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The most searched-for car brands in South Africa

BMW is currently the most-searched-for car brand in South Africa, and the Toyota Hilux is the most-searched-for model. Online vehicle searches have also grown by 44% on a year-on-year basis. This is according to a mid-year car industry report conducted by AutoTrader. The report covers the period from January 2021 to July 2021.
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Source: Unsplash

"Since the last AutoTrader car industry report, the top five most searched for brands remained the same, with only a change in rank. The data shows that the lead in searches that BMW has traditionally enjoyed has diminished further in the last six months and is getting narrower as consumers search and compare more brands in their consideration set," AutoTrader said.

The top three most searched for car brands - 3.2% of all car brand searches - in South Africa took 37% of all car searches, down from 45% it experienced in the last six months of 2020. Of all car brand searches, 12.8% went to BMW, down from 15.4% in the previous six months. Mercedes Benz took second place with 11.94% of all car searches, with Volkswagen concluding the top 3 with 11.87% of total searches.

The most searched-for car brands in South Africa

Most searched-for models


AutoTrader said that double and single cab bakkies commanded the most consumer attention. "The top three most searched for models, which represent 0.4% of all models listed on AutoTrader, attracted 9.4% of all model searches, down from the 11% experienced in the previous six months. Ultimately, the share of searches has dropped across most models, but absolute search figures for top models have increased by 17.6%."

The most searched-for car brands in South Africa

The top 10 most searched for models remained the same following the last six months of 2020. The second most-searched-for model was the Volkswagen Golf, with 9,6 million searches. In third place is the Mercedes-Benz C Class with 9 million searches.

Other quick insights from the report

  • Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) have the highest number of body type searches.
  • Toyota is the most enquired on brand.
  • The average price of a used vehicle in the first half of 2021 was R389,145 with an average mileage of 77,830 km.
  • The most listed car is the Volkswagen Polo.

According to AutoTrader CEO George Minnie, there are three facets that need to be understood better in the automotive industry. "We need to understand better industry data, electric vehicles and working together as an industry for the good of South Africa’s economy and future.

The South African automotive industry stands on the cusp of great success. Last year, we experienced lockdown which continues to this very day and possibly into the foreseeable future. While it’s been a challenging time for all, we are able to extract many key learnings for the industry. On the back of this, I believe that, if we now focus on three areas, the automotive industry will be able to future proof itself in the coming years," said Minnie

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