As the great and good of the auto industry meet in Paris, leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance, reveals what their brands are worth.
Toyota Tops the List
Toyota has reinforced its position as the world’s most valuable auto brand. Its brand value increased 23% year on year to a total of US$43 billion, extending its lead over second placed BMW from US$2 billion to US$8 billion.
The Japanese giant continues to hold onto its position as the world’s biggest car manufacturer by volume. Toyota shipped 6.69 million units to VW’s 6.66 million in the first eight months of 2016. It is in the top ten of advertising spenders in the US from any industry and invested 1.6% of revenues on marketing, advertising and sales promotion in 2015. This investment is clearly paying off, with revenues increasing 50% since 2010 (90% in the US). The popularity of services such as Uber is aiding Toyota for now, with Prius the model of choice for many drivers with the ride-sharing service.
Emissions Scandal sends VW into Reverse
Volkwagen had held the ambition of unseating Toyota in the battle for volume dominance but its turbulent year has seen its desire to take the top spot put on hold for now. The impact of the emissions scandal has been clearly reflected in the brand value of VW, which is down 39% to US$18.9 billion which sees it drop out of the top five for the first time since 2010. Fortunately other group brands have been unaffected, with Lamborghini and Bentley growing by 22% and 16% respectively. Meanwhile Audi has dropped just 2%, a result solely down to the strengthening dollar over the last year; when measured in EUR, Audi’s brand value has in fact increased.
Ferrari Remains Most Powerful Car Brand
Ferrari, MINI and Volvo show minor declined in brand value terms from 2015 to 2016, also as a result of exchange rate changes rather than fundamental performance. Ferrari remains the world’s most powerful car brand and after last year’s successful IPO, continues on a track to value growth.
Hyundai Down More than 50%
Hyundai is the worst performing of any major auto brand this year. Brand value has more than halved year on year. Korean car brands historically stole a march on western rivals via innovation, efficiency and exceptional labour relations. Hyundai is now plagued by labour unrest with 50,000 union members downing tools in September in the most recent incident. This disruption and sluggish sales are hitting the bottom line; Hyundai posted its tenth consecutive profit drop for the April to June period this year.
Harley Revs Ahead Fueling Investor Interest
Harley Davidson is the most valuable motorcycle brand with a brand value in excess of US$5 billion following 18% year on year growth. Brand strength is undimmed too, having been upgraded from an AAA to AAA+ rating this year. These figures may well please KKR, the private equity house rumoured to be targeting Harley for a buyout. However there are challenges ahead, the strength of the US dollar and falling margins, amongst them.