Toyota has retained its title as being one of the most valuable automotive brands of 2018 after reigning top of the class for 11 years running! Toyota has continued to grow in terms of revenue with an increase of 9% compared to last year, taking the brand revenue up to $176.4 Billion and brand value to $44.7b.


Toyota continues to champion in terms of advertising, spending $3.8 Billion to promote the company’s continuous improvement of the customer’s experience and purchasing journey. Through innovative ideas in advertising campaigns, more recently Toyota has promoted diversity through the promotion of their Aygo car, a relatively affordable car – Toyota has created the ‘Go your own way’ campaign which featured drag queens promoting one of their most colourful and fun models that they manufacture. The campaign ties in with Toyota’s ‘Always a better way’ branding on their social media, traditional advertising and digital advertising.


Toyota Aygo - Automotive point of sale

Though the Japanese automotive company does produce some luxury cars, the forefront of the company is their more budget friendly top selling car being the Toyota Auris, coming with a starting price of £19,214. A relatively low price for a family car compared to Toyota’s competitors Mercedes and BMW.


Both Mercedes and BMW seem to be far from reigning as the top driver for the 2018 Forbes brand value list. They both brought in a brand revenue of $116.9 and 86.8 Billion respectively. Though Toyota was named the most valuable brand in the Forbes 2018 most valuable brands list, it was Mercedes that secured the highest year on year change with an increase of 18%! In Mercedes first quarter of the year, the luxury car brand sold 594,300 units an increase of 5% compared to last year. This is understandable as Dr. Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz cars has said “We are sustainably continuing along our profitable growth course and sold more vehicles than ever before in a first quarter. We aim to continue building on this and will systematically implement our strategy with the five pillars – CORE, CASE, CULTURE, COMPANY and CUSTOMER.”


Mercedes-Benz Cars’ unit sales increased by 5% to the new high of 594,300 vehicles in the first quarter of 2018. In Europe, a new record was set with sales of 244,200 Mercedes-Benz and smart cars (+1%). Unit sales were higher than in the prior-year period in Germany (+6%), France (+7%) and Spain (+4%). Best-ever unit sales were achieved also in China (+16%). The successful development was additionally supported by new sales records in South Korea (+18%), India (+26%) and Malaysia (+29%). Unit sales in the United States were 10% lower than in the first quarter of last year, while more vehicles were sold than ever before in a first quarter in Canada (+2%) and Mexico (+7%).


Mercedes-Benz China 2018

These statistics are exciting, especially in the Asian luxury market. Audi has remained the king of the cars in Chinese markets, however the crown has been handed over to Mercedes-Benz! In the first 6 months of 2017, Benz sold 304,000 cars a 34% increase! This has continued to grow with an increase of 16% in China and 29% in Malaysia. Benz has been able to take the throne in China due to Audi owing its popularity to the fact that it was the preferred choice of Chinese officials. As anti-corruption campaigns got serious in the past few years, Audi has been struggling to re-position itself. It also lacks allure with younger consumers in big cities. Brands like BMW and Benz are preferred amongst millennials, as they deliver cutting edge technology that speaks to the consumer. Using forecourt point of sale and automotive point of sale can increase sales and uplift brand awareness amongst millennials when consumers are opting for quality and brand experience, with a more tactile approach.



Rank Brand  Brand Value (B) 1 year Value Change  Brand Revenue (B) Industry
9 Toyota  $                44.70 9%  $                176.40 Automotive
13 Mercedes-Benz  $                34.40 18%  $                116.90 Automotive
20 BMW  $                31.40 9%  $                  86.80 Automotive
24 Honda  $                25.50 6%  $                120.40 Automotive
37 Audi  $                14.80 5%  $                  59.10 Automotive


How are the most valuable brands calculated?

Forbes begins with a universe of more than 200 global brands. They required brands to have more than a token presence in the U.S., which eliminated some big brands like multinational telecom firm Vodafone and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.


Their first step in valuing the brands was to determine revenue and earnings before interest and taxes for each brand. Forbes gathered these from company reports, Wall Street research and industry experts. A tip of the cap to Euromonitor, who provided retail sales figures for certain product brands. Forbes averaged earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) over the past three years and subtracted from earnings a charge of 8% of the brand’s capital employed, figuring a generic brand should be able to earn at least 8% on this capital.


Forbes applied the maximum 2017 corporate tax rate in the parent company’s home country to that net earnings figure based on tax tables from KPMG. Next, they allocated a percentage of those earnings to the brand based on the role brands play in each industry. (Brands are crucial when it comes to beverages and luxury goods, but less so with airlines and oil, when price and convenience are more important.)


To this net brand earnings number, they applied the average price-to-earnings multiple over the past three years to arrive at the final brand value. For privately held outfits they applied an earnings multiple for a comparable public company. Brands are all in U.S. dollars and converted at exchange rates from May 14.