Toyota takes the top spot from BMW in global car brands survey 0

top cars, car survey, top car brandsThe 2011 BrandZ survey by  global research agency Millward Brown has seen Toyota positioned as the world’s most valuable car brand, claiming the title from last years winner BMW.

After Toyota in first place and BMW in second, Mercedes, Honda and Porsche filled the top five, with  Nissan, VW, Ford, Audi and Lexus taking out the rest of the Top 10.

According to Millward Brown’s latest report:

“Many car brands returned to robust health only a few years after disconnecting from the life support of government funding and auto purchasing schemes such as “cash for clunkers” or “scrappage.”

Consolidation left fewer brands in North America and Europe. But the survivors emerged more customer responsive and innovative, serious about meeting environmental and safety concerns of citizens and regulators and aware that consumer values, including perceptions of prestige, have changed.

The surviving Western brands probably are here to stay, and competition is expected from China and other fast growing markets. Most Western car producers looked to China for long term growth as the country’s sales are expected to reach 30 million units by 2015, or about twice the size of the US car market. Volkswagen remained China’s most popular car brand, but others have set up joint ventures in the country and at least one European heritage brand, Volvo, is now Chinese owned.

Toyota rebounded 11 percent in brand value, demonstrating the resilience of strong brands. Lexus remained America’s top-selling luxury car. To reassure the public following the recall of almost 8 million cars with a potential uncontrolled acceleration problem, Toyota introduced an extended warranty. A panel of NASA experts exonerated Toyota in early 2011, finding that driver mistakes were responsible for most of the reported incidents. Toyota increased sales by 8 percent to 8.4 million cars worldwide in 2010. Ford reported its highest profit in 10 years, $6.6 billion, and GM showed signs of a strong comeback. Ford enjoyed residual goodwill in the United States for rejecting the government bailout and funding product improvements with its own capital. Named “Marketer of the Year” by Advertising Age, Ford added a more contemporary feel to the brand with an effective use of social media, including a launch of its Explorer SUV on Facebook rather than at an auto show. Ford’s brand value grew 5 percent.”

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