There's the car you own, and then there's the car you want. Car shoppers, enthusiasts, and everyone else interested in automobiles
If you want a view of a bigger map, click here. You can see each major country highlighted in a specific color, along with the brand most searched for labeled in white. Let's take a look at some of the interesting results a little more closely.
Toyota Grabs the Top Spot
Toyota was the one brand that simply dominated the map. 57 countries out of the 171 countries researched typed in "Toyota" the most. That's a serious majority compared to the others. That's not much of a surprise there since the brand is globally recognized and respected. Great cars like the new Camry (above), as well as popular trucks like the Tacoma and well-loved crossovers like the RAV4 garner huge sales everywhere. The U.S. chose Toyota as it's favorite, as well.
BMW came in at a distant second with 25 countries, followed very closely by Mercedes-Benz, which garnered 23. Tesla, surprisingly, took China and six other countries, beating out many mainstream brands.
Country of Origin Doesn't Seem to Matter
You'd think countries would select homegrown brands. not true for the most part. Hell, we didn't choose Chevy, Ford, or any other domestic brand. Sure, France chose its own Renault, and Germany selected Mercedes-Benz, but Volkswagen was the most popular brand searched for in Italy, and Japan and Korea both picked BMW. There's no rhyme or reason to the connections, it seems, except for the fact that everyone loves to dream.
A mere five countries searched the most for a car brand based in their own country. In addition to the ones mentioned above, there were India (Maruti Suzuki), Malaysia (Perodua), and Sweden (Volvo).
Exotics Get Love, Too
Though most of the brands chosen are pretty mainstream, there are obvious outliers like Lamborghini, which was the only exotic brand to show up in the study. It dominated in South and Central America, as well as Southeast Asia. That fact, though, doesn't equate to #1 sales volumes. These are quarter-million and up price tag cars, after all. Chalk it up to fantasies.
No other exotic brand garnered the top spot in any single country, not even Ferrari, which actually sells more cars than Lamborghini, but the Sant'Agata brand is catching up to the Maranello-based Ferrari brand. Super exotic Italian brand, Pagani, was actually the least searched car brand in spite of the fact that its Huayara and Zonda are superb handcrafted automobiles.
The Unsung Brands
Of course, some of the brands listed on the map aren't even sold here. Renault (French), Peugeot (French), and Skoda (Czech, seen above) earned wins in Europe, but none elsewhere. The fact that they're really not sold across the globe is part of the issue.
But then there are the real surprises. Mainstream brands like Acura and Chrysler didn't fare well at all, unfortunately. All in all, it's fascinating to see what qualifies as popular in each country, and the tides may change next year.