This much has emerged from an analysis of AutoTrader search data during the 2020 calendar year.
The Hilux – the most searched for bakkie on AutoTrader in 2020, the most sold new bakkie in the country last year and the country’s most sold new car too – romped home in first place in the total used vehicle search statistics.
AutoTrader is the largest digital automotive marketplace in South Africa. As such, it provides unparalleled insight into car-buying patterns in the country.
The Hilux was also the most searched for used vehicle in 2019 and it is a vehicle that keeps on notching up one achievement after the next. According to George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO, the Hilux is the success story of the South African automotive industry this century.
“This vehicle – built right here in South Africa – doesn’t just dominate new bakkie sales; it also dominates total new vehicle sales. And, as can be seen by our data, it is also the most searched for used car in the country too. This is because the Hilux is perceived to be a well built and reliable vehicle that has the support of an impressive dealer network,” he maintains.
It is interesting to see that, in 2020, the Volkswagen Golf demonstrated gains in popularity in the used car market, moving from the fourth most searched for used vehicle in 2019 to the second most searched for in 2020. This could be as a result of the lockdown and impact on the economy; many motorists have tightened their belts. Accordingly, demand for the Golf has risen above that of two luxury German sedans, namely the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and BMW 3 Series.
This could also be thanks to the popularity of individual Golf variants. According to AutoTrader’s latest annual Car Industry Report, which covers the period July 2019 to June 2020, when it comes to individual variant searches, Golf models account for two of the top four. The Volkswagen Golf GTI was the most searched for variant, followed by the Volkswagen Polo GTI, Mercedes-Benz C-Class C63 AMG and Volkswagen Golf R.
Variant searches, first introduced in May 2019, is unique to AutoTrader and a first in South Africa. It allows car shoppers to search for specific variants using text, as the technology builds a list.
According to the same report, the Volkswagen Golf also saw the biggest shift in Consumer Advert Views (CAVs), moving from sixth to second place with 3.15% (5,6 million) of total CAVs.