Big Brands Around the Planet

Last week, Interbrand released its 2014 Best Global Brands ranking.

Last week, Interbrand released its 2014 Best Global Brands ranking. Why is this of any interest in the automotive space?

A few reasons, really.

One is that vehicle manufacturers spend a tremendous amount of money to bring people to their brands and, they hope, subsequently their showrooms. Last year, GM, Ford, Toyota, and Fiat Chrysler were among the top-10 advertising spenders in the U.S.

Second is that top brands have a higher value in the market. That makes the company more valuable overall. This can make it easier for them to do things like raise money for investments.

Third is that top brands tend to be things that people aspire to being associated with. People want to be associated with the leaders. This can turn into more sales.

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Biggest of the global automotive brands

The methodology that Interbrand used to calculate brand valuation included the following metrics:

· The brand has to derive at least 30% of its revenue outside of its home region (remember: this is a global survey)

· It must have “a significant presence” in Asia, Europe and North America and broad coverage in emerging markets

In addition to which, they expected the brands to be economically sound and delivering a return above its cost of capital.

So, how did the vehicle manufacturers do?

Pretty good.

There were 14 companies (including Harley-Davidson, which Interbrand categories in “Automotive,” and which is not bad company to keep) in the top 100.

Two made it into the top 10: Toyota at 8 and Mercedes-Benz at 10. The people in Munich must have been annoyed that BMW came in at 11.

Honda made the top 20, at 20.

Then VW shows up in 31st position, just behind Pampers and ahead of Kellogg’s.

Ford is in 39th place, an 18% gain compared to last year. Hyundai is in 40th, having made a 16% improvement.

Audi, in 45th, made a whopping 27% gain. Another big mover is Nissan, in 56th, whose brand fortunes increased by 23%.

Porsche comes in at 60. Kia makes the list at 74. Then it is Chevrolet at 82, bracketed between delivery service company DHL and fashion purveyor Ralph Lauren.

Harley is at 87. Land Rover, new to the list, is at 91.

The Japanese, German and Korean brands are all strong. The performance of U.S.-based companies certainly shows the domestic-centric nature of their brands. One Ford is paying off for that company. As Chevy’s footprint around the globe is being decreased, chances are that it might not even reach 82 next year.