2010 Toyota Camry

In the world of brand marketing, a company that began in San Francisco in 1974 called Interbrand is now considered the largest branding consultancy in the world.

In its just-released survey of Best Global Brands, Interbrand named Toyota as the top-ranked auto marque in the 11th year of the list. The list reflects the top 100 Brands in the world and only 10 carmakers made the grade based on financial performance and several brand strength attributes such as commitment, responsiveness, authenticity and consistency.

Toyota captured eleventh place on the brand consultancy's list of all companies worldwide, slipping from the number eight slot in last year's rankings by Interbrand.

Toyota weathered its massive, global recall better than expected due to its long-standing reputation for reliability, noted Interbrand, saying the problems still resulted in the brand losing 16% of its year-over-year brand value, down to $26 billion.

Only Harley-Davidson lost more of its brand value, off 24%, among the top 100 brands.

Nine other car brands made it on Interbrand's top 100 list. However, Toyota's luxury Lexus brand, which held the 96th slot last year, didn't make the cut in 2010.

Audi and Hyundai improved their ranking from a year ago. Audi went from 65 to 63, while Hyundai moved from 69 to 65. Each brand boosted their brand value by 9% from a year ago, the best performers in the auto industry. Audi's brand value is now $5.4 billion and Hyundai's is just over $5 billion, according to Interbrand.

Volkswagen also improved its brand value, by 6% to $6.89 billion, landing it a ranking of 53 from 55 on last year's list.

Porsche moved up two slots to number 72 from a year ago and increased its brand value by 4% to $4.4 billion.

Mercedes was right behind Toyota on the list, holding onto its number 12 ranking from last year. Likewise, BMW kept its fifteenth slot on the list. The two German car brands "were able to sustain and build their value through innovative design and a focus on delivering premium value vehicles with luxury features," said Interbrand.

Mercedes' brand value is now $25 billion; BMW's is $22 billion, says Interbrand.

Honda was ranked number 20 on the list, sliding from last year, when it was number 18. Although it fell in placement, Honda's brand value rose by 4% to $18.5 billion.

Similarly the Ford brand slipped to number 50 from 49 a year ago, while its brand value increased by 3% to $7.1 billion.

Interbrand praised Ford's use of customer feedback for the launch of the Fiesta, calling it "one of the best examples of how to use social media."

Among all worldwide marks, the top three brands of 2009 held their own this year. Coca-Cola is the world's best brand, according to Interbrand, with IMB keeping the number two slot and Microsoft third.

author photo

Jean Halliday is a seasoned journalist with the nation's longest consecutive run covering auto advertising. Her years in the trenches include stints at Automotive News, Adweek and Advertising Age. The native New Yorker now lives outside the Motor City. You can read Jean's blog at AutoAdOpolis.wordpress.com.

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