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Toyota Tops Among Automakers in New Global Brand Survey

Ford only Detroit maker in Top 100, according to Interbrand.

by on Oct.11, 2011

Despite its problems, Toyota remains the top automotive marque in an annual brand study.

What is a brand name worth?  Lots, according to just about any study you can imagine, at least a well-respected name like Coca-Cola, IBM – or Toyota.

Despite the problems the Japanese maker has had in recent years, it remains the highest-ranked of all automotive brands according to the Interbrands’ Best Global Brand 2011 Report.  The annual study analyzes how individual marques do according to factors such as financial performance, the influence the brand has on consumers’ choices – and the ability of a brand to continue supporting its parent company.

By those measures, the list was topped by Coca-Cola for the 12th year in a row.  But, significantly, seven of the 10 best brands play in the technology sector – including IBM, Microsoft and Google.  And number eight Apple was the top riser in the study, climbing into the Top 10 for the first time with a rise of 58% according to Interbrands’ metrics.

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“Uncertainty is the new status quo, so today’s brands need to be quick and nimble,” remarked Jez Frampton, Interbrand’s Global Chief Executive Officer. “Consistency, relevance and commitment are imperative if a brand is to keep pace in our rapidly changing world.”

While some might question the conclusions of the study, it finds that automakers, on the whole, improved their lot in 2011, due to what a summary suggested was, “remarkable growth in the auto industry, driven primarily by an economic recovery in classic European markets, a resurgence of the US automotive industry and high demand for cars in China.”

Toyota ranked tops among auto brands, at 11th, despite a variety of problems such as its quality control issues and the Japanese earthquake that slashed its production for much of this year, according to Interbrands.  Nonetheless, it had ranked eighth the prior year, suggesting those problems did take their toll.

(Toyota may be mired in long slump, warns new report.  For more,  Click Here.)

Another Japanese brand on the Top 100 list was Nissan – which returned for the first time since 2007.  The study found it was able to demonstrate itself “during a difficult time,” namely the March 11 disaster and aftermath, by getting its production back up to normal faster than key competitors.

After taking some hits during the global economic meltdown, the Interbrands study also found luxury on the rise – good news not only for the likes number 18 Louis Vuitton and 39th-ranked Gucci, but also for automakers like Mercedes-Benz, which followed on Toyota’s heels, at 12th.

Meanwhile, little Ferrari showed the power of more than just its V-12 engines by slipping into 99th – though that was down eight slots compared to Interbrands’ 2010 Report.

Other automakers on the list included 15th-ranked BMW, Honda, which climbed one spot to 19, Volkswagen, which jumped six positions to 47th, Audi, at 59 and Hyundai at 61, and Porsche at 72.

Despite their nascent turnarounds, neither General Motors nor Chrysler were on the list, perhaps reflecting the damage to their brands from their 2009 bankruptcies.  The only domestic Detroit marque to make it was Ford, which maintained its position at the Top 100 midpoint, ranked 50th for 2011.


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