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2014’s most Googled and purchased car brands

You’re far more likely to research your next car purchase on the internet than by trawling your town or county’s array of forecourts – that’s sort of why we started carwow after all.

To see how popular online car research was in 2014, we’ve used Google’s tools to check how many searches were made for the top car manufacturers throughout the year from the UK – and then we’ve compared these results to the number of cars sold by each marque.

In terms of internet searches, it’s a teutonic takeover with the three main luxury German marques – BMW, Mercedes and Audi – attracting the most internet traffic. What’s evident from these statistics is that internet searches don’t automatically translate to purchases.

Leading the way with nearly 4.5 million searches in 2014 was BMW. Its success must, in part, be down to its well-received i3 and i8 electric cars and the newly released M3 and M4. For our money, we reckon many of these searches were people looking to see if they could afford a BMW on their monthly budgets.

Seemingly only some decided that they could because, when you take sales into account, BMW trails Audi, Ford, Vauxhall and Volkswagen. This suggests that, despite getting the most online hits, BMW is falling short of getting its potential customers to sign on the dotted line.

Neck-and-neck behind BMW are Mercedes and Audi. Each received more than 3.5 million searches in 2014 and, for Audi, this has translated to good profits, beating off both its premium rivals and only trailing Ford, Vauxhall and Volkswagen on outright sales.

Luxury marques fared well in terms of internet searches but unsurprisingly it was the bulk manufacturers that shifted the most motors this year. Ford came out on top, with Volkswagen and Vauxhall coming second and third. This is unsurprising as a glance at the SMMT’s 2014 sales statistics shows the top three sellers for November were the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Golf and Vauxhall Corsa.

Almost all the other results correlate – so where a manufacturer has had lots of internet searches they are likely to sell more cars. This is true for all except the ultra-low volume manufacturers such as Ferrari and Lamborghini. These brands draw internet traffic from motoring enthusiasts all over the world but, with their astronomical prices, can only be purchased by a very select few.

Want more juicy statistics?

Take a look at our article of 2014’s most and least successful car manufacturers to see who’ll be getting the most search traffic and sales next year. Or, take a look at a cross-section of the car buying public and see how they’ve specified their Volkswagen Golf Rs.

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