Since Sergio Marchionne took over for former Ferrari CEO Luca di Montezemolo and raise production levels, Ferrari's brand value has risen 40%.

The value of the Ferrari brand is steadily rising, according to a new study that ranks the world’s automotive brands by Brand Finance, a British valuation and strategy consultancy.

“The fact Ferrari has boosted revenues without compromising brand strength suggests that it has found the perfect formula to sustainably exploit brand equity to maximize shareholder value,” Brand Finance CEO David Haigh said.

Haigh noted the strength of Ferrari’s brand is all the more impressive given its increasingly commercial approach and improving revenues.

Former Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo enforced a strict production cap of 7,000 vehicles, convinced that this was essential to maintaining perceived exclusivity and brand strength, he said.

However, since Sergio Marchionne took command, and particularly since Ferrari’s IPO, a less puritanical approach has been employed.

(Ferrari launches limited-edition J50. Click Here for the story.)

The annual production cap has been raised to 9,000 and a new Ferrari-based theme park, Ferrari Land, is set to open at Port Aventura in Spain on April 7. This increased commercial exploitation of the brand has seen brand value surge 40% to $6.15 billion this year, Haigh said.

Overall, the most valuable auto brand is Toyota. Its brand value has increased by 7% to $46.3 billion.

Toyota’s profitability remains strong and, at the date of valuation, most recently reported revenues were up 32% on the same period last year.

Toyota was recently overtaken by Volkswagen AG as the biggest auto manufacturer by sales. Toyota sold 10,175,000 units in 2016 to Volkswagen AG’s 10,213,486, but Volkswagen’s sales are split between multiple brands including VW, Audi, Lamborghini, Skoda, SEAT, Porsche, Bentley, Bugatti and Ducati motorcycles.

(Ferrari electrifies. Click Here to learn how hybrids will be the brand’s norm going forward.)

In one of the study’s surprises, Volkswagen’s flagship VW brand is growing strongly, up 32% to $25 billion. Despite ongoing legal cases, VW is rebounding rapidly from the damage caused by the emissions scandal that broke in late 2015.

The reputational recovery is clear from a 6-point improvement in brand strength, making VW the third strongest auto brand in the world. European sales rose in 2016, while sales in the increasingly critical Chinese market are up more than 12%.

Meanwhile, several brands such as Chevrolet, Nissan, Hyundai, Honda and Ford all declined in the Brand Finance rankings.

Brand Finance first evaluated to determine their power/strength (based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation) and given a corresponding letter grade.

(Ferrari reveals Aperta, its fastest-ever convertible. Click Here to check it out.)

Brand strength is used to determine what proportion of a business’s revenue is contributed by the brand, which is projected into perpetuity to determine the brand’s value. The world’s 100 most valuable auto brands are then ranked.

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