Toyota is now the most valuable automotive brand, according to the study published by market research company Millward Brown. The Japanese carmaker’s 2013 brand value surged 12 percent to $24.5 billion, thanks to its significant advances in the hybrid market, according to the study.
Peter Walshe, Millward Brown global brand director, told Automotive News that Toyota is “carving out a very big position” in hybrids across its range, tapping into the consumer need for value by saving fuel cost.
Walshe added that Toyota’s hybrids are reinforcing the experience of the brand, adding that in doing so, the carmaker “continues to magnify what is special and different about it."
According to the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study, the value of the Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Hyundai brands soared by double-digit percentages compared with 2012, thanks mainly to strong demand in China and the United States.
The Japanese brand has overtaken BMW in the rankings, after the German brand’s value declined by 2 percent to $24 billion due its lack of new product launches this year.
Walshe remarked that automotive brands that posted the biggest gains were the ones launched the most models. He, however, noted that BMW remains “a very powerful and distinctive brand." BMW was the most valuable automotive brand in the survey’s 2010 and 2012 rankings.
Toyota, on the other hand, was the most valuable automotive brand in 2006-2009 and 2011. The Mercedes-Benz brand gained the most value among German premium brands, posting an 11-percent hike to $18 billion.
Audi, meanwhile, logged an 18-percent increase in brand value to $5.5 billion, thanks to strong sales in the US and China. The growing number of millionaires in China has made the country a key growth market for top global luxury brands like Audi, BMW and Mercedes.