Toyota holds automaker pole position

Toyota has defended its title as the world’s most valuable car brand in a new ranking by Kantar Millward Brown (KMB).

Toyota’s brand value decreased 3 per cent to $28.7bn as increased sales were offset by tough currency challenges as well as increased investment and rising labor costs, according to KMB’s BrandZ study.

‘Toyota is seen as a reliable, quality value brand,’ Peter Walshe, Global BrandZ director at KMB, told Automotive News Europe. ‘Even when it was going through its recall problems, the users were saying, ‘What’s all the fuss about, my car is fine.’ Toyota has delivered great value for years.’

Toyota has been No. 1 in 10 of the 12 years the study has been carried out.

Tesla, meanwhile, made the biggest improvement, rising two spots to No. 8 due to a 32% increase in its brand value to $5.9bn, overtaking Land Rover and Porsche.

‘The Tesla story is interesting because it is not just the cars it offers now, it is the promise for the future,’ Walshe said. ‘There is a perception that it offers a fantastic brand experience, even among non-owners. The only other brands that I’ve seen have this kind of appeal before they got into mass market were Apple and Facebook.’

BMW remained in second place despite an 8 per cent decrease in value, whereas Mercedes’ value increased 4 per cent helping them retain the No. 3 spot.

‘Automotive brands in the top 10 are worth 6 percent less than they were when we started our study 12 years ago, but those brands have invested 100 to 200 percent more into technology,’ Walshe said.

The total value of the Top 10 car brands dipped to $139.2bn from $139.9bn in 2016.

World’s most valuable car brands
Automaker Value Value change from 2016
Toyota $28.7bn -3%
BMW $24.6bn -8%
Mercedes-Benz $23.5bn +4%
Ford $13.1bn 0%
Honda $12.2bn -8%
Nissan $11.3bn -1%
Audi $9.4bn -1%
Tesla $5.9bn +32%
Land Rover $5.5bn +17%
Porsche $5.1bn +16%