Google Trends data analysed by price comparison website Compare the Market reveals that Toyota is the world’s most searched car brand for the second consecutive year.
The Japanese car manufacturer topped searches in 47 of the 154 countries analysed, representing about 31% of all searches, but other brands are starting to gain ground.
SA, for example, was one of 29 countries with BMW as its top brand. It’s the fourth year running that South Africans have searched for BMW the most.
In the four years since Compare the Market began publishing the report, Toyota, BMW and Mercedes have remained a consistent trio on the podium, with Toyota on top globally in 2018, 2020 and 2021.
The anomaly was 2019, where BMW secured the win in 118 countries. The impressive lead contributed to BMW holding the title of most searched across all four years, on average.
Despite Mercedes sitting in third place each year, in 2021 the brand closed the gap by almost 70%, sitting only six countries short of second place in comparison to 2021 when it was 19 behind.
Audi also saw considerable improvement in its ranking. Not only did the brand more than double the number of countries where it was the top search (from five to 11 countries in 2021), its ranking position increased from sixth to fourth this year.
Last year was also the first time that Compare the Market incorporated US electric brands Tesla into the analysis. Despite appearing in the top three searches for 24 countries, only five of them listed the brand as their top search (China, Hong Kong, Israel, Macao and Singapore).
In contrast, brands such as Ford, Nissan and Peugeot appear to be losing speed in the race. Each brand’s search ranking dropped by at least three places last year, with Ford barely scraping into ninth place in comparison to fifth in 2020 — though it was the top-searched brand in the US.
There are a number of reasons which could explain why Toyota remained in the top spot for the second consecutive year. In November 2021, Toyota Gazoo Racing announced that it would start reproducing spare parts for its Corolla Levin and Sprinter Trueno makes.
These parts had previously been discontinued, but with the reintroduction of them, car lovers could continue driving and enjoying vehicles from the past.
Toyota also launched number of new models in 2021, including a line-up of electric cars, the world-first Corolla Cross SUV and a new-generation Land Cruiser.