Toyota remains on top of the international automotive world in terms of total brand value, as the Japanese automaker rose by 6% in 2012 from R225-billion to R239-billion, reports Brand Finance.Brand Finance said Toyota's new designs, as seen in the 86 and new Auris, have elevated its aesthetic appeal. A 23% increase in sales to a record of 9.8 million vehicles in 2012 and higher than expected net profits contributed to the increase.Toyota is followed by three German automakers - Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz with US automaker Ford completing the top five. MOST SUCCESSFUL CARS OF 2012Toyota's market capitalisation was calculated at R1.9-trillion, more than double compared to any automaker.Research has rated Toyota as the world's most valuable automotive brand for the past nine years. The 2012 Best Global Brands Report, compiled by international consultancy Interbrand, said Toyota is reinventing its brand with more stylish vehicles.Interbrand said hybrid cars were a "clear differentiator" for Toyota, with the Prius line-up creating an influx of new customers. Toyota also emerged as the Best Global Green Brand in 2012 for the second year running. The Forbes group named four Toyotas (Camry, Corolla, Prius and RAV4) among the most successful cars of 2012.The cars were chosen for their sales, consumer satisfaction and performance, reliability, safety and value. In South Africa, Toyota has been the top-selling automotive brand for the past 33 years.