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Every country's most successful car brand export

When it comes to searching for your next car, there are hundreds of brands out there to choose from.  Many vehicles around the world are synonymous with their countries of origin. The UK is famously known for the likes of Rolls Royce and Bentley while brands like BMW and Audi are all well known for their German origins.

Tesla steering wheel with hand pointing to touch screen 

The UK alone has seen car export revenues surpass £27 billion, while the automotive industry itself produced nearly 78 million vehicles worldwide in 2020. Therefore we’ve investigated which car brands from each country were most popular last year. Using Google search data, we analysed more than 250 different brands to find out which one from each country interests the global population the most.

You might decide to buy a car from a brand close to home, or from a brand with origins further afield. Either way be sure to compare car insurance quotes to ensure you know how much your dream car could cost to run.

 

The world’s top 20 most searched for car brands

In 2020, Germany, Japan and the United States all exported the highest value of cars globally. So it comes as no surprise that each country features more frequently than any other in the world.

German-manufactured cars made up 19.3% of total car exports in 2020, at a value of $122.3 billion. Five of its 14 brands featured in our global ranking of the top 20 most successful car brand exports. Meanwhile Japan, which made up 12.8% of total car exports in 2020, at a value of $80.9 billion, had four of its 17 brands in the top 20. Finally, the US made up 7.2% of total car exports last year, at a value of $45.6 billion. Four of its 28 brands made an appearance in our top 20 rankings.

Rank Car brand Country of origin Global annual searches
1
Tesla
United States
11,100,000
2
Volkswagen
Germany
9,140,000
3
Toyota
Japan
9,140,000
4
BMW
Germany
7,480,000
5
Hyundai
South Korea
7,480,000
6
Audi
Germany
6,120,000
7
Honda
Japan
6,120,000
8
Ford
United States
6,120,000
9
Porsche
Germany
5,000,000
10
Lamborghini
Italy
5,000,000
11
Kia
South Korea
5,000,000
12
Renault
France
4,090,000
13
Peugeot
France
4,090,000
14
Nissan
Japan
4,090,000
15
Jeep
United States
4,090,000
16
Mercedes-Benz
Germany
3,350,000
17
Ferrari
Italy
3,350,000
18
Mazda
Japan
3,350,000
19
Chevrolet
United States
3,350,000
20
Skoda
Czech Republic
2,740,000
 

1. Tesla 

White Tesla parked in an empty car park

Taking first place on the podium as the most searched for car brand globally is American brand Tesla. It has almost two million more global searches each year than the next most searched for car brand, Volkswagen. Up against 28 other US brands, and only founded in 2003, Tesla soared to fame when it created some of the world’s first electric vehicles. Those vehicles were seen to be capable of meeting the requirements of car users for the first time. The brand is credited with changing the face of the electric car industry.

 

2. Volkswagen 

Orange Volkswagen Beetle parked outside a house on leafy road

Sitting in second position with 9,140,000 annual global searches is German brand Volkswagen, engineered by Ferdinand Porsche. It’s one of 14 German brands in our research and one of the most popular brands in the country. The original Volkswagen Beetle sold over 21.5 million vehicles alone in the 20th century.

 

3. Toyota 

White Toyota parked in an open green space with headlights on

Tied with Volkswagen is Japanese brand Toyota, also seeing an enormous 9,140,000 global searches each year on Google. The family business started out as a textiles company in 1924 and in 2013 became the first motor company to produce over 10 million cars in one year. Its popularity is no surprise, given that of the Toyotas sold 20 years ago, 80% are still roadworthy and being driven today.

 

4. BMW 

Red BMW parked on brick flooring

In fourth position is another well known German brand, BMW. Founded in 1916 in Munich, the iconic blue and white chequered logo that has since become a staple in many households actually represents the flag of Bavaria. Garnering an impressive 7,480,000 global searches each year, this well respected vehicle manufacturer remains as popular as ever.

 

5. Hyundai 

Red Hyundai parked on road in front of a tree and city skyline

Hyundai sits alongside BMW in the most searched for car brands, also pulling in 7,480,000 annual global searches. The South Korean manufacturer is the first Asian brand to rank in the top 10. It’s also the second biggest company in the country, after Samsung. Founded in 1967, Hyundai translates to ‘modernity’ and owns one of the biggest automotive manufacturing plants in the world, producing approximately 1.6 million cars each year.

 

6. Audi 

Dark grey Audi parked across the road

The third of Germany’s appearances in the top 10, Audi is synonymous with luxury manufacturing and sees an admirable 6,120,000 Google searches each year. The founder of Audi, August Horch, trained under Karl Benz, the founder of Mercedes-Benz, and the brand was formed three years later. 

 

7. Honda 

White Honda on road surrounded by trees

Japan’s second appearance in the global top 10, Honda also sees 6,120,000 global searches each year. It was also the first foreign vehicle to be manufactured in the USA. The Honda brand actually started out manufacturing motorised bicycles. It then moved onto cars and even ATVs, aircrafts and mountain bikes among other products, building over 14 million engines a year

 

8. Ford

Red Ford on road with green land behind

Like Audi and Honda, the American Ford brand brings in a massive 6,120,000 Google searches each year. The company is the second largest family owned business in the world. It produces the iconic Ford Mustang, the first model of which was actually sold by accident, before selling an unprecedented 22,000 units at its debut in 1964.

 

9. Porsche

Dark grey Porsche on rainy road with red brake lights on

Completing Germany’s features in the top 10 is Porsche, with 5,000,000 searches around the globe each year. Porsche is deemed to be the 57th most valuable brand in the world. The founder of the business, Ferdinand Porsche, built what is believed to be the first ever electric vehicle in 1899. This was over 100 years before Elon Musk revealed Tesla’s current day offerings.

 

10. Lamborghini 

Side view of yellow Lamborghini parked on residential road

Bringing up the rear and closing out the top 10 is the Lamborghini brand, also with 5,000,000 global searches every year. Nothing says luxury like the Italian manufacturer, but founded in 1963 the company actually originally produced tractors. They’re also often used to transport donated blood and organs within Italy. The police forces in both Italy and the UAE also choose them as their service vehicles due to their incredibly fast speeds.

 

Every country’s most searched for home-grown car brand

These brands have all become household names and most people would recognise their logos, but which one is the most famous from its country of origin? In the UK, it may come as a surprise that Rolls Royce and Land Rover are the most searched for car exports. This means they’ve surpassed the likes of Aston Martin, McLaren and Bentley and enjoy double the global searches each year in comparison to British automotive brand, MINI. In the USA it’s Tesla that ranked the highest, with 11,100,000 annual global searches and passing the renowned brands of Jeep, Chevrolet and even Cadillac.

 

Europe

The continent boasting the highest number of countries with their own home-grown car brands, European motors are well known all over the globe. Volkswagen found itself at the helm, with Lamborghini, Renault and the world’s oldest car brand, Peugeot, following.

Country Most searched for national car brand Global annual searches
Germany
Volkswagen
9,140,000
Italy
Lamborghini
5,000,000
France
Renault/Peugeot
4,090,000
Czech Republic
Skoda
2,740,000
Sweden
Volvo
2,740,000
United Kingdom
Rolls Royce/Land Rover
2,240,000
Romania
Dacia
1,500,000
Spain
SEAT
1,500,000
Russia
Lada
450,000
Croatia
Rimac
201,000
Switzerland
Sbarro
165,000
Turkey
TOGG
110,000
Monaco
Venturi
74,000
Belgium
Gillet
60,500
Greece
NAMCO
60,500
Denmark
Zenvo
33,100
Netherlands
Donkervoort/Spyker
27,100
Austria
Magna Steyr
14,800
Latvia
Dartz
6,600
Poland
Arrinera
4,400
 

Asia

The Asian automotive industry is heavily export-dependent, with countries like Japan shipping over 50% of its vehicles overseas each year. Toyota ranks first as the most searched for Asian car brand on the continent, with Hyundai and NIO, China’s answer to Tesla, following closely behind. 

Country Most searched for national car brand Global annual searches
Japan
Toyota
9,140,000
South Korea
Hyundai
7,480,000
China
NIO
1,220,000
India
Tata Motors
550,000
Malaysia
Proton
550,000
Vietnam
VinFast
165,000
Lebanon
W Motors
27,100
Taiwan
Luxgen
27,100
United Arab Emirates
W Motors
27,100
Indonesia
Esemka
9,900
Bangladesh
Bangla Car
3,600
Iran
Bahman
2,400
North Korea
Pyeonghwa Motors
1,900
Sri Lanka
Vega Innovations
880
 

Africa

In Africa, Innoson Motors ranked as Nigeria’s most popular car brand, and the most searched for brand in the continent, with 12,100 global searches. Tunisia’s most popular brand Wallyscar garnered 8,100 searches, while Morocco-based Laraki received 6,600 searches. 

Country Most searched for national car brand Global annual searches
Nigeria
Innoson Motors
12,100
Tunisia
Wallyscar
8,100
Morocco
Laraki
6,600
Ghana
Kantanka
3,600
Kenya
Mobius Motors
1,900
South Africa
Perana Performance Group
70
 

North America & South America

Unsurprisingly, as the leading manufacturer of electric vehicles and the most searched for car brand overall, Tesla ranks as the USA’s most popular car brand. Mexico’s VUHL ranks as the country’s most popular brand with 33,100 searches, while Intermeccanica is Canada’s most popular brand with 2,400 global searches. 

Country Most searched for national car brand Global annual searches
United States
Tesla
11,100,000
Mexico
VUHL
33,100
Canada
Intermeccanica
2,400
Uruguay
Effa Motors
1,600
 

Oceania

Australia and New Zealand were home to lesser known car brands, when compared to others, with New Zealand born Saker Cars receiving only 210 searches globally. Similarly Australian car brand Brabham Automotive only received 880 global annual searches.

Country Car brand Global annual searches
Australia
Brabham Automotive
880
New Zealand
Saker Cars
210


Alex Kindred, car insurance expert at Confused.com, comments:

“We all have our favourite car brands; whether it’s luxury, executive or economy, designed in the UK or abroad!

“Many of the car brands we know and love are synonymous with the countries they’ve been exported from and are truly parts of their history and heritage. As our research shows, some of the world’s oldest car brands have come out on top and are some of the most successful exports globally.

“Choosing a new car is a hugely exciting time, and there’s so many brands to choose from. However it’s important to remember the costs of insurance can vary massively depending on the cost of the car. If you’re in the market for a new car, be sure to compare car insurance quotes to know in advance how much you could be paying to run it. ”
 

Methodology