Toyota has been named the most valuable automotive brand for the sixth consecutive year, increasing by five percent in brand value to nearly US$30 billion. According to the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study by market researcher Kantar Millward Brown, the achievement was thanks to strong demand for its SUVs in Europe and the US, and also because of Toyota’s consistency.

Kantar Millward Brown’s Global BrandZ director Peter Walsh told Automotive News Europe: “SUVs remain desirable products to those who put a high value on their safety and power. Overall, the Toyota brand is incredibly reliable and represents fantastic value and quality.” The Japanese carmaker has been numero uno in 11 of the 13 years the study has been carried out. When Toyota lost its coveted top spot in 2010 and 2012, it finished in second place.

Mercedes-Benz on the other hand, marginally overtook BMW to finish in second place for the first time in the study’s history. In terms of global vehicle sales, Mercedes-Benz sold more cars than BMW in 2016 and 2017, which helped increase its brand value by nine percent to US$25.7 billion.

The tri-star’s growth was attributed to its solid performance in China, Brazil and Russia. It’s also helped by the success of the new W213 E-Class (pictured above), said Walshe. Since 2006, Mercedes-Benz has finished either third or fourth in the study.

BMW however, grew four percent to US$25.6 billion. Walshe said the Munich automaker was slowed by its small decline of sales in US last year, but he said BMW remains a dominate player. “BMW is still an extremely well-performing brand. When it comes to brand health, it is at the top of the pile,” Walshe added.

Meanwhile, ailed US electric carmaker Tesla increased its brand value by a whopping 60% to US$9.4 billion, putting it within striking distance of Audi which has a brand value of US$9.6 billion. “People are excited about Tesla because it is not just a car brand, it’s a Mars explorer brand. This is tremendously attractive to consumers,” Walshe said. “Tesla stands for great promise, but is it going to have to deliver on this promise.”

Coming in 10th place in the auto brand category is Volkswagen, which makes its re-entry into the BrandZ study with a brand value of nearly US$6 billion. VW dropped out of the ranking in 2016 and 2017 due to the Dieselgate scandal. Though it cost the company billions, its customer base remained loyal.

“VW maintained its strength in terms of its brand recommendation and brand trust. Those haven’t been dented,” Walshe said. “Although customers hear about these negative things, it doesn’t stop them from buying. VW’s sales have shown this.” In 2017, the Wolfsburg giant produced over six million vehicles, which was a first for the company.

The top 10 automotive car brands are Toyota (US$29.99 billion), Mercedes-Benz (US$25.68 billion), BMW (US$25.62 billion, Ford (US$12.74 billion), Honda (US$12.70 billion), Nissan (US$11.43 billion), Audi (US$9.63 billion), Tesla (US$9.42 billion), Maruti Suzuki (US$6.38 billion) and Volkswagen (US$5.99 billion).