Toyota has retained the top spot as the most valuable automotive brand in the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands report 2016, staving off German carmakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz, the second- and third-placed top automotive brands globally.
Meanwhile, Google wrested back No. 1 spot from Apple, thanks to its brand value rising sharply to 32 percent to $229.2 billion and Apple’s declining 8 percent to $228.5 billion.
Carmakers with brand strength continued to dominate the BrandZ Cars Top 10 ranking. The Toyota brand was valued at $29.50 billion (approximately Rs 186,351 crore). In the 11 years since the BrandZ report was first published, Toyota has been crowned brand value leader in the automotive sector nine times, and second on two occasions.
Importantly, the high-on-innovation electric carmaker Tesla of the US has driven into the Top 10 for the first time, suggesting that the future has arrived. As the BrandZ reports says, “With the availability of a relatively affordable Tesla Model 3 (priced at around $35,000), more people might experience that future. In addition, Tesla’s model of direct sales could drive distribution changes in an industry that currently relies on dealership networks.”
Tesla has ousted Lexus from the No. 10 position and given its high brand perception as one providing high performance and low carbon impact looks good to stay in the coveted Top 10 list in the future.
German sportscar manufacturer Porsche has also entered the Top 10 ranking. As expected, the emissions scandal-hit Volkswagen has moved out the Top 10. Last year it was at No. 8 position but the collateral damage caused by dieselgate means that the manufacturer has taken a hit in its brand equity. The VW Group has allocated billions of euros to deal with the global fallout of the emission issue.
How the carmakers fared
As per the findings of the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study revealed yesterday, the Top 10 brands together are valued at $139.9 billion (Rs 883,748 crore).
Toyota has remained solidly in the No. 1 position, demonstrating the brand’s ability to sustain a reputation for product reliability even after the problems with unintended acceleration several years ago. Both Toyota and Honda embraced the importance of design, which adds an emotional appeal to brands respected for their functional excellence.
BMW has benefited from the introduction of its 7 Series sedan with technology that included an app store for driving entertainment, gesture control for the phone or radio, and limited autonomous driving for moving the car into and out of a garage without someone in the driver’s seat. The slowdown in China impacted sales, however. China’s slowdown also hurt Land Rover, which experienced growth in other markets, particularly North America. In contrast, sales for Mercedes-Benz rose in China based on the strength of its C-Class sedan and SUV, and the addition of dealerships. On the strength of that performance, combined with worldwide sales, including the flagship S-Class, Mercedes-Benz was poised to reclaim luxury car sales leadership from BMW and Audi. For the first time, Porsche sold over 50,000 cars in the US, and Nissan performed well, particularly in North America.
Three automakers in India’s Top 10
Think top brands and you cannot not have any Indian brands. Three automakers – Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp and Maruti Suzuki India – figure in the Top 10 Indian brands list and it’s easy to understand why. Bajaj Auto, which has caught the riding public’s imagination with a flurry of products and its Pulsar brand, has seen its valuation rise 10% to US 3.34 billion. Keeping it company is rival Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, with a valuation of US$ 2.9 billion. The sole carmaker in the Top 10 had to be Maruti Suzuki, which has a stranglehold on the Indian passenger market.
Tech giants dominate overall top 10
After lagging behind Apple last year, Google was finally able to clinch the top spot in 2016. Google, which is valued at US$ 229 billion, just managed to beat Apple - valued at US$ 228 billion. The top 10 list was dominated by tech giants as Microsoft held on to its no. 3 position, while Facebook jumped from 12th to 5th place. Apart from telecom providers AT&T and Verizon, IBM was another tech company in the top 10 list. Meanwhile, payment gateway giant Visa, e-commerce retailer Amazon and the massive fast food chain company McDonalds completed the top 10 list.
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