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There’s always plenty to look forward to in December – year-end car sales, and the holidays. But for me personally, as someone in the internet business, I always eagerly await Google’s Zeitgeist Malaysia 2012, which reveals the search patterns of Malaysians using the Google search engine.

Lucky for us car enthusiasts, Google knows Malaysia is a car-loving nation, so our very own customised Zeitgeist list has a list of trending car model searches. So here’s the top trending car models searched by Malaysians on Google this year, according to Google.

  1. Nissan Almera
  2. Toyota 86
  3. Proton Prevé
  4. Hyundai Elantra
  5. Mitsubishi Mirage
  6. Toyota Prius c
  7. Mazda CX-5
  8. Toyota Avanza
  9. Honda Civic
  10. Proton Exora Bold

Yes, the new Nissan Almera B-segment sedan tops the list. Note this list is for the top trending car models. A brief explanation on what trending means – according to Google it means search queries with the highest amount of traffic over a sustained period in 2012 as compared to 2011. It does not mean the search queries with the largest volume of searches. So naturally a lot of new models will appear in this list.

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There seems to be an anomaly with the results though. The Almera is number 1 under the Car Models category with the Proton Prevé coming in at third place, but in the top overall trending searches category, Proton Preve (without the stylised é) comes in at number four, with no other car appearing in the top overall trending searches category. It probably means Google is counting the terms Proton Preve and Proton Prevé separately, and somehow did not identify the Preve as a car.

But it looks like between the battle of the non-national new models, the Almera wins. We think the factors that contributed to this is a well-executed pre-launch teaser campaign that started earlier in the year to get people curious about the car, thus prolonging the timespan in which people were looking for info about the car, as well as an affordable price to appeal to the mass market.

Certain cars in there like the Mirage are affordable too but since it’s hype only started late Q3 2012, there was less time for the Mirage to register a higher increase in search query volume over the time span measured.

Read the full Google Malaysia Zeitgeist 2012.

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