CARMAKERS OUT OF TOP RANKINGS IN THE BATTLE OF THE BRANDS
Toyota, with a brand value of $28.9 billion, is the highest-ranked automotive brand in the annual BrandZ Top 100 “most valuable global brands” survey. However the giant Japanese manufacturer has fallen from the 10th most valuable brand across the world in the 2006 survey to 30th this year.
Apple tops the survey, followed by Google, and both companies are developing driverless or autonomous vehicles.
Other vehicle makers in this year’s top 100 include BMW (34), Mercedes-Benz (43), Honda (78), Ford (80), and Nissan (93).
The survey says the global financial crisis hit the motor and banking sectors hard, and they remain the only sectors in the survey yet to recover pre-recession brand value levels.
While the car sector declined by 3 per cent in value over the past decade, the fast food sector increased in brand value by 252 per cent during that time.
The survey has been conducted annually for the past decade, and this year’s report notes BMW and Toyota have worked to meet a changing market.
“Sensing a demand for vehicles that achieve high levels of environmental responsibility without sacrificing performance, BMW introduced its BMWi hybrid,” said the survey.
“A leader in hybrid technology, Toyota worked to enhance its technical achievements with emotional appeal.”
The survey said Lexus ranked highest for overall dependability in two respected independent surveys, and has attracted consumers seeking luxury with reliability. “Land Rover, the heritage British brand of off-road vehicles, now owned by India’s Tata Motors, enjoyed the sweet spot where the popularity of SUVs converged with the desire for luxury.”
Many brands sell fleets to car sharing operators as a way to introduce potential customers to their brand.
Audi tested Audi Unite in Sweden, an arrangement in which up to four people could share the lease of a car.
“Audi and Mercedes-Benz battled with BMW in the race to become the world’s luxury car market share leader,” said the survey.
“Volkswagen continued to seek production efficiencies from global platforms, and the brand enjoyed significant presence in China but lagged in United States market share.”
Car sales in the US improved as the economy recovered, with the industry responding to pent-up demand, low interest rates and cheap fuel prices, according to the report.
SUVs and light trucks are especially popular.
“The compact crossover, basically a smaller SUV, also was popular, but the US market was filled with choice at most segments, including micro cars, subcompacts, compacts, lower midsize, upper midsize, hatchbacks and the crossovers and SUVs,” says the report.
“Sedans were the only soft segment.”
Slower economic growth had affected car sales in China, along with local governments in some cities imposing quotas on car purchasing to reduce pollution. Despite this, China is the world’s largest car market, with almost 20 million vehicles sold last year.