Ransom E. Olds introduced the Curved Dash Olds, a single cylinder engine with tilted steering a chain drive, in 1901. Six-hundred were sold. Three years later, Olds' company sold 5,000 models and the mass production auto industry was on its way. According to a report from Ward's Auto released last week, the global number of cars exceeded 1.015 billion in 2010. Some models have been trendy throughout the years while others have been duds. Then there are a select few models that have remained popular with consumers year after year.
Since 1966, the Corolla has been a mainstay in the industry. The design has never been flashy, but its fuel efficiency (currently 35 mpg) and affordability have made it the top seller of all time with 37.5 million sold so far. The base model currently sells for $16,130. The Corolla is also one of the most reliable and long-lasting vehicles, with some consumers reporting nearly 200,000 miles on their odometers.
This pick-up truck, which made its debut in 1948, was the best-selling vehicle in 2011 and has claimed the No. 2 spot on the all-time list with 35 million models sold. The average price for the base model is $22,990. The F-Series has been a main stay in the Truck industry and has lasted the test of time. Since its inception, The Ford F-Series has evolved to not only produce huge horsepower and torque, but Ford has also taken into account the growing concern of fuel economy by producing a more fuel-effecient truck.
Originally branded as the Rabbit when introduced in 1974, this is Volkswagen's most inexpensive model starting at $17,995. To date, 27.5 million of these four-cylinder sedans have been sold. U.S. News and World Report ranked it No. 6 on the list of affordable compact cars. It is also available with a diesel engine. The Golf is also known as a car which is quick and fun. Its small wheel base, and great handling have made it a wonderful car to drive.
The "Bug" hit the scene in 1933 with very little change to its design, and has been a well-loved car for decades, selling more than 23 million. Walt Disnsey further idolized the car by producing the movie "The Love Bug" in 1968. The Volkwagen Beetle has had global success selling all over the world. Volkswagen re-introduced a newer, sleeker model in the 1990s, and it quickly became a favorite for a new generation. Base price is just under $20,000, with a turbo model running about $10,000 more. It continues to remain one of the most recognizable cars in the world.
More than 20 million Escorts have been sold since 1968, despite it being taken off the production line in 2000. To compete with Japanese cars which were dominating the compact-car scene, Ford introduced the Escort in a two-door hatchback or four-door wagon models. After several design tweaks to the engine and body, the Escort was considered by the mid-1990s to be a solid compact car for the price (base under $12,000). Its successor is the Ford Focus. The Focus is now one of Ford's global names. It is sold the all over the world as car buyers look for more fuel economy, as gas prices continue the rise.
The auto industry has produced millions of cars and hundreds of different models in its more than 100-year history. Year after year, consumers wants and needs in a car has changed along with the economy. With the increasing price of gas, consumers continue to buy economical, reliable vehicles.