Toyota remains on top of the international automotive world in terms of total brand value, with the company coming in at US$26* billion. New research by leading brand valuation and marketing consultancy Brand Finance says Toyota’s brand value rose six per cent last year from US$24.5 billion.

toyota top world

Brand Finance founder and CEO David Haigh said factors behind the improvement included the introduction of stylish new designs (models such as the 86 and Auris have elevated Toyota’s aesthetic appeal). A 23-per-cent increase in sales to a record of 9.8 million vehicles and higher than expected net profits contributed to the increase.

Toyota is followed by three German automakers – Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – with American carmaker Ford rounding out the top five. Toyota’s market capitalisation was calculated at US$209.6 billion – more than twice as much as any other carmaker.

The Brand Finance research aligns with another study that has rated Toyota as the world’s most valuable automotive brand for the past nine years. The 2012 Best Global Brands Report, compiled by international consultancy Interbrand, said Toyota is reinventing its brand with more stylish and better-looking vehicles.

Interbrand said hybrid cars were a “clear differentiator” for Toyota, with the Prius line-up creating an influx of new customers to the Toyota brand. Toyota also emerged as the Best Global Green Brand in 2012 for the second year running. In addition, the influential Forbes group named four Toyota vehicles – Camry, Corolla, Prius and RAV4 – among the most successful cars of 2012.

The cars were chosen for their sales, consumer satisfaction and performance, reliability, safety and value. Brand Finance benchmarks the strength, risk and potential of a brand, relative to its competitors. It is conceptually similar to a credit rating.

The data used to calculate the ratings comes from various sources including Bloomberg annual reports and Brand Finance research.

Interbrand uses a methodology that takes into account a multitude of factors that affect how a brand connects with the consumer and adds value to the organisation.

In South Africa, Toyota has been the top-selling automotive brand for the past 33 years.

*Source: Brand Finance