Problem: Toyota and Ford Both Claim the Top-Selling Car Crown

Ford Focus

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) has claimed the title for owning the top-selling car in the world. The only problem is, Toyota (NYSE:TM) does, too. The two automakers are notorious for competing fiercely over the distinction, with Ford claiming that its Focus compact deserves the sales crown, while Toyota believes that its Corolla does, but now the U.S. automaker contends that it has the sales figures to back it up.

According to CBS News, Ford cited registration data gathered by the R.L. Polk & Co. Wednesday to support its claim, because the research firm found that the Dearborn, Michigan-based company sold 589,709 Focuses in the first six months of 2013, reflecting a 20-percent jump from 2012′s first half.

Ford asserts that these figures beat those of Toyota’s Corolla once again, but the Japanese automaker refutes those claims, and instead maintains that it sells a Corolla hatchback until the Matrix name, and it also brands Corolla vehicles under different names in different countries. If the carmaker were to tally all of those sales, Toyota argues, then the Corolla’s sales would surpass the Focus’.

CBS News reports that Polk stayed out of the argument Wednesday, and only confirmed Ford’s numbers while refusing to release those for the Corolla. The U.S. automaker is hoping to lay claim to the top-selling-car honors for the second year in a row come January 1, but Toyota is doing all it can to make sure that doesn’t happen.

It is interesting that Ford and Toyota currently battle over the sales of their iconic cars, because neither are selling particularly well in the U.S. Focus sales are only up 1 percent to 188,654 through September, and Corolla’s U.S. sales also lag, only recently receiving a 5-percent bump due to Toyota replacing its previous 5-year-old model with a new, more attractive version.

However, both Ford and Toyota have China to thank for their continued successes, because the country is now the world’s largest auto market, and many of the top dogs’ older products are considered new in China. The Focus’ sales, for example, more than doubled to 202,380 in the first half of the year in China, and the Corolla’s figures are similar. For now, however, a Toyota spokesperson maintains that the company disagrees with Ford’s new personally-appointed sales crown, and they’re drafting up the numbers to prove it.

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