The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
By Jarryd Neves, Motoring correspondent
2021’s most valuable brands have been revealed, with a number of automakers in the top 20. Global tech giants Apple, Amazon and Microsoft (all in the BizNews Share Portfolio) occupy the top three spots respectively, with Google trailing closely in fourth place. In fact, the top five positions are held by tech companies, with Korea’s Samsung neatly rounding off the group.
Coca-Cola holds sixth position, ahead of the world’s most valuable automotive brand.
1. Toyota – $54,107 million (1st auto-maker; 7th overall)
Widely regarded as the maker of the most reliable and durable motor vehicles, Japan’s Toyota clinches the title of most valuable automotive brand in the world. Finishing seventh overall, the Japan-based brand’s position remains unchanged from last year. The company recorded growth of 5%, bringing its total value to USD 54,107 million. Since before the turn of the 21st century, Toyota has been committed to creating environmentally responsible cars, such as the Prius. It continues to do so now, with its Mirai Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle.
2. Mercedes-Benz – $50,866 million (2nd auto maker; 8th overall)
Hot on the heels of Toyota is luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz. The world’s oldest car manufacturer has no plans to back down after 125 years of innovation and automotive advancements. Like the Japanese car maker which placed ahead, the Stuttgart-based brand has retained its 8th place ranking from last year. As the industry prepares for the transition into all-electric, Mercedes-Benz has introduced several electrified offerings that are sold globally. The EQC and EQS are two examples expected to be sold locally. Mercedes-Benz enjoyed growth of 3%, bringing the brand value to USD 50,866 million.
3. BMW – $41,631 million (3rd auto maker; 12th overall)
Pipped by its fiercest rival, BMW fell one spot overall, giving up its number 11 status to American sportswear brand, Nike. Like Mercedes-Benz, BMW has gone on an all-out assault, creating a range of electric vehicles that will mirror its combustion-engined offerings. Interestingly, the Munich-based brand was, along with Nissan and its Leaf, the first to introduce an electric car to South Africa. Recently, CEO Oliver Zipse said the luxury car maker will be ready for any ban on combustion-engined cars from 2030, with a range of EVs to supplement its broad petrol, diesel and hybrid models. The brand recorded growth of 5%.
4. Tesla – $36,270 million (4th auto maker; 14th overall)
Undoubtedly the most impressive showing, Elon Musk’s Tesla climbed an astonishing 26 places to land in the top 20 overall. Monumental growth of 184% sees the California-based brand’s value exceed that of long-established brands such as Honda, Volkswagen and Ford, at USD 36,270 million. Led by a South African-born visionary, the company has brought electro mobility to the masses and, more importantly, made it desirable. Features like Autopilot and incredible performance have created scores of loyal Tesla customers.
5. Honda – $21,315 million (5th auto maker; 25th overall)
Like Toyota, Honda is renowned for its fastidious attention to detail and legendary durability. Despite an impressive showing, 5th automobile brand and 25th overall, executives in the Tokyo boardroom must be frustrated by losing five positions. Last year, the manufacturer – that also produces motorcycles, scooters, jet engines and more – placed 20th. What’s more, Honda also didn’t grow, posting a figure of -2%. Overall value sits at USD 21,315 million.
6. Hyundai – $15,168 million (6th auto maker; 35th overall)
It’s steady progress for Korea’s Hyundai, moving up one position from last year. Placing 35th place overall, Hyundai enjoyed growth of 6%. The Seoul-based brand beat out stock market favourite Netflix (which was placed in 36th position), with a total brand value of USD 15,168 million. Like many competitors, the company is diving head first into the electric vehicle pool. Their Kona EV has, however, experienced some negative press with the midsize electric SUV at the centre of a massive recall involving the batteries.
7. Audi – $13,474 million (7th auto maker; 46th overall)
Despite losing two places (Audi placed 44th last year), the Ingolstadt-based luxury carmaker experienced growth of 8%. A brand value of USD 13,474 million is considerably less than rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz, but that doesn’t mean the brand enjoys less of a reputation as a producer of desirable luxury cars. Audi South Africa plans on introducing its electric vehicle range (known as E-Tron) early next year, confirming the brand’s commitment to an electric future. “We are bringing in a full range to show our commitment to electric vehicles,” said a representative for the brand.
8. Volkswagen – $13,423 million (8th auto maker; 47th overall)
Volkswagen is hot on the tail of its fellow German brand Audi. As one of the world’s biggest (and most recognisable) brands, it placed 47th overall, the last automaker to squeeze into the top 50. VW managed to achieve 9% growth while still retaining its position from last year. Overall, the brand’’s value is USD 13,423 million. Currently, Volkswagen is the largest vehicle maker in Europe.
9. Ford – $12,861 million (9th auto maker; 52nd overall)
Down a considerable 10 places, the Dearborn, Michigan-based carmaker still managed to achieve growth of 2%. At USD 12,861 million, it managed to pip L’Oréal by USD 360 million. One of America’s oldest car brands, Ford is just one of two companies in the top 10 to come from the US, beaten only by Tesla. No other American carmakers made the top 100.
10. Porsche – $11,739 million (10th auto maker; 58th overall)
Interestingly, all four of the German luxury carmakers made the top 10, with Porsche closing off the list. While it lost three places (it was in 55th position last year), the Zuffenhausen-based carmaker recorded growth of 4%. While it remains loyal to myriad fans and customers who demand internal combustion-engined cars, the brand has entered the electric car sphere, with the popular Taycan. It has proven popular, with the pricey all-electric sedan outselling the evergreen 911 sportscar.
The Interbrand rankings are based on three key components that contribute to a brand’s cumulative value: the financial performance of the branded products and services; the role the brand plays in influencing customer choice; and the strength the brand has to command a premium price or secure earnings for the company.
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