Supercars are fast, but time flies. 2022 is a few months behind us and top exotic car brands are already unveiling new models and concepts for the year to come. But now that the dust has settled and the data is collected and processed, we take a look back at the most popular exotic car brands of 2022.
While there are several reasons a person may be searching a car brand, such as curiosity, news, merchandise, or they’re in-market to purchase or rent, Google search data gives us a directional indicator of brand popularity. We used Google Trends (and a few other tools) to compare and analyze the search interest for Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, and Rolls-Royce. Here are the breakdowns, in order of search volume:
Of the six brands we compared, BMW drew highest search interest on Google in 2022. BMW generally has widespread appeal with a model for everyone and is more economically accessible than some of its exotic competitors. The x5, x6, m3, and m4 lines all attracted over 200,000 average monthly searches across the United States. The x5 was the unquestionable winner in terms of search demand, eclipsing 250,000 average monthly searches in the US and being the top searched BMW model of 2022. Unsurprisingly, the BMW 7 and BMW 8 Series, being on the higher end of the price spectrum, were among the least queried BMW models.
One trend of note is the overall increase in demand for all-electric luxury vehicles in 2022. BMW further expanded its all-electric lineup in 2022 with the iX and i4, which may have contributed to a rise searches. Miami, Palm Beach, Los Angeles, and San Francisco searched BMW more than any other cities in the United States.
Mercedes-Benz is another brand with mass appeal, although it’s generally favored by an audience with a palate for higher-end luxury rides. Search demand for Mercedes-Benz grew 50% from 2021 to 2022, from 1 million to 1.5 million average monthly searches in the United States. Another beneficiary of increased demand for electric vehicles, Mercedes-Benz released its electric EQB and EQS models in the summer of 2022, which averaged around 18,000 monthly searches nationwide. When it comes to specific models, the superclass AMG was the top searched Mercedes-Benz model with around 28k average monthly searches, and the runner-up S-Class models trailed right behind, averaging around 22k average monthly searches. Miami, Los Angeles, and Atlanta (home to the Atlanta Falcons’ Mercedes-Benz Stadium) were the cities that recorded the most search interest in the brand.
If this was a comparison of top searched car models, the Porsche 911 and Cayenne would rival the BMW X5 in terms of average monthly searches nationally at 246,000. However, since we’re looking at brand search interest as a whole, Porsche sits comfortably in third place at 1.22 million average monthly searches in the U.S., up from 1 million in 2021. California dominated search interest for Porsche in 2022, with Palm Springs, Los Angeles, and San Francisco/Oakland as the top three cities. Miami and Palm Beach showed the fourth and fifth for interest in Porsche among US cities in 2022.
In the eternal battle between exotic car rivals, Lamborghini edged out Ferrari in terms of search volume in the United States in 2022 to place fourth on this list. Lamborghini was the one of only two brands analyzed on this list that had a year over year decrease in search volume, falling 23% from 1 million average monthly searches to 823,000. The brand’s stylish SUV offering, the Urus, had fans Googling it a collective average of 246,000 times per month, and was Lamborghini’s top searched model in 2022. Miami was overwhelmingly the U.S. city showing the most interest in Lamborghini in 2022.
Search demand for Ferrari comes with several interesting caveats. Brand merchandise like hats, keychains, etc. made up 20-30% of Ferrari’s annual revenue in 2022, and the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 racing team is one of the most popular in the world. These facts suggest searches for Ferrari is about more than the car itself. After all, the brand's exclusivity is well documented and not just anyone can buy one of these supercars straight from the factory (though resale is popular, and one can always rent!). All that said, Ferrari still attracted 550,000 average monthly searches in 2022, roughly the same as 2021. The iconic Ferrari F40, which is no longer in production, was the top searched model of 2022 with about 75,000 average monthly queries. For comparison, the 488 and 458, which are also no longer in production, attracted just under 50,000 average monthly searches nationwide. Like Lamborghini, Ferrari was most searched in the U.S. within the Miami, FL area in 2022.
Rolls-Royce, the royalty-worthly luxury powerhouse, finishes last on this list. The extraordinary nature of the Rolls-Royce brand, from its meticulous production to its hefty price tag, makes the car brand generally inaccessible to the population at large. While some searches may be from those earnestly in-market, most are likely window shoppers and curious minds wanting to learn more. It may even be that RR is becoming increasingly out of reach for most as, like Lamborghini, it saw a drop in search interest from 2021, falling from 450,000 average monthly searches nationwide to 386,000 in 2022. The Phantom was the most popular model in 2022, with 90,000 average monthly searches. Miami, FL and Palm Springs, CA searched Rolls-Royce more than any other city in the nation, though Lafayette, Indiana was right behind thanks to the Rolls-Royce/Purdue University partnership.
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