Autos

The World's 10 Most Valuable Car Brands

Several times a year, brand valuation companies come out with their lists of the world’s, or America’s, most valuable brands. Typically, tech companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft top these lists. Car brands are well down the counts, if they make them at all. A new study looks at only brands associated with individual automobiles and the value of their parent companies. One of these stands out as the most valuable.

Brand Finance has released its Automobile Industry 2020 report. It is part of the research firm’s overall universe of 5,000 brands from various industries and sectors.

Mercedes-Benz tops the list with a brand value near $65 million, up 8% from 2019. Second, Toyota has a brand value of $58 billion, higher by 11%.

There is a sharp drop to the third most valuable brand, which is Volkswagen at $45 billion, up almost 8%. It is followed by BMW at $40 billion, flat with 2019. Porsche is next with a value of $34 billion, up more than 15%.

Then comes Honda, with a value of $33 billion, up 29%. Ford follows with a brand value of $19 billion, off less than 2%. After that, Nissan’s value fell about 5% to $18 billion.

Audi was ninth, with a value of $17 billion, down 14%. Finally, Volvo has a brand value of $17 billion, up 20%.

Among this study’s notable aspects is that it is not only about revenue and profit. A major factor is research and development, and within that, progress toward autonomous vehicles and electric cars. The researchers wrote, “The growth of electric vehicles is probably the most important trend in this year’s ranking with electric only brands recording some of the fastest growth and almost all the major marques launching electric ranges.”

Finally, the study looked at the value of parent companies, based on their brand portfolios. In other words, VW’s would include its flagship brand along with its Porsche and Audi brands. The VW parent has a value of almost $114 billion, followed by Daimler, the parent of Mercedes, at $76 billion.

In third place, Toyota, which includes Toyota and Lexus, had a value of $75 billion. In fourth, BMW, which also owns Mini, had a value of $45 billion. Honda, which owns Acura, had a parent company valuation of $35 billion. General Motors, which owns GMC, Cadillac, Buick and Chevrolet, had a valuation of $30 billion.

Ford, the parent of Ford and Lincoln, had a company valuation of less than $20 billion. Nissan followed at $19 billion. China’s Geely had a valuation of $18 billion. Finally, Groupe Renault was valued at $14 billion.

Among the most interesting things about the study is that the luxury brands, which include Mercedes and BWM, do so well, even though their sales figures are not huge. It shows how much research and development is worth in a world where auto technology is advancing so rapidly.