General Motors Co.'s (GM) - Get Report Buick Enclave topped the list of most-searched vehicles in the most states in a new state-by-state analysis of Google (GOOGL) - Get Report search data by Gold Eagle Co., an automotive chemicals manufacturer. The Enclave was No. 1 in eight states in the Midwest.
"I think that was surprising that people had such an interest in Buick," Kyle Olson, a senior content manager at Digital Third Coast Internet Marketing who led the research, told TheStreet. "In terms of highly searched vehicles, American-made vehicles are favored in the Midwest."
Although General Motors recently announced it expects U.S. industry vehicle sales to fall short of projections, auto sales have risen nearly 5% since June 2013. Since 2016, the number of Google searches for motor vehicles rose 7%, according to the search engine. Automotive research company Carkeys.co.uk reported 97% of new car buyers researched their purchase online prior to visiting the dealership.
"The amount of research that goes into purchasing a vehicle is extensive," Olson said. "What people search and what people purchase...don't always correlate. The main intent would not be to purchase a vehicle but to learn some more information about it."
The analysis compared the most Googled vehicles in states and compared them to the national search volume to highlight the outlying popular vehicles in each state, Olson said.
When the report was posted on Reddit, Olson said the site's users commented that the results confirmed stereotypes of regional car ownership while others surprised them.
"When we posted this on Reddit, a lot of commenters said they were there to see California go for Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report , and it did," Olson said. "It reaffirms that societal thing about California being very green-minded and focused on environmental issues and luxury."
He noted how some of the results had legitimate reasons such as the popularity of trucks in states with a large blue-collar workforce or the popularity of the Nissan Frontier in Tennessee, which has a Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (NSANY) plant.
Redditors said others, such as the popularity of Volvo in the East and the Volkswagen CC in Florida, surprised them.
Here is a look at four regions of the United States and the most searched for vehicles there.