Getting Stronger Every Year: Toyota Corolla Celebrates 50th Anniversary

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Getting Stronger Every Year: Toyota Corolla Celebrates 50th Anniversary


50 years ago, Toyota unveiled the first Corolla. 44 million cars later, the world is still buying them. 50 years ago, Toyota Motor Corporation sent out amodest press release: “The Toyota Corolla is a five-passenger vehicle from Japan that is positioned as the ‘most accessible car’ in the market. In the development of the Corolla, Toyota’s engineers have spent years bringing together the best of the company’s technologies to offer to the public.”Who could have guessed that such simple words would launch what would become the largest-selling car in the history of the world?

Looking at the origins of Toyota Corolla, we see that the Corolla was designed to be a ‘people’s car,’ introduced in saloon and estate body styles. The Corolla displayed higher build quality and – for its time – lavish equipment features. Although classed as a compact car, its high roof height made the interior feel exceptionally roomy.Toyota’s plans for Corolla (a name drawing on the Latin term for a ‘crown of flowers’) were soon realised with the first generation model becoming Japan’s top-selling vehicle within three years.

The success quickly spread to other countries around the world.In developing each of Corolla’s 11 generations, Toyota has remained true to its original principles of building a car with superior quality, reliability and durability.

1st Generation Corolla (1966-1970):  1966 saw the birth of Corolla. Led by development leader Tatsuo Hasegawa, the Corolla designers set out to capture the hearts of the general public. The leading principle in this programme was to create a car that was sporty in both look and feel.

2nd Generation Corolla (1970-1974): With production of the first generation Corolla coming to an end, the engineers and designers had the challenge of building on the success of this first model with its successor.While  a larger rear leaf suspension made advances in ride comfort and handling.In 1972, the line-up expanded to four body types with the launch of a coupe. With its renowned 2T-G engine, the Corolla Levin proved to be the sports car lover’s choice.

3rd Generation Corolla (1974-1979): 1974 proved to be a demanding year for the launch of the next generation Corolla. Strict emission regulations meant that engine and exhaust systems had to be developed to clear the new model for sale. As a result, Toyota pioneered the development of the catalytic converters that are still being used today.

4th Generation Corolla (1979-1983): The fourth generation Corolla was re-imagined as a luxurious but economical family car with superior overall performance to meet diverse user needs. Under the skin, comfort and stability improved with a new four-link coil suspension and to satisfy environmental pressures a new 1.8 litre diesel engine was introduced.

5th Generation Corolla (1983-1987):  This new model was the first to be engineered with the aid of computers, saving time and resources in the design of the engine and exterior. With its slanted nose and rounded wedge shape it would be the first in the series to feature front-wheeldrive – a real challenge for the engineers.

6th Generation Corolla (1987-1991): 1987 and the key word in the development of the new Corolla was ‘quality,’ More than 2,000 improvements were proposed to make all areas of the car perform better, from reducing noise levels to introducing soft touch materials across the dashboard and switches. This would be the best quality Corolla so far.

7th Generation Corolla (1991-1995): The engineers focused on the small details that matter and providing ample room for the family, aiming to create a car that would provide deeper owner satisfaction.

8th Generation Corolla (1995-2000): The development team set out to make a new car that consumers demanded: one that reduced the impact on the planet and was more efficient and cheaper to own and maintain. The result? A  number one selling car in Japan- reducing the total cost of ownership and providing them a safer, quieter and higher quality compact car.

9th Generation Corolla (2000-2006): 2000 brought with it the launch of the ninth generation Corolla and a design created in Europe for the first time.  Along with ease of use and reliability, a high level of interior finish and comfort to rival higher segments were its hallmarks.

10th Generation Corolla (2006-2013):  With the 10th generation launch came a new design direction. – a model with a truly global perspective and scale. Through its development, the engineers worked to a five-minute impression rule, where customers would recognise the quality of this new model within five minutes of their first drive.

11th Generation Corolla (since 2013): 2013 brought the 11th generation Corolla into the world with a bang as the Toyota model celebrated the title of the ‘world’s best-selling car’. The launch of this latest model introduced a new prestigious exterior styling, a strong focus on sensory quality and higher levels of technology and safety equipment.

To the many enthusiasts in the automotive industry, the 11th Generation of the world famous Toyota Corolla is no less than an icon. Not only does it have a legendary reputation, it offers a truly impressive resale value, even after years of use. 

11th Generation Corolla (Multi Drive 7S – 2016):In 2016 came the Toyota Corolla with Multi Drive 7S. This allows owners to ‘Drive Smooth and Save Smart.’ It does so by delivering a very smooth, yet powerful driving performance; topping it up with class leading fuel efficiency.  Making a strong design statement with its unique visual signature, the Corolla Multi Drive 7S signifies Toyota’s brand evolution.

The recently introduced 2017 Corolla features some key design enhancements including the newly designed front bumper, grille, headlamps and rear combination lamps apart from a newly designed audio system.

Over the years, Toyota Corolla has earned the trust of the people of Oman on the dint of its Quality Dependability and Reliability (QDR). With after-sales support of an equal calibre,  Saud Bahwan Group has been backing every Corolla in Oman. Its popularity can be gauged from the pride of its owners, such as the one who said, “This car is a like a part of my family. I cannot go anywhere without it.” Similarly, another owner said,“I change-overto the latest model, but the nameplate is always Corolla….and it will always stay that way!”

In Oman, the nationwide parts and service network of Saud Bahwan Automotive support Toyota’s outstanding product quality. No wonder then that today, Toyota is one of the most trusted and well-known brands.

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