SA's most favourite vehicles in 2021? A German brand, a bakkie and a hot hatch

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2020 Toyota Hilux. Image: Calvin Fisher
2020 Toyota Hilux. Image: Calvin Fisher

 • BMW remains the most searched vehicle brand in South Africa. 
 • The Toyota Hilux remains the most desired vehicle by locals.
 • Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen are the next two most-searched brands.
 • For more motoring stories, go to Wheels24. 

BMW is still the most loved used car brand. The Toyota Hilux is the most desired model. And the Volkswagen Golf GTI is still the most searched for variant.

This is revealed in the 2021 AutoTrader Mid-Year Industry Report, which covers the first six months of this year. This document – which contains anything and everything from insights into the supply of used cars to the increasing demand for electric vehicles – provides precise data for the most searched for make, model and variants in the used car market in South Africa.

According to AutoTrader CEO George Mienie, the study confirms the immense popularity of the BMW brand. 

"It remains the most searched for brand by far. However, the lead in searches that BMW traditionally enjoys has diminished further in the last six months. The German company's lead over the second-placed brand is getting narrower as consumers search and compare more brands in their consideration set," he reveals.

2021 BMW M3 Competition
2021 BMW M3 Competition

In the first six months of this year, 12.8% of all car brand searches went to BMW (versus 15.4% in the previous six months). Second-placed Mercedes-Benz achieved 11.94% of all car searches, with Volkswagen occupying a third place on the podium with 11.87% of total searches. 

It was more of the same when it came to model searches too. The most searched for model (achieving 3.6% of all searches) was once again the top-selling new vehicle in South Africa, namely the Toyota Hilux. A whopping 11.5 million searches took place for this iconic bakkie.

Second and third were two German vehicles, namely the Volkswagen Golf and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The Golf accounted for 2.9% of the total search share (9.6 million searches), while the C-Class generated 2.8% of the total search share (nine million searches).

AutoTrader Mid-Year Report: January 2021 - June 2021

AutoTrader's point of difference in the market is that its data is detailed down to variant level (no other marketplace has this level of insight), and – thanks to this – the report can reveal that two Volkswagen derivatives occupy the top two spots.

The Volkswagen Golf GTI is still the most searched for variant (1.6 million searches or 0.5% of all variant searches). "It is worth noting that, since the introduction of variant level search functionality in May 2009, searches for the Volkswagen Golf GTI have tripled," points out Mienie.

AutoTrader Mid-Year Report: January 2021 - June 2021

The Volkswagen Polo GTI regained the second most searches (1,4 million searches or 0.45% of total search share). It previously lost its position to the Mercedes-AMG C-Class C63, which now occupies the third spot, with 0.44% of the total share (1.4 million searches). 

AutoTrader Mid-Year Report: January 2021 - June 2021

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