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Toyota takes top brand crown again

Ten in a row: Toyota takes the top spot on Interbrand’s best brand list again, but other brands are creeping up.

Toyota tops best brand list for 10th year running, despite push from rivals

2 Oct 2013

TOYOTA has again beaten Mercedes-Benz and BMW to top the best automotive brands list for another year, marking the 10th time the Japanese brand has taken the crown.

The Japanese giant placed 10th overall on Interbrand’s ‘Best Global Brands’ list for 2013, with tech powerhouses Apple and Google taking the top two spots ahead of last year’s winner, Coca-Cola in third.

This year, Toyota’s brand value was estimated at $US35.3 billion, a 17 per cent boost on last year’s result. Interbrand highlighted Toyota’s reclaimed global sales leadership, continued focus on green solutions and speedy recovery from crushing global recalls two years ago as reasons for its high ranking.

Mercedes-Benz came in 11th place with estimated value of $31.9 billion, a six per cent improvement on the 2012 list, while fellow German rival BMW maintained 12th position with a 10 per cent increase in brand value to $31.8 billion.

Mercedes’ solid performance was put down to renewed focus after the launch of the A-Class hatch range this year and the company’s push for a better customer experience.

Honda is the second Japanese car-maker on the list, at 20, with an estimated $18.4 billion brand value, up seven per cent over last year’s result.

Volkswagen shot up from 39 to 34 for this year’s list, with a 20 per cent improvement in brand value to $11.1 billion, thanks to its ongoing communications campaign, award-winning model range and introduction of fuel efficient cars, such as the XL1 diesel-electric plug-in hybrid.

US car-maker Ford also rose slightly, from 45 to 42, with brand value of $9.2 billion, a 15 per cent boost, while South Korean brand Hyundai is hot on Ford’s tail in 43rd place with 20 per cent improvement and $9.0 billion estimated brand value.

Korean sister company Kia continued its upward trajectory, lifting five places to 83rd on this year’s list, thanks to a 15 per cent improvement to $4.7 million value.

Interbrand called Kia a “rising star” among global automotive brands and cited its “power to surprise” marketing campaign, growing appeal to younger buyers and strong results in established and developing markets as reasons for its strong showing.

New to the list this year is General Motor’s largest brand, Chevrolet, placing 89th with a $4.6 billion estimated brand value. Interbrand said the iconic American brand made the cut this year on the back of a global expansion program that means it is now found in more than 140 countries, a streamlined communications platform and a boost in sales in emerging markets.

Motorcycle brand Harley-Davidson maintained last year’s 96th placing, but experienced a 10 per cent boost for an estimated value of $4.2 billion.

Rounding out the automotive brands is Italian sportscar-maker Ferrari in 98th position, with a six per cent increase and $4.0 billion brand value.

Ferrari’s improved sales, increase in operating profit, the launch of its hybrid LaFerrari hero car and the popularity of its Formula 1 team all ensured it remained on the list for another year.

This year’s automotive list is dominated by European car-makers with five German and one Italian brand, three Japanese and American brands and two South Korean manufacturers.

Interbrand said in its report that consumers were increasingly pushing for better value at all price points, while younger drivers were pushing for increased customisation options, more sustainable alternatives and improved in-car connectivity.

“The auto sector is evolving, weighing tech must-haves versus nice-to-haves,” the report said.

“Many global automakers are now embedding technologies that would have launched with their premium brands first but have opted to directly offer in their high-volume vehicles.”

To determine the estimated brand value, Interbrand takes into account how much of an influence it has in the purchase decision, the overall financial performance and how competitive the brand is on a global scale.

Toyota has topped the automotive section of the list every year since 2004, with Mercedes-Benz taking top honours in 2002 and 2003 and Ford the number one auto brand in 2000 and 2001.

Interbrand has also given Toyota top billing in its annual list of the top green brands in the last two years.

Interbrand Best Global Automotive Brands 2013
RankBrand NameBrand Value ($m)% Change to brand Value

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