DEARBORN, Mich. — The Ford Focus is the world’s best-selling passenger car, according to 2012 global market registration data from Polk. The Ford F-Series pickup came in third and the Ford Fiesta was tabbed as the best-selling subcompact.

Sales of the compact Focus totaled 1,020,410 cars worldwide. Market gains for Focus were driven by consumer demand in China and the United States, with China registrations up 51 percent last year. The market was responsible for just more than one out of four Focus vehicles sold globally, according to Polk vehicle registration data. In the U.S. market, Focus sales were up 40 percent in 2012.

“Since its launch in China in late March of last year, Focus sales continue to strengthen, with the car now ranking as the best-selling passenger car in China in 2012 for the first time ever,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president, of global marketing, sales and service. “With additional manufacturing capacity added last year, we now have a tremendous opportunity to further strengthen our global small car sales in 2013, with sales off to a very strong start already.”

In addition to holding the title of world’s best-selling vehicle overall, Polk data also confirm the Ford Fiesta earned the top spot as the best-selling subcompact car globally, with 723,130 registrations last year. Together, registrations of Ford’s small cars — the Fiesta and Focus — totaled 1,743,540 vehicles in 2012, according to Polk.

Global new vehicle registrations for F-Series totaled 785,630 trucks last year, putting it in the No. 3 spot among all vehicles sold worldwide. The F-Series has been the best-selling pickup in the U.S. for 36 straight years.