Google's top 10 car brands
SEARCH engine giant reveals most researched car manufacturers in Australia - but they don't match up to the sales charts.
Google has revealed a list of the top 10 car brand searches for Australian users, but there are some significant disparities between what brands buyers are looking up and what they're actually laying their hard-earned cash down on.
The Google figures are skewed by the fact that not everyone who searches for a car brand-related keyword using Google is looking to buy a new car.
They could be searching for used cars, spare parts, fuel efficiency figures or even the results of the last V8 Supercar race, for example - but it's still interesting to see which brands are at the front of people's minds when they're at their computer.
While the top three brands from both Google's list and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' VFACTS figures for year-to-date sales match up - Toyota ranks 1st, Holden 2nd and Ford 3rd - the likenesses stop at number four. Nevertheless, there are only two actual brands that differ between the lists.
Perhaps the biggest surprise from the statistics was Volkswagen, which failed to feature in the Google top 10 despite experiencing its best ever sales year in Australia. Its absence will have something to do with the fact that it only re-entered the local market in 2001.
Other shocks included Honda, which came fifth in Google's list but has only just managed to stay in the top 10 sales rankings after a terrible year of flood-affected sales.
Again, a long history of selling cars locally helps the Japanese carmaker to stay front of mind. BMW ranked firmly at number seven on the search list, well up on its sales ranking of 14th so far in 2011.
Other brands, such as Nissan and Mitsubishi, will likely have had their numbers boosted by the fact they have plenty of presence on the road in Australia.
According to census data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Mitsubishi and Nissan rank fourth and fifth in terms of the number of cars on the road, behind Ford (3rd), Holden (2nd) and Toyota, with more than two million cars on the road.
As for individual models of cars, the Holden Commodore is the most common vehicle on Australian roads by a wide margin, followed by the Ford Falcon, Toyota Corolla and Toyota Camry.