Japanese automaker Toyota has kept its crown as the most valuable automaker. Citing a study done by Millward Brown, a market research firm that publishes the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, a new report from Automotive News Europe has revealed that Toyota’s brand value went up by 2 percent to $29.5 billion. Overall, Google and Apple remain the top two most valuable global brands.
Peter Walshe, the Global BrandZ director at Millward Brown told Automotive News Europe that Toyota’s value has continued to grow because it constantly increases its value benchmark and continues to emphasize customer service improvements. “From the customer’s experience, Toyota is a highly valued brand that continues to innovate,” said Walshe. “That is its strength and why it continues to generate such high volumes.”
The biggest surprise in this year’s BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands is Tesla’s entry into the top 10 most valuable car makers at tenth place. With a brand value of $4.4 billion, the electric car maker has knocked Lexus out of the top 10. Walshe stated to Automotive News Europe that Tesla’s announcement of a more accessible vehicle like the Model 3 has caused people’s desire for their cars to grow.
Porsche also made the top 10 among car makers and is at ninth place just above Tesla. Walshe pointed out that the German sports car maker has gone back to what it does the best, which is make products for a specific niche of consumers while retaining their brand image, which makes their cars even more desirable. Another German automaker, BMW, placed second mainly due to the new 7 Series, the i3 EV and i8 sports car. BMW’s brand value increased 2 percent to 26.8 billion, which is just below Toyota’s.
Mercedes-Benz, which is in third place, has seen the highest value increase of any automotive brand at 4 percent to $22.7 billion. Improved sales, the introduction of the 2017 E-Class, and a product lineup that appeals well to its target consumer helped Mercedes-Benz gain more value and keep its third place position, according to Walshe.
However, not all is well because Audi, Honda, and Land Rover lost value, with Audi seeing the biggest decline of any brand in the top 10. Walshe told Automotive News Europe that Audi’s value dropped by 6 percent primarily because of the financial issues that resulted after the Volkswagen Group’s emissions scandal. This year, due to the drop in value of some automakers in the top 10, the total value of the top 10 car brands is down by 3 percent to $139.9 billion.