Ford Focus is world's favourite car

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Ford Focus is world's favourite car

So common they blend into the background like pylons, the Ford Focus isn't just popular in Britain.

The mid-sized family hatchback has just been named the best selling car in the world, according to figures released by a US automotive research company.

Ford managed to shift 1.02 million of them globally in 2012, comprehensively outselling its nearest rival, the Toyota Corolla, which has traditionally dominated global sales rankings.

Ford's success is largely down to its 'One Ford' policy, in which a single model is designed to cater to the tastes of customers in markets across the globe.

The Ford Fiesta, a similarly 'global' car, took sixth place in the world sales charts, outselling the perennially popular Volkswagen Golf. The German hatchback may claw its way back up the rankings soon, however, as it is about to go on sale in the States.

Ford has enjoyed further high sales globally with the F-Series pickup truck, which sold 785,000 units. This makes it the third most popular model line in the world, despite only really appealing to the North American market.

There has been some contention over the figures, with Toyota claiming it sold more Corollas in 2012 than Ford did Focuses. But as the Corolla model is marketed with different names in different markets, it technically isn't the same model, meaning Ford took the honours.

Expect to see Chinese brands shake up the market in years to come. The largely unheard of Wuling Zhinguang is already the fourth best selling car in the world, despite only being sold in mainland China.