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Car Brands’ Race To Southeast Asians’ Heart During COVID-19

Which car brand piqued motorists’ interest the most during this period?

Photo by Maria Geller from Pexels

Author, Deridian Nurhalim

With the easing of partial lockdown measures in several countries across the ASEAN region, it comes as no surprise that the urge to travel across cities has come to an all-time high.

The reopening of restaurants, cafes, malls, zoos, or even attractions that have restricted operating capacity encourages people to start using their cars again. 

That said, which car brand piqued motorists’ interest the most during this period? 

iPrice, an aggregator e-commerce platform, has looked at the data on Google search interests & discovered a prominent surge in searches on some car brands in the region during the period of March – May 2020 as compared to the period before the pandemic.  

Here are some insights they discovered: 

Japanese car manufacturers such as Honda, Toyota, and Mitsubishi were dominating Southeast Asian countries during and after the imposed lockdown measures. According to iPrice, this probably indicated that Southeast Asians value affordable yet high quality cars.

Honda was the most searched car brand in Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, while Toyota took the runner-up spot in most countries and ranked #1 in the Philippines. 

With a vast array of the latest car models of Honda (Civic Type R, City, Accord, and Jazz), Toyota (Corolla Altis), and Mitsubishi (Eclipse & Attrage), car enthusiasts seemed to be pondering on their favourite car brands. 

It seems that BMW & Mercedes-Benz were also attracting buyers more than ever as the search interest jumped by 50%. Its German component, Audi, witnessed a similar increase of 49% between the period of March – May 2020 when compared to December 2019 – February 2020.

Although the US-based electric car company, Tesla, came 5th in the region, the company snagged the 1st spot in countries like Singapore & Hong Kong. This probably can be attributed to the fact that both countries, Singapore & Hong Kong, aim to reduce pollution through the use of electric cars by 2050, which explains the Tesla’s perennial popularity in these countries. 

The search interest of Tesla spiked to the roof (22%) in Hong Kong alone, garnering an average of 246,000 search interests. 

In Malaysia, given the government’s recent announcement on allowing inter-state travel, the search interests of Perodua & Proton were in the top positions, accounting for 74,000 & 60,500 of search interests respectively. 

While MPV/WGN, Hatchback, and Coupe were the types of cars that were being searched during this period, many motorists plan to go on holiday or back to their hometowns with SUVs & Sedans as their go-to vehicles of choice. 

A report by iPrice Group.

Deridian Nurhalim is the Content Marketing Executive at iPrice.

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iPrice curates highly insightful data that are unique and unbiased in the world of tech, e-commerce, and online retail by providing data-rich, interactive, and media-specific targeted content that varies from the latest tech trends to the top e-players in Southeast Asia. They also provide high-quality country-specific insights and data on seven markets, namely Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Through collaborations with data partners such as App Annie Intelligence, SimilarWeb, and Parcel Perform, iPrice has been featured on numerous prominent publications including South China Morning Post, Bloomberg, Motley Fool, Nasdaq, IGN, and Tech Crunch, to name a few.

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