It should come as no surprise that the team here at Bill Plant Driving School love anything and everything car-related! But whether you’ve just started driving lessons, or have been behind the wheel for years, it is likely that you are familiar with the world of car brands.
Automobile companies are constantly developing their designs and models to keep up with technological and societal advancements. Because of this, there has been a huge surge in the number of electric and hybrid cars over recent years. This has meant that car brands that were once popular, such as Delorean, are making a comeback with new and innovative prototypes.
As a result of this ever-changing business sector, we were keen to find out which car brands are currently dominating the market and who has dipped out of the limelight. To investigate this we gathered a list of the most popular car brands and ranked them based on their revenue, sales and popularity – here’s what we found.
Volkswagen Is Revealed as the Highest Earning Car Brand – Boasting A Revenue Of Over £246 Billion!
From luxury vehicles to old bangers and everything in between, a significant portion of the population owns a car. Because of this, it is no surprise that the automobile industry makes a lot of revenue – but which car brands are making the most money?
- Volkswagen – £246,054,054,760 Annual Revenue
To understand just how much Volkswagen earned in 2021, their revenue was £246,054,054,760 which boils down to £7,802 per second. To put this into context, it is the equivalent of earning the average annual UK salary every four seconds!
In the unlikely event that you are unfamiliar with Volkswagen, they have made a name for themselves by partnering with some big events over the years. They recently hit the headlines with their small remote-controlled cars that transported footballs onto the pitch of some of the UEFA Women’s Euros games in 2022.
- Toyota – £212,642,764,910 Annual Revenue
With over £400,000 earned every minute, Toyota has the second-highest annual revenue of all the car brands in this list. As well as automobiles, Toyota has dipped its toes into a range of other revenue streams. With help from their extraordinary annual revenue, this brand has ventured into robotics and biotechnology, among other fields, putting them at the forefront of modern science and the car industry.
- Mercedes-Benz – £146,678,845,800 Annual Revenue
Completing this top three list of car brands with the highest annual revenue is Mercedes-Benz. Despite their revenue totalling billions of pounds less than the brand in second place, Mercedes-Benz still earned over £146 billion in 2021. Their brand is associated with luxury cars with some vintage models worth up to a mind-boggling £145 million.
Toyota Crowned As The Best-Selling Car Brand With A Total Of 9,615,157 Sales
While revenue is one measure of a vehicle manufacturer’s success, it doesn’t necessarily equate with the actual number of cars sold. We wanted to see whether the brands that had the highest revenue also had the most car sales – here’s what we found:
- Toyota – 9,615,157 Car Sales 2021
Making their second appearance in this report with a total of 9,615,157 car sales in 2021 is the Japanese brand, Toyota. This brand has had many successful car models over the years, but they are currently the world leader in hybrid electric car sales. These types of cars are favoured by many as they do not need to be plugged in to charge, making them both time efficient and eco-conscious.
- Volkswagen – 4,896,000 Car Sales 2021
Of the many cars released by Volkswagen, their all-time best selling model is the Beetle, nicknamed ‘the people’s car’. It has been favoured for its reliability over the years, and their business has sold 4,896,000 cars in 2021, which is the second highest of all the car brands in this list.
- Nissan – 4,065,014 Car Sales 2021
Nissan has garnered a reputation for producing cars with longevity and low-maintenance costs compared to other brands. This seems to have attracted a lot of people because 2021 saw 4,064,014 Nissan cars sold worldwide – that is the equivalent of 84,688 per week!
With A 37.57% Increase In Google Searches, Toyota Ranks As The Car Brand Increasing Most In Popularity
Whether you’re looking to buy a new car, or just want to find out more about your favourite car brand, the internet is used all over the world. To find out which car brands are growing the most in popularity, we have analysed global Google search volumes between 2020-2022.
- Toyota – 37.57% Increase in Google Searches
As mentioned in one of the earlier lists, Toyota has made efforts in recent years to be more eco-conscious with their cars. Spreading awareness about the effects of climate change has been much more prominent recently, and this has likely contributed to the 37.57% increase in Google searches for Toyota over the past two years. As well as having the largest increase in Google searches, Toyota towers above all the other car brands in this list in terms of their overall global search volume with 163,240,000 searches in the last year.
- Lotus – 33.19% Increase in Google Searches
If you are fresh out of driving school then it is unlikely that a Lotus car is for you, as they are known for their high-end sport and racing cars. Despite this, it appears that a lot of people are interested in them as their brand has seen a 33.19% increase in searches since 2020.
They are celebrating their 75th anniversary this year so if you are a fan of Lotus then keep an eye out for them in the headlines over the next twelve months.
- Honda – 32.39% Increase in Google Searches
To accompany their 32.39% increase in Google searches over the last two years, Honda has recently teamed up with Sony to create a new electric model that will no doubt be popular when it is released in 2026. Even though this car brand ranks in third place on this list, it is worth noting that it had a total of 107,260,000 Google searches in 2022 which is the second highest of any company in this top ten.
Skoda Has Suffered A 12.75% Decline In Google Searches – More Than Any Other Car Brand
Alongside the car brands that have boomed in popularity recently, there are inevitably some which have dipped. Below is a list of the car brands that have decreased the most in Google searches between 2020-2022.
- Skoda – 12.75% Decrease in Google Searches
With a 12.75% decrease in Google searches, it is Skoda that ranks at the top of this list. As one of the oldest car makers, this Czech brand has certainly made a name for itself over the years with popular models including the Fabia and Yeti. Despite not being as popular as it once was, Skoda still attained an incredible 27,380,000 Google searches in 2022!
- Lamborghini – 9.92% Decrease in Google Searches
Owned by the Volkswagen Group, Lamborghini is well known for their luxury, high-performance vehicles. From museums dedicated to their brand, to opportunities where you can drive top-of-the-range Lamborghinis, the 9.92% decrease in Google searches shouldn’t take away from the overall popularity of this car brand.
- Smart – 3.34% Decrease in Google Searches
Completing this list of automobiles decreasing the most in popularity is the Smart car brand which has seen a 3.34% decrease in Google searches since 2020. Known for their compact shape and environmentally friendly features, it is likely that you have seen a Smart car even if you are unfamiliar with their brand name!
We used Best Selling Cars to make a list of the most popular car brands – this gave us a total of 27 car brands.
To find out how much money each car brand made in 2021 we used Macrotrends, Statista, or the relevant company website depending on where data was available. For the four brands that we were unable to find data for (namely Daihatsuwe, Cupra, Bugatti, and Caterham) we took their average car price and multiplied this by the total car sales to provide an estimate of their annual revenue for 2021.
We used Best Selling Cars to find the global sales for each car brand in 2021.
We used Google Keyword Planner to add up the total number of searches for each car brand between Dec 2020- Nov 2021 and a separate total for Nov 2021- Dec 2022. We then subtracted the latter total from the former and divided this by the Dec 2020- Nov 2021 figure before multiplying by 100. This gave us a percentage of how much each car brand had increased/ decreased in searches over the last two years.