Toyota maintains its lead ahead of the pack
Japanese behemoth Toyota is once again the most searched car brand overall in 2022, continuing its pole position from 2021 and 2020. Toyota was the most searched for car brand in 69 countries out of 155, accounting for 44.5% of all searches – an increase of roughly 10% from last year.
Why does Toyota remain so strong? One reason could be that Toyota was listed as the most reliable car brand of 2022 by consumer non-profit organisation Consumer Reports.1 Toyota was also named as the most trusted automotive brand in Australia in a survey by market research company Roy Morgan.2
These accolades speak to the marque’s pedigree and reputation for quality, dependable vehicles. In 2022 they also updated or released over 15 different car models,3 which could be a contributing factor for why interest has remained so high.
Yet another reason could be statements by the CEO that ran counter to the hungry demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and zero-emission cars.
While other car brands have promised to go completely electric in the near future, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda said that the Japanese powerhouse would focus on providing a variety of powertrains for future vehicles – including combustion engines.
Mr Toyoda said that EVs “are just going to take longer than the media would like us to believe,” and that it “wasn’t right” for his company to dictate to motorists what types of cars they can and can’t buy.4
BMW gains while Mercedes falls back
While Toyota remained number one, BMW and Mercedes also maintained their respective positions on the podium from previous years. The German automakers have always stayed in the top three since Compare the Market began analysing search trends in 2018, though it appears Mercedes’ star may be fading.
While BMW increased the number of countries where it was the most searched car brand from 29 to 36, Mercedes saw a decline, falling from 23 countries to 10 in 2022.
Are certain brands favoured in specific regions?
While popular brands like Toyota, BMW and Mercedes were popular across the world, some brands are more popular in specific regions.
Kia is popular in some Middle Eastern and north-African countries. It was the most searched for brand in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Palestine, Syria and Uzbekistan. It was also the most searched for brand in other countries including Ecuador, India and Vietnam.
Volvo is popular in Scandinavia and neighbouring regions of Europe. It was number one in Finland and Sweden – which isn’t too surprising given that’s where the brand was born and where it still produces its cars today. It was the second most searched car manufacturer in Norway and third most Googled car brand in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
What happened to Tesla?
While Tesla was the most-popular car brand in Google searches for five countries in 2021, 2022 saw the famous EV brand fall from the list with no countries listing it as their most searched car brand. In 2022, Tesla was the third-most searched car brand in three countries: Bhutan, French Guiana and Togo, a far cry from its performance in 2021.
It may be that Tesla is facing increasing competition from other new EV-only car brands like Polestar, Lucid and Rivian. Additionally, mainstream car manufacturers are shifting to only produce EVs, such as Volvo, where EVs will represent 100% of its line-up by 2030.5
Jeep makes its most-searched debut while Renault, Rolls Royce and Mazda get cut
One plucky brand that made the list for most searched car brands is the off-road icon Jeep. This is the first time Jeep has been the most-searched car brand of any country since Compare the Market began their annual analysis. Jeep tied with Honda, Peugeot, Lexus and Suzuki, who all had one country list them as the most searched car brand.
While it was good news for the 4WD brand, several car brands that had made the list last year were cut. Renault, Rolls Royce and Mazda had previously been the most-searched car brands for some countries, but in 2022 no country listed them as the most-searched brand in Google Trends data. As a consolation, they did make an appearance as the second and third-most searched brands for some countries, showing that there is still some interest in these marques.