Revealed: The World's Most In-Demand Cars
The last couple of months has seen the hottest COVID-19 market being used cars. The second-hand car market has boomed across the world as new car shortages and lengthy delays rise due to the semiconductor computer chip shortage and production issues. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the sale of used cars increased by 108.6% in the second quarter of the year. While the data reported that petrol cars are the most popular in used car sales, there is still a growing demand for electric cars.
Ford Europe Chairman Gunnar Hermann forecasts that this shortage could still be an issue in 2024. Will this affect demand for certain car brands? Peter Vardy looks at the world’s most in-demand cars, gathering monthly search data from Google from October 2020 to September 2021 for marques across the world.
Tesla is the most globally in-demand car brand
Interestingly, the data shows that electric vehicle giant Tesla is the most sought-after marque across the world, appearing as the most in-demand car for 22 countries – higher than any other car manufacturer. Looming petrol and diesel bans across the world have spiked demand in several countries, including France, Spain, Sweden, and the Netherlands.
Top searches for Tesla are seen across continents including Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South America, and Scandinavian countries, showing a global desire for a new generation of eco-friendly cars.
MINI is the UK’s most in-demand manufacturer
When we think about “quintessentially British”, people usually think about double-decker red buses, black cabs, red telephone boxes – and the MINI Cooper. Our data found that MINI is the UK’s most in-demand car manufacturer, which has become an integral part of British identity. Plus, the now German automaker has its own range of all-electric vehicles which premiered in July 2019 – Brits are perhaps leaning more towards MINI rather than alternative electric ranges from affordable manufacturers like Ford, with the most important seller in the brand being the MINI Electric. It seems the British still prefer the old favourite.
Europe leads the way on electric vehicles
Europe is dominated by Tesla searches, which isn’t surprising with Bloomberg reporting that Tesla Model 3 has become the first electric car to top European car sales, beating Volkswagen and Renault. Where another brand came first, Tesla followed second for a large majority of countries.
Denmark and Norway’s most in-demand car manufacturer was Bugatti rather than Tesla, an unexpected result due to their progressive policies and attitude towards reducing emissions. When looking closer at Denmark, the country has been a frontier in switching to electric vehicles which accounted for 77.5% of all new cars in September this year – this is up from 61.5% the year before. In July this year, hypercar companies Bugatti and Rimac announced a joint venture, using joined resources for electric hypercars going forward. Has this driven interest in Bugatti in these nations?
The car brand that Italy is most interested in purchasing is Tesla, followed closely by Ferarri and Fiat, two iconic Italian car manufacturers. In a country known for high-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail, the same is demonstrated in the design of their vehicles which our data shows they favour over other manufacturers. The Italian Government has introduced incentives for hybrid and electric cars with grants for low emission vehicles until December 31st 2021, as well as a limit on petrol and diesel cars into city centres. All three brands offer electric models from their traditional cars.
BMW is Africa’s favourite
BMW has been found to be Africa’s most sought after car and has been found year after year to be South Africa’s favourite. Some of the African car cultures are being shaped by luxury car manufacturers targeting the rapidly urbanising parts of the continent. For example, some African countries’ top three most sought after manufacturers were found to be:
- Egypt: BMW, Tesla, and Lamborghini
- Zimbabwe: BMW, Lamborghini, and Mercedes-Benz
- Morocco: Dacia, Kia, and Renault
- Nigeria: Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, and Lexus
- Ghana: Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Lamborghini
Jeep dominates North America and South Asia
Jeep is the second most in-demand car manufacturer in the U.S, Canada, India, and Pakistan.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the bestselling SUVs and pickups, with U.S. sales dominating the Ford Explorer through the third quarter of 2021 – other models such as the Wrangler have done well, too. SUVs are popular options in North America due to their on- and offroading capabilities. The ‘mainstreamification’ of premium SUVs has helped push these types of vehicles in America and Canada, with Jeep positioned in North America as a rugged go-anywhere machine, with popularity growing more and more, overshadowing sedans and minivans.
India and Pakistan have leaned more to an SUV car market over the last couple of years with a large proportion of car sales being larger models rather than hatchbacks and sedans.
Luxury cars in South America
The most in-demand car brand in South America is Ferarri, an Italian luxury manufacturer of sports cars and supercars.
As both Mexico and Brazil are hosts of Grand Prix events, exposure has popularised the Ferrari in those countries. The next Forza event (Forza Horizon 5) is due to be held in Mexico and has a lot of playable Ferraris which will allow people to get behind the wheel of their dream car – even if it’s virtual.
Interestingly, Brazil and Mexico are at the lower end of household expenditure in the world, meaning they don't spend as much on household goods, services, and products. Is this money instead being spent on exotic motors? Three of the four richest South American cities are in Brazil and Mexico, so Ferarri vehicles would fit in among the luxury hotels of Rio de Janeiro.
Tesla is the most wanted in Southeast Asia, followed by a varied selection of cars for different lifestyles and budgets. This region is eager for green, electric vehicles such as Tesla models, with the Japanese automobiles that usually dominate sales. Japanese cars usually do well as they are prized as affordable, high-quality vehicles, however, Tesla has become a rising star as these countries get on board with battery electric vehicles and their infrastructure.