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Toyota Still Most Valuable Automaker in the World

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Toyota is the most valuable automaker in the world. Photo: 2020 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid in Silver Sky Metallic
Photo: Toyota

Despite the social, economic, and personal impacts of COVID-19, the world’s most valuable brands have continued to increase in value since last year, market researcher Kantar found.

According to the 2020 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking, the world’s top brands added a collective $277 billion to their value to reach $5 trillion in total value, up six percent from 2019. Toyota remained the most valuable automaker in the world and was the only car brand to feature in the top 50.

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Nonetheless, with the exception of Tesla, all brands in the automaker top 10 lost value. BrandZ strategy director Graham Staplehurst told Automotive News Europe this was caused by warning consumer enthusiasm. Indeed, though many market segments survived COVID-19 or even thrived because of it, others were strongly impacted.

While the value of retail, technology, and personal care brands rose significantly, the value of car brands, global banks, and energy brands dropped even more.

Of the top 10 automakers to lose value, Toyota was the least affected. Ranking 48th overall in the study, its brand value was estimated at $29.2 billion in 2019 and $28.4 billion in 2020, a three percent decrease. Most of the other car brands in the top 10 lost value in the double digits and the industry as a whole lost an average of seven percent value.

Why Toyota? Why the brand is so strong

According to Guillaume Saint, Kantar’s global automotive practice lead, brands with a clear and visible EV message are best placed to resist a decrease in their valuation. “Brands that are continuing to invest in more EVs will continue to grow in the future,” he explained. “Companies that are dropping value the most are the ones that are most shy about expressing their vision for the future in terms of mobility.”

However, Saint added that Toyota was also able to remain the most valuable automaker thanks to its adherence to core traditional values like reliability. “Toyota is creating differentiation not necessarily from design, but what they do provide is outstanding customer care and value,” he said. Toyota’s development of hydrogen fuel cell models and hybrid powertrains also helped its perception among consumers.

The top five overall brands were Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Visa, in that order.