BMW Is Only the Second Most Valuable Car Brand in the World

The list of 2017’s most valuable brands is out, and unsurprisingly it’s pretty impressive. According to the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, Google takes the top spot, increasing in value by 7% over the past year to a cool $245.6 billion. Although several car brands make the top 100 list, none of them comes close to Google. In fact, if you added the values of the top 10 car companies, you would get $139.3 billion, far less than Google’s mark.

But that doesn’t mean the most valuable car brands in the world aren’t impressive. They are, and they’re still worth spectacular amounts of money. Each brand has figured out how to give customers what they want, while signaling that they’re prepared to make whatever changes are necessary to stay healthy well into the future. Here’s a look at the 10 most valuable automotive brands, along with a look at what they’re doing right. 

10. Porsche


Simply put, the Cayenne has made Porsche one of the most valuable brands in the world. | Porsche

Porsche has always been an elite automaker. But just 20 years ago, the German sports car company was in serious financial trouble. Then, someone had the idea for the sporty Cayenne SUV. The rest, as they say, is history.

Today, Porsche is an extremely profitable company under the Volkswagen Auto Group umbrella. Thanks to its combination of sports cars, SUVs, and even a sedan, the future looks brighter than ever for Porsche. As of this year, the brand is worth $5.1 billion, according to the BrandZ ranking.

Next: This British brand is also benefiting from a stunning turnaround. 

9. Land Rover

Land Rover Discovery

The Discovery proves Land Rover has figured out a winning formula. | Micah Wright/Autos Cheat Sheet

Just a decade ago, Land Rover was on life support as the global financial crisis devastated the auto markets. But it was sold (along with sister brand Jaguar) to Indian conglomerate Tata in 2008. And since then, it has experienced one of the most dramatic turnarounds in automotive history.

Thanks to a number of attractive models — including the Range Rover, Evoque, and Discovery — as well as competitive leasing and warranty programs, Land Rover has become one of the most valuable automotive brands in the world. The brand has seen a 17% jump in value over 2016. And today, this iconic 4×4 builder is worth $5.5 billion.

Next: This brand is proof the heart of the American auto industry might not be in Detroit anymore. 

8. Tesla


The upcoming Model 3 could raise Tesla’s profile even higher. | Tesla

Much ado was made about Tesla surpassing Ford and GM in stock valuation earlier in 2017. On top of the still-popular Model S, vastly improved (after roughly a year of teething issues) Model X, and much-anticipated Model 3, the Freemont, California-based EV startup is also at work on an electric vehicle platform that could underpin an SUV, pickup truck, and even semi truck.

Add to it its battery operations and solar roof technology, and Tesla is rapidly maturing into a diverse and formidable company. The brand saw a whopping 32% increase in value over the past year and is now worth $5.9 billion.

Next: Porsche’s sister brand practically gives the Volkswagen Auto Group license to print money. 

7. Audi


Automaker Audi has come a long way from its humble ’60s-era roots. | Audi

Audi was caught up in Volkswagen’s massive 2015 “Dieselgate” scandal, but the brand has proven to be largely immune to any blowback. Thanks to a focus on luxury, performance, and technology across its lineup, Audi has become a stalwart in luxury segments from compact sport sedans to full-size SUVs. Due to a boon in sales around the world (especially in the U.S. and China), the brand is now worth an impressive $9.4 billion.

Next: Choosing to be normal has paid off handsomely for this automaker. 

6. Nissan

Nissan Rogue

It might not be the sexiest automaker, but models, such as the Rogue, have made Nissan one of the most popular — and profitable — brands in the world. | Micah Wright/Autos Cheat Sheet

A few years back, Nissan disappointed its hardcore fans by announcing it was stepping back from sports cars to focus on mass-market vehicles. The company’s move has paid off in a big way. Nissan is now one of the most popular brands in America, with the Rogue consistently ranking as one of the best-selling cars on the road.

And thanks to its partnership with Renault and recent acquisition of Mitsubishi, its footprint will only continue to grow around the world. Today, the brand is worth an impressive $11.3 billion.

Next: As good as things are for Nissan, it’s bested by one of its biggest rivals. 

5. Honda

View of 2017 Honda CR-V in burnt orange at sunset with ocean in background

Enduring favorites, such as the Civic, Accord, and CR-V, have kept Honda popular and profitable. | Honda

For nearly half a century in the U.S., Honda has been synonymous with quality, reliability, and offering cutting-edge features at an affordable price. But beyond that, the Japanese automaker has shrewdly expanded around the world, building plants in America and Europe to shore up its plants in Asia. As a result, you’re likely to see Civics, Accords, CR-Vs, and Odysseys all around the world. Honda’s sterling reputation and global presence adds up to a valuation of $12.2 billion.

Next: Despite recent turmoil, this American company is still riding high. 

4. Ford

Ford truck

As long as the F-150 remains America’s best-selling vehicle, Ford will always be a hot commodity. | Ford

Ford recently made headlines because falling stock prices and corporate turmoil led to the ouster of its CEO. But despite finding itself at the center of the struggle for the future of the American auto industry (investors are betting on Tesla), Ford still has an ace up its sleeve: the F-150. Thanks to an otherwise competitive lineup that’s largely the same in every market around the world, Ford still comes out on top. The brand is worth a cool $13.1 billion.

Next: Proof that old-school luxury pays off

3. Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-AMG E 63 S

Mercedes set records for sales in 2016. | Mercedes-Benz

To say 2016 was a banner year for Mercedes would be an understatement. On top of record-setting sales, it also enjoyed the highest profits and revenue in company history. Thanks to global popularity and dominance in virtually every luxury segment, Mercedes has never been more popular. The German juggernaut is worth $23.5 billion.

Next: Mercedes might be winning the sales game, but its biggest rival still has an edge. 

2. BMW

View of BMW 340i sedan in Mediterranean blue metallic

A combination of old-school luxury and cutting-edge tech makes BMW the most valuable luxury automaker in the world.  | BMW

Talk about falling up: BMW is worth 8% less than it was in 2016, yet it’s still the second most valuable auto brand in the world. Thanks to its reputation as “The Ultimate Driving Machine,” BMW’s lineup (from compact crossovers to no-compromise sports cars) appeals to buyers who want something sportier than an Audi and less formal than a Mercedes.

Thanks to its willingness to adapt to market changes (seen in its ride-sharing programs and hybrid/EV lineup), BMW projects old-school luxury cachet with a thoroughly modern business model. The brand is worth an impressive $24.6 billion, according to the BrandZ ranking.

Next: BMW is working with this industry titan on a new sports car. 

1. Toyota

White RAV4 followed by blue RAV4 hybrid

Safe, reliable, and value-packed models, such as the RAV4, have helped Toyota take over the world. | Toyota

If any one car company could own the word “reliable,” it would be Toyota. From the deserts of Africa to your own backyard, Toyotas are everywhere. And they tend to last far longer than most of the competition. It might not be the sexiest brand out there, but for millions of people around the world, the Japanese automaker is the last word when it comes to cars.

Because you can’t buy that kind of reputation, Toyota is far and away the most valuable automotive brand on the planet. Despite losing 3% of its value from 2016, it’s still worth $28.7 billion, according to the BrandZ list.

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