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*Please note: Some countries haven’t been included due to limited data available. Due to the sampling mechanism of Google Trends, top results – even those historically – are subject to change. Data for 2018 and 2019 was collected between 21/05/2020 and 27/05/2020, while 2020 data was collected on 04/01/2021.
Toyota takes the lead
As the map above shows, Japanese car manufacturer Toyota was the most searched car brand in 2020. Our analysis shows it topped searches in around a third (34.8%) of all countries analysed. It’s down from the 41.1% of top searches among analysed countries in 2018, but up from the 17.7% of top searches in 2019. Toyota was among several brands that saw a boost in popularity in 2020, partly due to BMW experiencing a significant dip in search interest for many countries.
A possible reason why Toyota also sparked interest globally in 2020 was because of the extensive and unique range of vehicles that were announced and released. In December 2020, Toyota launched the C+pod – a new and compact electric two-seater vehicle.1 Other notable releases throughout 2020 included the new GR Yaris,2 a fully redesigned Mirai,3 and an expansion of the popular Corolla series with the new Corolla Cross compact SUV.4
BMW overtaken, but still popular in 2020
BMW was the most searched vehicle brand in 2019 based on our analysis, topping almost three in four (74.6%) of the 158 countries we analysed. However, it only topped searches in 34 countries in 2020, dropping to 21.5% (or around one in five top searches). Still, this was enough to make it the second most searched car brand in the countries we analysed.
BMW still most popular over the three-year period
While Toyota topped the Google search list for the most countries we analysed in 2020, BMW has proven to be the most searched car brand overall between 2018 and 2020. It accounts for 38.3% of all top searches within that period, compared to Toyota’s 31.3%.
Nations continuing to support local brands
As was seen in 2019, some countries continue to search for locally manufactured vehicle brands. For three years running, Swedish company Volvo topped searches in Sweden. It’s a similar story in Japan, where Toyota proved most popular. More Italians searched for local manufacturer Fiat than any other, while BMW continued to dominate searches in Germany and Peugeot got people clicking in France.
By numbers – Which car brands were most searched between 2018 and 2020?
To obtain this information, we used Google Trends data to determine the most-searched vehicle brands for 158 countries around the world between 2018 and 2020. Some countries had limited or no data at all and were omitted from the list. Similarly, we’ve excluded brands or search terms that weren’t car brands from the list.
Due to the sampling mechanism of Google Trends, top results – even those historically – are subject to change. Data for 2018 and 2019 was collected between 21/05/2020 and 27/05/2020, while 2020 data was collected 0n 04/01/2021.