New data from AutoTrader reveals a record high of over 319 million online vehicle searches conducted during the first half of 2021.
The group’s 2021 AutoTrader Mid-Year Industry Report, provides precise data when it comes to the used car market in South Africa. The 56-page report found that BMW is the most searched for and also the most viewed used car brand in the country, while the most searched for model is the Toyota Hilux. It is also the most enquired about second-hand vehicle.
The Volkswagen Golf GTI is the most searched for individual variant, it said, while sport utility vehicles (SUVs) have the highest number of body type searches.
According to AutoTrader CEO George Mienie, the report comes at a pivotal time for car manufacturers and car dealers alike. “Following the recovery of a disrupted South African auto market, the industry focus now needs to shift to forging a path towards the new normal, one that ensures sustainability for the long term,” he said.
“Car shopping behavioural patterns and journeys were analysed, leading to insights into which makes, models and for the first time in South Africa, which variants including trim level data have become important to car-buying consumers,” Mienie said.
Since the last AutoTrader Car Bi-annual Industry Report, the top 5 most searched for brands remains largely the same, with only a single change in rank. The data shows that the lead in searches that BMW has traditionally enjoyed, has diminished further in the last six months as consumers search and compare more brands in their consideration set.
The top 3 most searched for car brands in South Africa took 37% of all car searches, down from 45% in the last six months of 2020. 12.8% of all car brand Searches 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 accounted for 11.87% of total searches.
Coming out of the epicentre of the national lockdown, double & single cab bakkies commanded the most consumer attention. The top 3 most searched for models, which represent 0.4% of all models listed on AutoTrader, attracted 9.4% of all model searches, down from 11% 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%.
Top 10 Models
The most searched for model (3.6% of all searches), once again was the Toyota Hilux, with 11.5 million searches. The second most searched for model was the Volkswagen Golf, with 2.9% of the total search share. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class which generated 2.8% of the total search share (9 million searches), was third.
The Volkswagen Golf GTI is still the most searched for variant of all listed variants available for sale. The top 3 most searched for variants (0.004% of all available) received 1.4% of all searches.
It’s worth noting, that since the introduction of Variant level search functionality, searches for the Volkswagen Golf GTI have tripled. The Volkswagen Polo GTI has retained the second most searches (1.4 million searches or 0.45% of total search share) after losing its position to the Mercedes-AMG C-Class C63 in the previous reports, receiving 0.44% of the total share.