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Toyota takes brand crown again

Brand builder: Toyota's hybrid sales increased by 43 per cent in Europe last year, while US sales shot up by 30 per cent in 2013.

Global market dominance and hybrid sales boost keep Toyota at top of Brandz list

23 May 2014

TOYOTA has once again topped the list of the world's most valuable automotive brands, pipping German luxury car-maker BMW for the number one position for the second consecutive year.

The Millward Brown BrandZ report, which ranks the top 100 global brands, placed Toyota at number 26 on the overall list, making it the top-ranked automotive brand for the year, with a value of $US29.5 billion ($A32b) marking a 21 per cent increase compared to 2013.

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.

Millward Brown says the methodology for rankings is based on worldwide, in-depth quantitative research of more than two million consumers and 10,000 different brands in more than 30 countries.

A detailed report of the rankings concluded that the reason for Toyota's impressive result was due to its status as the world's top-selling car-maker as well as strong exports and a weaker yen.

Once again, Toyota's hybrid-powered models had an impact on its ranking, particularly in Europe where its petrol-electric sales jumped 43 per cent last year compared to 2012.

BMW, which was the most valuable brand in 2010 and 2012, saw its value increase by seven per cent this year to $25.7b ($A27.8b), while its fellow German arch-rival Mercedes-Benz picked up a 20 per cent gain in value to remain in third spot with value of $US21.5b ($A23.3b).

Millward Brown said the top two European brands on the list enjoyed a strong year thanks to new models that “resonated with buyers”.

Honda is the second Japanese car-maker to make the list, maintaining last year's fourth placing but with a 14 per cent boost in value to $US14b ($A15.2b) thanks to the introduction of the Accord mid-size sedan last year.

US automotive giant Ford gained the most ground this year, shifting from seventh place last year to fifth in 2014 with a massive 56 per cent increase in brand value to $US11.8b ($A12.7b). This year also marks a return of Ford to the overall top 100 brands after not making the final cut in 2013.

Millward Brown puts the Blue Oval's result down to its record profits in North America and Asia which helped ensure last year was one of the most profitable in the company's long history.

Nissan dropped one spot on the rankings this year to sixth spot but increased its brand value by nine per cent to $US11.1b ($A12b), while Ford's rise pushed Volkswagen down a spot to seventh place to $US8.4b ($A9b) marking a four per cent drop over last year's result.

The Volkswagen Group's premium brand, Audi, stayed in the number eight spot for a second consecutive year but grew its brand value by 27 per cent – the second largest margin of all automotive brands – to $US7b ($A7.6b) after taking the crown as the best-selling luxury brand in China last year.

Chevrolet marked its return to the list after being absent in the rankings since 2009, with the GM-owned car-maker valued at $US4.6b ($5.3Ab). The result for the bow-tie brand was put down to its record haul of five million global vehicle sales last year, with 650,000 of those sold in China, as well as Chevrolet's continued success with its best-selling passenger model, the Cruze small car.

South Korean car-maker Hyundai dropped from ninth to tenth place this year with a brand value of $US4.6b ($A4.9b) pushing Japanese luxury brand Lexus out of the rankings for the first time since 2009.

In the overall rankings, technology companies were the biggest players with industry giants Google, Apple, IBM and Microsoft taking the top four spots ahead of fast food restaurant McDonald's and soft-drink-maker Coca-Cola, while online retail powerhouse Amazon rounded out the top ten.

Six car-makers made the overall top 100 brands this year, including Toyota, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Ford and Nissan.

This year's automotive top 10 is made up of four German, three Japanese, two American and one Korean brand.

In compiling the report, Millward Brown picked up on a number of trends in the global automotive market, such as a noticeable shift towards smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles or hybrid-powered cars as well as a drop in people-mover sales in America in favour of SUVs and crossovers.

The rise of European luxury brands in China was also noted, with Audi the clear winner in the region, while mainstream Japanese brands Honda and Toyota made gains in the world's largest car market after a rocky couple of years following disputes over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

The report found that consumers gave more credit to luxury car-makers for “leading the way” when it came to technological advances in manufacturing, safety improvements and better emissions controls, despite similar advancements made by mainstream brands.

2014 Top 100 automotive brands
RankingBrandValue change %
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