Tianjin), India (Bangalore), Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa (Durban), Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and Venezuela. Production has previously been made in Australia (Victoria) and the United Kingdom (Derbyshire). Production in the United States (at NUMMI in Fremont, California) ended in March 2010.
The Corolla's chassis designation code is "E", as described in Toyota's chassis and engine codes.
Early models were mostly rear-wheel drive, later models were mostly front-wheel drive and some models were four-wheel drive. Its traditional competitor almost from the very beginning has been the Nissan Sunny also introduced the same year as the Corolla in Japan.