BMW earns top auto status in new global brand equity study
According to data compiled by the prominent research organization MilwardBrown, BMW emerged as the number one automotive name in its latest annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands Study. The total brand value of the German automaker was pegged at $24.6 billion -- a gain of 10 percent from its 2011 figure. Last year's leader, Toyota, slipped to second spot in the auto rankings realm, its $21.8 billion brand worth reflecting a 10 percent decrease due largely to the lingering effect of the earthquake and tsunami that impacted all areas of the Japanese economy. Mercedes-Benz ($16.1 billion), Honda ($12.7 billion) and Nissan ($9.9 billion) rounded out the top five while Volkswagen ($8.5 billion), Ford ($7.0 billion), Audi ($4.7 billion), Hyundai ($3.6 billion) and Lexus ($3.4 billion) claimed the sixth through tenth spots in the automotive brand equity hierarchy.
Despite primacy among its automotive rivals, BMW's $24.6 billion valuation was only good for 23rd spot in the overall BrandZ Top 100 rankings. Volkswagen was the last vehicle manufacturer to make this celebrated century club, slotting in at 96th. Apple once again topped the list with a $183.0 billion tally, followed by IBM ($116.0 billion) and Google ($107.9 billion). Created in 1998, BrandZ is the world's largest brand equity database. It currently incorporates information on brands in more than 200 different categories culled from interviews with over 2 million consumers in 41 countries.