The influence and popularity of the world’s most well-known car brands is often measured by sales figures, but does that really tell the full story? We delved into Google to find the most searched for and talked about car brands in every single country around the world in the last 12 months.
The data reveals a fascinating insight into global car interest and desires in 2018.
Mercedes-Benz is the most searched for car brand in Europe, winning the battle of the car brands in 13 countries. German manufacturers dominate western Europe with Mercedes-Benz being joined by Volkswagen and BMW as three of the top five brands in the region. Interestingly, Hyundai takes third spot as it builds on its increasing reputation for quality, reliability and value for money. The UK and Germany share a strong, deep-rooted rivalry but both countries find common ground in their love of luxury, with Mercedes-Benz the most searched brand in each country. The UK has ditched the nation’s traditional powerhouses of Ford and Vauxhall and is searching for the premium German car company 450,000 times every month.
Nowhere are the winds of change more evident than North America, where Tesla claims a huge chunk of searches, accounting for more than 2million in the US and Canada alone. Even considering Tesla’s headline-grabbing chief Elon Musk, few could have predicted the traditional gas-guzzling and muscle car heartland of the world turning its attention to the alternative fuel vehicle in such large numbers. In fact, the love of the muscle car has spread across the border and is the most searched for brand in Mexico. Hyundai, Lamborghini and Toyota also claim a share of the region, as the top searched brands in six and seven countries respectively.
Hyundai claims a majority in South America, but the bigger countries in the region, Brazil and Argentina favour more established brands in Honda and Volkswagen. The influence of the United States is also clear with Chevrolet being the most popular brand in Colombia and Ecuador. Smaller nations such as the Falklands, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago love Googling supercars with their favourites being McLaren and Lamborghini.
Like Europe, German car manufacturers dominate Asia. Mercedes-Benz and BMW lead the way, being the most searched for car brands in 7 countries each. Considering both countries boast a rich history in the automotive trade and are home to several of the largest players in the world, incredibly both Japan and South Korea are big fans of BMW, searching for the car manufacturer 323,000 times on average. Southern Asia seems to have a soft spot for Lamborghini, which is the most searched for car brand in India, Nepal, Sir Lanka, Malaysia and the Maldives. The urban traffic conditions are infamous in many countries of South East Asia and this seems to be resulting in a push towards practical micro and sub-compact vehicles, with SMART the most popular brand in both Cambodia and the Philippines. While political tensions between Israel and Palestine are well-known, they are a fan of the same car manufacturer, both favouring BMW.
As pickups remain incredibly popular in Africa, particularly in tourist heavy countries, it perhaps isn’t surprising to see Toyota a clear leader in the region and searched for in a massive 26 countries. Again, BMW and Mercedes-Benz make an appearance, being searched for in 10 and 7 countries respectively. The dominance of these three major car brands means there is little room for any other manufacturers to climb to the top of the tree, with the likes of Mini, Peugeot and Mitsubishi topping the search charts in just one country each.
Continuing its southern hemisphere dominance, Toyota is by far the most searched for car brand in Oceania, being the most popular manufacturer in 9 countries, including Australia, which searches for Toyota 165,000 times every month. Lamborghini is popular in some of the smaller islands such as Fuji and American Samoa. New Zealand has a reputation for championing greener living and cleaner emissions and this is clearly evident with Tesla as its most searched brand.
* Monthly search data is based on 12 months (Sep-17 to Aug-18) of data via Google keyword planner tool
* Data is solely from Google and does not include other search engines