“I do not understand how it could fail. The best word that I can describe to “The King” is fresh. It is smaller than Volkswagen models, but cheaper and more powerful, “wrote Robert Crossley, editor of Popular Mechanics, who recently appeared on the American market Toyota Corolla, in June 1968. But, it seems, even an optimistic journalist could not imagine what Corolla will actually achieve in its half-century history.
1973 year. Members of OAPEC refuse to supply oil to countries that supported Israel in a military conflict with the coalition of Arab states. Of course, there were also the United States of America on the list of those who fell under the embargo. The fuel reserves are reduced, and the cost of fuel is growing every day. The fuel crisis unfolds.
“Today I ask that all gas stations stop selling fuel from 9:00 pm Saturday to midnight Sunday every week, starting December 1. Another of our steps is the introduction across the country of speed limits for cars at 50 miles per hour. We expect that this measure will save 200 thousand barrels of gasoline daily, “- said on November 25, 1973, US President Richard Nixon.
In 1973, the slow-moving monsters from Detroit almost did not use engines on their models, the working volume of which was at least two liters: in the course were multi-liter monsters. Henry Ford-the second and was quite sure that small cars mean small profits.
While the big three came up with another ingenious plan for their salvation, which did not go against their principles and values, the Corolla, which a few years earlier appeared in the US market, became not just a competitor to other imported cars, but a real threat to models whose positions seemed unshakable . Americans still bought cars, but fuel consumption suddenly ceased to be useless information in the booklet.
Cheap (about 1,700 dollars), reliable, easy-to-use Corolla in 1974 was recognized by the magazine Science and Mechanics as one of the best machines for the time of the fuel crisis. Because the appetite version with engine 1.2 was only 7.6 liters per hundred kilometers.
For comparison, the smallest Chevrolet motor of that time – the “four” 2.3 on the “Vega” – consumed 12.2 liters per “hundred”.
The second chance “Toyota” is not needed. Half a century later, and once clinging to the fuel crisis Corolla is now the best-selling car in the world. Already implemented more than 43 million units, of which 1.3 million – only in 2015. This is only 300 thousand cars less than total sales of all brands in Russia for the same 12 months.