Wednesday, May 11, 2011 4:06 PM
Toyota declared world’s most valuable auto brand
NEW YORK: Toyota has made a comeback as the most valuable automotive brand in the 2011 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands report published on May 9.
Toyota’s brand value rebounded by 11% to an estimated US$24.2bil (RM73bil).
Toyota maintained the crown as the most valuable automotive brand for five consecutive years in the BrandZ report since it was first published in 2006, briefly featuring at the number two spot in 2010.
According to the report’s authors, one reason for Toyota’s resurgence in the latest edition of the report can be attributed to the overall resilience of the Toyota brand to overcome last year’s massive recalls in North America.
In addition, Toyota’s full hybrid powertrain, found in an ever increasing number of Toyota and Lexus vehicles, remains the market leader.
Lexus returns to the report’s Top 10 most valuable automotive brands with a brand value of US$3.7bil (RM11bil).
Researchers at Millward Brown Optimer compile the annual brand value report by analysing the financial and business performances sourced from BrandZ, Bloomberg and Datamonitor. The research company also conducts consumer surveys globally to evaluate the brand and its ability to generate demand.
On another front, Toyota is likely to lose its spot as the world's No. 1 automaker to General Motors later this year.
Toyota's production capacity was sorely hurt by a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11. The twin disasters nearly washed away Japan's northeastern coast, home to a network of key auto-parts suppliers.
The maker of the Camry sedan and Prius hybrid overtook GM as the world's biggest automaker in 2008, a distinction that the American car manufacturer had held since 1932.
But in late 2009, Toyota's reputation was battered by the massive recalls.
In 2010, GM came within 30,000 vehicles of Toyota's sales: 8.42 million cars and trucks for Toyota, compared to 8.39 million for GM. Toyota President Akio Toyoda responded on March 9 by announcing a global strategy aimed at achieving an industry first - annual sales of 10 million vehicles by 2015. Two days later, Japan was struck by the worst earthquake in its history.
Since then, car sales have plunged in Japan, Toyota's home market, as nervous consumers hold back on spending. Japan sales had already been declining after the end of incentives in September for purchasing green vehicles, according to an AP report.
Toyota said last month that its worldwide production will start recovering in July and may return to full production by November or December, but that was before the Hamaoka decision. Already, the crisis has cost the company production of 400,000 vehicles in Japan, and another 100,000 overseas.