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Market Insight: Toyota most valuable brand again

Brand power: Japanese car-maker Toyota is the 23rd most valuable global brand, and the number one most valuable auto brand in this year's BrandZ rankings.

BMW loses top spot to Toyota again in most valuable global brand rankings

22 May 2013

UPDATED: 24/05/2013TOYOTA has relegated German luxury car-maker BMW to second place in an influential list of the most valuable global automotive brands for 2013.

This year’s eighth annual Millward Brown BrandZ report, which ranks the top 100 brands in the world, has sent BMW down one place to 24 in the overall placings with a brand value of more than $US24 billion ($A24.6b), while Toyota experienced a 12 per cent rise in value to $US24.5b ($A25.1b) and a move up to number 23.

Last year, Toyota was ranked 28th.

The report suggests that BMW’s 2 per cent slip was partly due to the European economic downturn affecting the German luxury car-maker’s earnings.

The reason for Toyota’s rise in the rankings was put down to an improvement in the Japanese car-maker’s reputation for reliability, which took a beating after a series of large-scale global recalls in 2010.

Toyota and BMW have been jostling for the top spot in Millward Brown’s rankings in recent years, with BMW awarded top honours in 2010, followed by Toyota stealing the crown in 2011 before BMW took it back last year.

All other manufacturers in the top 10 kept the same position as the previous year, Mercedes-Benz placing third with an 11 per cent increase in brand value, followed by Japanese car-makers Honda (fourth) and Nissan (fifth).

Volkswagen came in at sixth position in front of Ford, while VW-owned Audi had an 18 per cent boost in brand value over last year to take eighth spot. Rounding out the top 10 were Hyundai and Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus.

All up, the top 10 consisted of four German brands (BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Audi), four Japanese brands (Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Lexus), one US car-maker (Ford) and one South Korean brand (Hyundai).

The report said the overall brand value of the top 10 car-makers was up 5 per cent compared with a 7 per cent drop last year.

Millward Brown attributed this to a number of factors, such as car-makers keeping costs down by using common platforms, the availability of features that were once deemed luxury items in cars of all levels, and the rise of hybrids.

“The global market has been, and continues to be, challenging for cars,” the report says. “The BrandZ Top 10 car brands still are only 71 per cent of the value they were pre-recession, five years ago.

“But BrandZ data indicates the top 10 car brands have adapted well to this challenge by increasing value perceptions. Out of key factors that influence a sale, price is less prominent for the BrandZ Top 10 car brands, compared with all cars.

“Only 18 per cent of the reasons for purchasing one of the top 10 brands relates to price it’s 30 per cent for all cars. As a result, consumers rate the top 10 car brands as more significantly meaningful (appealing and meeting needs) as well as different (unique in a good way and setting trends) compared with all cars.

“The rating is important because meaningful difference drives market share.”

Porsche was again conspicuously absent on the list of automotive brands, having been fifth two years ago before dropping out of the top 10 rankings last year.

Millward Brown global BrandZ director Peter Walshe told GoAuto at the time that it had suspended a valuation of Porsche as the German sportscar manufacturer’s financial reporting was changing as it divested itself within the Volkswagen Group. As a result it did not have accurate information to create a figure, which appears still to be the case this year.

Unsurprisingly, Apple remained the number one brand on this year’s overall rankings, with a brand value of more than $US185b ($A189.3b) while two other technology companies, Google ($US113.7b) and IBM ($US112.5b), made up the top three – as they did in 2012, although Google this year took second position.

Notably, Australia’s Commonwealth Bank climbed 12 places to number 48 in the global rankings with brand value of $US17.7b ($A18.2b).

This placed the bank among the top 20 “risers” as its brand value climbed 36 per cent in the space of a year. There were no automotive brands among this list.

Millward Brown said last year’s “negligible growth” in overall value in its top 100 rankings was a cause for concern in the marketing community, but decreed a 7 per cent rise this year – to $US2.6 trillion – as “respectable”.

It added that in the eight years the company has been tracking brand value, the value of its “strong brands portfolio” had grown by 58 per cent.

According to Millward Brown, the dollar value that determines the BrandZ rankings are derived from an analysis based on “financial data, market intelligence and consumer measures of brand equity”. The latter is said to be based on interviews with more than one million consumers worldwide.

2013 Most Valuable Global Auto Brands
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