Google Ads Automotive Buying Trends | Paid Search Trends


General Motors is the top manufacturer, followed by Ford and Toyota Motor Companies, with Tesla being the lowest manufacturer. Keep in mind that this market share data is also relative to the volume of sales for these companies. It will surely be interesting to see what the share updates to in 2020, as pre owned vehicles became a top seller across most makes.

  • FORD 



When looking at Google Trends search volume data, we can see there was a definitive drop in car buying traffic between the months of March and April when information was initially released about the pandemic, COVID-19. 

The summer months saw a rebound from COVID-19 searches until August, which marked a continuous downtrend in car buying sales across the industry. 

However, data shows that car buying search trends started to uptick in mid or late December. Forecasting chart data in Google Ads shows an estimated rebound in the end of January or beginning of February, presumably for tax refund car sales.

Another major trend of 2020 shown in this chart is holiday shopping, shown in red. Trends are showing an early start to holiday shopping as it begins to peak in December. 

Knowing that the employment rate is pretty darn high, we can expect some shoppers to dial back this season. However, there is always the last minute gift idea of giving a luxury car for the holiday season. 

This trend is usually more prevalent in luxury brands, and is expected to continue.


Lastly, we have the election search volume, which was another trend that absolutely took over search engines in 2020. We are slowly seeing interest decrease. As of a few weeks ago, the trends were still in the 90s out of 100. Late December, trends are more in the 60-70s out of 100. The election has kept the focus around this unprecedented transition to presidency. 

Were votes counted and received properly? What will the new democracy bring to changes in policy and taxes? The unemployment rate is very high and there is still a question around store closings or capacity concerns.


This is all very new to all of us, but one thing remains constant:The customer and the customer experience. Following  search trends is necessary to update ad copy and messaging to your customer.  We may even need to switch back to COVID-19 messaging for safe car buying and servicing. Keeping up on the trends helps keep your marketing strategy relative and performing at it’s best.


If you are looking to learn more about search engine marketing and want to see how our PCG experts see who is getting your search ads, then…. 

Revitalize Your Strategy with a FREE Digital Marketing Analysis

The specialists at PCG Digital will evaluate your dealerships SEO, SEM and Social marketing to ensure a success-driven approach

#content-desktop {display: block;} #content-mobile {display: none;} @media screen and (max-width: 768px) { #content-desktop {display: none;} #content-mobile {display: block;} }