MOST VALUED CAR BRANDS: Toyota has been named 2016's most valuable car brand. Image: QuickPic
New York - Toyota has retained its position as the world's most valuable automotive brand, according to a major global study.
Citing Toyota's enduring brand strength, the 2016 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands report said the top-rated automaker has "embraced the importance of design".
The report, released by market researcher Millward Brown, said this added an emotional appeal to a brand respected for the functional excellence of its vehicles.
Top auto brand for 8 years
The report estimated Toyota's brand value had increased by 2% over the past year to $29.5-billion.
It is the eighth time Toyota has topped the automotive category in the report's 11-year history.
Second and third places among automakers were taken by BMW and Mercedes-Benz respectively.
Top most-valuable car brands 2016:
1 Toyota - $29.5-billion, (28th in top 100 list)
2 BMW - $26.8-bn, 33rd
3 Mercedes-Benz - $22.7-bn, 39th
4 Honda - $13.1-bn, 74th
5 Ford - $13.0-bn, 75th
6 Nissan - $11.4-bn, 92nd
Below is the top 10 list of most-valued car brands in 2016:Image: BrandZ
Shift in car ownership
The report said social trends such as urbanisation and a shift from ownership to sharing would see automakers also become mobility service providers.
Anticipating these trends, Toyota has already contributed 70 ultra-compact electric vehicles, the Toyota i-Road and Coms, for an innovative car-sharing experiment in the French city of Grenoble.
Tech firms dominate top 100 brands
In May 2016, Toyota announced an agreement with Uber to explore ride-sharing opportunities and will make a strategic investment in the technology platform.
Toyota has also provided initial funding of $1-billion for a research institute that will develop artificial intelligence and robotics for enhancing human mobility.
Tesla makes the top 100 list
According to the report: "The electric car brand Tesla appears in the BrandZ™ Cars Top 10 for the first time, suggesting that the future has arrived. With the availability of a relatively affordable Tesla (priced at around $35 000), more people might experience that future.
In addition, Tesla’s model of direct sales could portend distribution changes in an industry that currently relies on dealership networks."
Future of the auto industry
"If the future seemed complicated for automakers, one factor simplified the present for many consumers: cheap fuel.
"The plummet in global oil prices that led to lower prices at the pump drove car sales, put pressure on diesel models, and pushed purchasing preferences to larger cars, like SUVs. Full-size pick-up trucks remained popular in the US.
"The overall value of the BrandZ Cars Top 10 declined 3%, following a rise of 3% a year ago."
The study said: "At a point where Volkswagen hoped to shift toward greater emphasis on SUVs,
the company struggled to contain the impact of revelations that it circumvented
emissions standards. The incident also affected the value of VW’s Audi brand."
Click here for the full report (scroll to page 3)