Akio Toyoda, the grandson of Toyota’s founder and now president of the company, has a special bond with the Corolla.
It was the first car he bought with his own money.
“So it makes it even more special that the Corolla will be built here in Blue Springs,” said Gov. Haley Barbour.
The Corolla, which comes from Latin for “small crown,” was first introduced in Japan in 1966. It was first sold in the United States two years later.
The compact car is Toyota Motor Corp.’s second-oldest nameplate behind the Land Cruiser, and it was Toyota’s first vehicle to be built in the U.S., starting in 1986.
In 1997, the Corolla officially became the best-selling car in the world. It was the first vehicle to reach 30 million in sales and Toyota has sold some 33 million of them worldwide.
Every 40 seconds a Corolla is sold, and it’s Toyota’s second-best-selling vehicle overall in the U.S., behind the Camry.
The Corolla, which gets an estimated 26 miles per gallon in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, is manufactured in 13 countries and sold in more than 100 countries.
It was produced in the U.S. until April 1 in Fremont, Calif., at the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant, which Toyota co-owned with GM.
After GM filed for bankruptcy protection last year, it pulled out of its joint venture with Toyota, which said it could not run the plant by itself.
Production of the Corolla from NUMMI has been shifted temporarily to Toyota’s plant in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, and in Japan.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada began production of the Corolla in November 1988 and has produced more than 2.5 million Corollas.
The current 10th-generation Corolla was introduced in 2008.
Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal