Toyota held on to its title as the world's most valuable car brand for the sixth year in a row while Mercedes-Benz passed BMW to finish No. 2 for the first time in the annual ranking. Tesla, meanwhile, increased its brand value 60 percent to get within striking distance of Audi.
Toyota's brand value increased 5 percent to nearly $30 billion because of strong demand for its SUVs in Europe and the United States and because of the automaker’s consistency, according to the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study released by market researcher Kantar Millward Brown.
"SUVs remain desirable products to those who put a high value on their safety and power," Peter Walshe, Global BrandZ director at Kantar Millward Brown, told Automotive News Europe. "Overall, the Toyota brand is incredibly reliable and represents fantastic value and quality."
Toyota has been No. 1 in 11 of the 13 years the study has been carried out. In the years it wasn’t No. 1, 2010 and 2012, it finished in second place.
Mercedes, which topped BMW brand in global vehicle sales in 2016 and 2017, increased its brand value 9 percent to $25.7 billion to surpass its Munich-based arch rival. BMW grew 4 percent to $25.6 billion in the brand value ranking.
Mercedes’ growth was attributed to its strong performance in China, Brazil and Russia as well as the success of the new E class, Walshe said. Mercedes had finished either third or fourth since the ranking of automaker was launched in 2006.
Walshe said BMW was slowed by its small decline in U.S. sales last year, but he said the automaker remains a dominate player. “BMW is still an extremely well-performing brand,” Walshe said. “When it comes to brand health, it is at the top of the pile.”