Whether you're buying a car or just wanting to get up to speed with the automotive industry, Google is among the first places you go. With that said, the search engine is the best gauge to check out which car brands are the most popular in various countries – an annual ranking that Australia's Compare the Market religiously put out.
For 2021, Toyota reigns supreme as the overall most searched car brand. It was the top-searched car brand in 47 out of 154 countries, representing 31 percent of the sample. BMW comes in second as the most search car brand in 29 territories, while Mercedes-Benz comes in a close third at 23.
Interestingly, the three aforementioned automakers have been on musical chairs for the past four years, with BMW and Toyota vying for the top spot. Of note, BMW had the most number of countries as a top-searched car brand in 2019, being the most popular car brand in 118 countries that year.
For the first time, Tesla has joined the ranking in 2021. The American electric vehicle maker has become the top-searched car brand in Hong Kong, Israel, Macao, Singapore, and China. It also appeared as either second or third in Austria, the Bahamas, Botswana, Congo Kinshasa, Croatia, Finland, Guinea, Iceland, Kuwait, Madagascar, Malta, Norway, Palestine, Rwanda, South Africa, South Korea, Syria, the United States, and Yemen.
While the interest in other automakers fluctuates each year, it's important to note that brands like Audi, Hyundai, and Suzuki appeared more in Google searches in 2021 than in 2020. Both Rolls-Royce and Mazda have appeared as the top-searched automaker in at least one country for the time since 2018.
On the contrary, brands like Volkswagen, Mitsubishi, Alfa Romeo, and Daewoo didn't appear as a top search in any of the 154 countries sampled.