Did you buy a Toyota Corolla last month? Then your new car just might be the 40 millionth Corolla ever sold.

While bragging about the number, Toyota said “it’s not about the number, but the number sums it up: Happy customers have made Corolla the best-selling automotive nameplate in history.”

The archetypical fuel efficient Japanese small car has been answering the basic transportation needs of many since 1966 and has been a cornerstone in helping set Toyota’s reliability reputation in the U.S.

The 11th generation is being launched in the U.S. as we write this.

“American’s love affair with the Corolla began in 1968 and the passion is still burning,” said Jack Hollis, Toyota vice president of Marketing. “Always the poster-child for Toyota’s legendary quality, the Corolla is all-new for 2014 with expressive styling, a premium interior, and terrific driving dynamics. It’s built for the way we live today and the places we go. From urban chic to family road trip, at 40 million we’re just getting started!”

Toyota started annual production of the Corolla in November 1966 with approximately 240,000 vehicles produced at its then new Takaoka Japan factory and exports began immediately.

Today, 11 generations later, over 1.1 million Corollas are produced each year.  Every hour 125 new Corollas drive out of factories in America (Blue Springs, Miss.), Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Pakistan, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam and Venezuela combined.

Toyota believes that with customers in more than 150 countries, the Corolla has earned its title as “The World’s Car.”

The Corolla was originally designed to meet the changing needs of Japanese commuters in the mid-1960s.  When the first Corolla rolled off the line, many automakers offered basic safety features as optional. The Corolla was among the first car lines to include rear back-up lights as a standard feature.

Safety has indeed progressed since!

Toyota said its history of evolving the Corolla to meet customers’ needs remains alive today. The base L Model of the new Corolla comes standard with LED headlights, Bluetooth, eight airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System.

For those families who are looking for better fuel efficiency, Toyota recently announced upcoming production of a Corolla hybrid.  Toyota’s commitment to adding new standard features to the affordably-priced Corolla over time has helped ensure that families around the world continue to choose it more than any other nameplate.

“As we celebrate this 40 millionth milestone, we are grateful to all those who have owned and loved their Corollas for the past 47 years and proud of the generations of Corolla Chief Engineers for their enduring vision,” said Hollis.

Toyota has published a complete history of the Corolla on its global website.