Just last week, we reported BMW had finally kicked Toyota's Lexus brand from the top spot in the U.S. luxury market. Today, the trade winds have shifted, and we find Toyota booting BMW out of its #1 rank on a different list -- the list of the world's most valuable brands.
The news comes via Millward Brown's annual "BrandZ" survey. Millward Brown ranks companies based on customer perceptions (gauges via interviews with over one million consumers), paired with a thorough analysis of the companies' financial and business data.
Toyota's brand value jumped 11 percentage points this year, with the final tally resting at $24.2 billion. According to Millward Brown, the Prius was largely responsible for Toyota's boost: "Fuel efficiency became a hygiene factor, and Toyota’s Prius continued its market leadership."
BMW came in at #2 on the auto chart, its brand up by 3 percentage points. Mercedes came in third, up a very respectable 12. But the big mover in this year's study was Nissan, which surged a whopping 17 points in value to take the #6 spot. According to Millward Brown's global brand director, Peter Walshe, that jump is largely due to the launch of the 2011 Leaf EV and all the hype surrounding it: "Nissan is positioning itself as a green leader and its stance is paying off." Ford was the only U.S. company to make the automotive top ten, ranking #8 with a value of $7.4 billion.
The news wasn't all good for automakers, though. The most valuable companies on the planet reside in the tech, fast food, and general retail sectors. Top marks went to Apple, which shoved Google to the #2 spot, followed by IBM, McDonald's, and Microsoft. Thought it was #1 on the auto list, Toyota ranked #27 overall, and only six automakers made the BrandZ top 100 list.
If you have a few moments, zip on over to Millward Brown's BrandZ page for a look at the full results.