But neither could catch the winner for the sixth year in a row.
Mercedes-Benz has reason to celebrate because it took down arch rival BMW as the world's second most valuable car brand in the BrandZ Top 100 Most Value Global Brands List. Every year, brands in all sectors, including automotive, are ranked according to their financial values, so the results very much matter. However, neither Mercedes nor BMW was able to take down this year's winner. Toyota has managed to retain its title as the world's most valuable car brand for the sixth year in a row.
Automotive News reached out to some industry analysts for comment and one crucial factor in Toyota's favor was this: "SUVs remain desirable products to those who put a high value on their safety and power." This couldn't be truer for Toyota, a "brand (that) is incredibly reliable and represents fantastic value and quality." In fact, Toyota has placed number one in the study in 11 of the past 13 years. It came in second place in 2010 and 2012. Mercedes has typically come in at either third or fourth place, behind BMW. Aside from SUVs, what worked in Mercedes' favor this year? Strong sales in China, Brazil and Russia. It also launched the new E-Class, which has been very successful so far.
As for BMW, its drop to third place can be attributed to a slight drop in US sales in 2017. However, that does not at all mean BMW is in trouble. Quite the opposite, in fact. It's still a major player in the auto industry and remains very healthy financially. The third major German luxury brand, Audi, came in at number seven, behind Nissan (6), Honda (5), and Ford (4). Volkswagen managed to return to the list at number 10 following a two-year absence. It's now worth about $6 billion, up from $5.1 billion last year. Not a bad comeback considering it's still dealing with the after-effects of Dieselgate.
Completing the top 10 list is Audi (7) and Maruti Suzuki (8). Below is the full list with the automakers' values in billions. 1. Toyota $29.99 billion 2. Mercedes $25.68 3. BMW $25.62 4. Ford $12.74 5. Honda $12.70 6. Nissan $11.43 7. Audi $9.63 8. Tesla $9.42 9. Maruti Suzuki $6.38 10. Volkswagen $5.99