The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study, released by market researcher Millward Brown, has found Toyota to be the most valuable car brand in 2015, in spite of a recent wave of airbag-related recalls, reports Automotive News Europe.

The Japanese giant’s brand value actually fell 2% to US$28.9 billion, the study found, but it remains ahead of BMW’s US$26.4 billion and Mercedes-Benz’s US$21.8 billion. The study has been carried out for 10 years, and Toyota has been number one in eight of them.

“When you look at the trust the Toyota brand generates from car owners, there is little dent from the airbag issues. The customer experience, the good value, and the quality that customers trust see the brand through,” Millward Brown global BrandZ director told ANE.


Honda and Toyota are the only top 10 brands to see value drops. Honda’s brand value fell 5% to US$13.3 billion, as it also tackles issues surrounding airbag recalls.

BMW, in second place, saw its value jump 2% to US$26.4 billion, while third-ranked Mercedes enjoyed a 1% boost to US$21.8 billion. The fastest riser was Audi, who leapt a significant 43% to US$10.1 billion, overtaking parent company Volkswagen for seventh place.

“A lot of Audi’s success has much to do with what the brand stands for and what it means to consumers. It really stresses in a consistent way and communicates what is different and special about the brand: technology, safety, and the benefit to consumers, with good advertising supporting it,” Walshe told ANE.


Second-fastest riser Ford increased its value by 11%, while Land Rover overtook Chevrolet for ninth place. Walshe attributes Land Rover’s performance to its catering to customers’ demand for SUVs, and success in China.

“Land Rover is not worried about being worth the premium price it charges, because that is what makes the brand desirable,” he said.

Lexus passed Hyundai to take 10th spot. “While Lexus is oriented towards the US, the brand is about absolute quality and complete differentiation, leadership and being very well managed,” Walshe told the publication.


Collectively, the top 10 car brands have grown more slowly by 3% to US$143.6 billion, compared to 2014’s 17% increase. “Because of the high quality and technology involved required to raise brand value, it is harder to be differentiated (amongst carmakers),” he said.

Top 10 most valuable car brands in estimated worth

1. Toyota – US$28.9 billion
2. BMW – US$26.4 billion
3. Mercedes – US$21.8 billion
4. Honda – US$13.3 billion
5. Ford – US$13.1 billion
6. Nissan – US$11.4 billion
7. Audi – US$10.1 billion
8. Volkswagen – US$9.3 billion
9. Land Rover – US$5.0 billion
10. Lexus – US$4.3 billion

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