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Kia and Nissan brand values rocket

Brand spanking: Toyota is ranked number one in automotive brand value, but other brands are closing the gap.

Toyota is top dog in brand values, but others are rising fast in Interbrand rankings

4 Oct 2012

TOYOTA, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have been judged the top three most valuable automotive brands in the world, but Nissan and Kia are the ones to watch, according to a study by American-based brand consultant Interbrand.

Japanese giant Toyota was the only automotive company to make the top 10 – in 10th place behind the likes of Coca-Cola, Apple and IBM – with an estimated brand value of $US30.3 billion – up nine per cent on last year, when it was also rated 10th.

Breathing down its neck in 11th position this year is Mercedes-Benz with an estimated value of $30.1 billion, up 10 per cent on last year’s estimates.

But closing fast is BMW, which jumped 18 per cent in value to $29 billion, placing it immediately behind in 12th position.

Nissan was rated a mere 73rd in the top 100 list of global companies and 10th among automotive brands, but was named by Interbrand as the 'Top Riser' among leading motor companies with a 30 per cent jump in value to $4.9 billion this year.

Interbrand said Nissan had recovered quickly from last year’s natural disasters in Japan and Thailand and had grown its market share by pushing the envelope on innovation and bold designs such as the Juke.

But the biggest rise was recorded by fast-growing South Korean marque Kia, which jumped into the top 100 for the first time with a brand value of $4.1 billion – a leap of 50 per cent over 2011 levels.

Interbrand noted that Kia’s market share in the United States had grown for 17 consecutive years, and that its sales were rising around the world, even in the troubled European market.

Kia’s parent company Hyundai also showed big growth in brand value last year, up 24 per cent to $7.4 billion in the 2012 study.

Hyundai’s value is estimated to have more than doubled since 2005, making it the fastest growing auto brand in recent years.

One of the few auto brands to record a drop in brand value was Honda, down an estimated 11 per cent to $17.3 billion due to the massive impact of the 2011 Japanese earthquake and Thai floods that crippled supply.

As well, Interbrand noted the critical reviews of the new Civic sedan that dragged on the company’s image.

Nevertheless, Honda still came in fourth among automotive brands – and 21st overall – ahead of Volkswagen (up 18 per cent to $9.2 billion) and Ford (up six per cent to $7.9 per cent).

Other car brands to make the top 100 were Audi, ranked 55th overall and eighth in the auto brands, Porsche at 72 (up 12 per cent to $5.1 billion), and Ferrari, sneaking in at 99th place with $3.7 billion (up five per cent).

In estimating brand values, Interbrand says it takes into account the financial performance of branded products or service, the role brand plays in influencing consumer choice and the ability of the brand to command a premium price or secure earnings for the company.

Interbrand said automotive companies were becoming more attuned to the emotional connection consumers have with their cars.

“This has caused many auto-makers to develop more effective, technologically savvy was to reach target markets and help prospective buyers better relate to car brands,” it said.

2012 Interbrand brand values:
RankCompanyValue ($bill)Change
1Toyota$30.3+9%
2Mercedes$30.1+10%
3BMW$29.1+18%
4Honda$17.3-11%
5VW$9.3+18%
6Ford$8.0+6%
7Hyundai$7.5+24%
8Audi$7.2+17%
9Porsche$5.1+12%
10Nissan$5.0+30%
11Kia$4.0+50%
12Ferrari$3.7+5.0%

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