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Search trends: Most popular car brands in the world

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? New research looks at Google stats to find the most searched for and talked about car brands in every single country around the world this year.

The results, from Select Car Leasing, revealed how interest in car brands differs around the world and mirrors the changing culture in each country in 2018.

The results highlighting a change in preferences include:

  • Europe: South Korean brand Hyundai takes third spot in Europe as it gains a reputation for quality, reliability and value for money – highlighting a move away from the ever dominant German manufacturers which hold the other top spots.

  • North America: The traditional gas-guzzling and muscle car heartlands of the world are turning their attention to the alternative fuel vehicle, Tesla, in large numbers, claiming more than 2 million searches in the US and Canada alone. Even considering Tesla’s headline-grabbing chief Elon Musk, few could have predicted such a transition.

  • South America: Hyundai claims the majority of South America but the bigger countries in the region favour more established brands in Honda and Volkswagen. It’s surprising to see that the smaller nations, such as Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana, set their sights on much more luxurious loves, googling supercars such as McLaren and Lamborghini.

  • Asia: Surprisingly with Japan and South Korea’s rich history in the automotive trade and being home to several of the largest players in the world – it appears that they 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, with this taking the top spot in India, Nepal, Sir Lanka, Malaysia and the Maldives, whilst the urban traffic conditions in Colombia and the Philippines leads to the practical SMART car being the most searched brand here.

  • Africa: Pickups remain popular, particularly in tourist-heavy countries. It isn’t surprising to see Toyota as a clear leader in the region and searched for in a massive 26 countries. BMW and Mercedes-Benz also make an appearance, and the dominance of these three major car brands means there is little room for any other manufacturers to climb to the top.

  • Oceania: Toyota is also by far the most searched for car brand in Oceania, being the most popular manufacturer in 9 countries, including Australia, who search for Toyota 165,000 every month. New Zealand upholds its reputation for championing greener living with Tesla being the most searched for brand here.


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