Most Searched Car Brands in 2016

While Volkswagen may have beaten Toyota as the world’s largest automaker by sales volume, Toyota is still the most popular brand, if you go by how often it is search for online.

Quickco, the UK car parts distributor, gathered “Googling” statistics from 193 countries to see which car brands these nations are most interested in. And although Google is not the only search engine, it’s widely used enough to be a fairly accurate indication of the web users’ interests.

So, while Toyota might have been toppled off the Best-Selling Automaker pedestal, its brand is still on top in the online world of 74 countries. This is followed by BMW, which came up top in 51 countries and Hyundai in 17. Together, these three brands dominate 73% of top searches worldwide.

That being said, it doesn’t correlate proportionately to the total searches, because some countries, like Mongolia and Marshall Islands, are sparsely populated. In other words, if Country A has 10 people and Toyota was the most search brand, and country B has 1000 people and Volkswagen was the most popular brand online, they each still get one “point”. Geddit?

Certainly national pride doesn’t come into play here. In Malaysia, neither of our homegrown Perodua nor Proton was the top search, but Japanese Honda instead. Hyundai is not top in its native country, but was most popular in Russia and India, whereas South Koreans were keener to search for BMW. The only countries which were more interested in their home-grown marques were Sweden (Volvo), France (Renault), Germany (BMW) and Italy (Fiat).

Exotic brands, for all their unattainable appeal, did not top the list except for one brand in one place, that is Bugatti in Niger. And although we could not find the sales number for Bugatti in Niger, and considering that the French carmaker only produces hundreds a year, we’re venturing that the searches are made out of interest rather than actual purchasing intent. Also, Niger was a French colony for more than sixty years and much of its current culture still retains French influences…or, we are just overthinking this. Quickco said that it originally thought that another superbrand, Pagani, was the top search in New Zealand…until it realised that in Kiwi-land, Pagani is a chain clothing store and the top car brand searched there was, again, Toyota.

In the country which you might think of when you think mass consumption of personal vehicles – ie. the US of A – the most search for car brand is none of its own, but the now second best-selling carmaker Toyota. However, it seems that we are on the cusp of a new era of Americanism, so who knows where the preference of Americans will sway in 2017.

To view a larger map, click here.

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