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2013 most valuable car brands

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Posted: 12 pm ET

Toyota is the most valuable car brand, surpassing BMW to take the top spot from the German carmaker in the 2013 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study by market research firm Milward Brown. The brand is worth nearly $24.5 billion, a 12 percent increase over last year, and just barely beating BMW, which is worth just over $24 billion, a 2 percent decline from 2012. Mercedes-Benz followed in a distant third, with a value of nearly $18 billion, an 11 percent increase over 2012.

Overall, the Milward Brown study found that brand value of the top 10 brands improved by 5 percent, after a 7 percent decline in 2012. The improvement was primarily attributed to increased sales in the United States, the United Kingdom and China, as well as carmakers increasingly using production strategies to decrease overall costs while adding more luxury features that were previously only available on more expensive cars.

Top 10 most valuable car brands

Rank Brand 2013 brand value in billions Brand value percent change from 2012
1 Toyota $24.5 12%
2 BMW $24 -2%
3 Mercedes-Benz $18 11%
4 Honda $12.4 -2%
5 Nissan $10.2 3%
6 Volkswagen $8.8 3%
7 Ford $7.6 8%
8 Audi $5.5 18%
9 Hyundai $4 11%
10 Lexus $3.5 2%

Which is your favorite brand? Are you surprised by any of the rankings.

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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June 29, 2013 at 6:02 am

We've owned nine Honda's and nine VW's and have had very few problems with either brand. We've also owned three Ford trucks that have been very good to own.

Toy and Hon owner
June 29, 2013 at 5:24 am

I have had 3 Hondas and 4 Toyotas, all well over 100K miles, (2 over 250K). All have been very good cars. Have noticed that quality of those built in the 2000's is lower than those built in the 90's though.
From the article, If you add together Toyota and Lexus (same company), the lead over BMW is actually more significant.
As for the media hype about sudden acceleration mentioned below; most were from people adding floor mats on top of the originals, so the gas pedals got stuck under the stack. Toyota's fix is to cut the gas pedals shorter to idiot-proof the design. We all heard about the problem, but the media would ever bother to print anything other than left-wing propaganda (this time to aid their union brethren at GM, Ford, and Chrysler), so we have never been treated to the correct answer.

john benson
June 29, 2013 at 3:02 am

KIA's 10/100000 backing is so important to me that there are 5 Kias in the family. Price is also very competitive. The dealer here in C'ville, VA is also tops. I'll buy Kias until I can no more...Snobolas buy the other "top" brands, and probably voted for PUTZPOTUS too.

June 29, 2013 at 12:06 am

I have never owned a Honda that has ever given me a single problem... and I have owned 8 of them. Three Accords, Two Elements, Two CR-V's and a Civic. It's hard to buy a 'bad' car these days... but I'll put my $ on Honda... always. If your ego calls for something more flashy... waste your money on a BMW or an Audi. If you want a great value... buy a Honda.

June 28, 2013 at 9:51 pm

I'll keep my Cadillac CTS! Six years not a single issue! Surprised nothing from Cadillac was considered. Luxury and speed. I love blowing by the cars on this list when I'm on the highway.

June 28, 2013 at 9:22 pm

I have had a Toyota for 15 years, still runs like new!! Never had a problem. Never spent more than $200. at the dealership for maintenance. My friends that own BMW's and Lexus' me and my Toyota have had to drive them to dealerships for repairs and they call my car the "Hooptie". They have NEVER had to drive my car, the "Hooptie" to the dealership for work. I love my Toyota!!!!

June 28, 2013 at 9:06 pm

After all the issues with the 2010-2012 models you would think people would stop buying toyotas. I had a 2010 Prius that would lose brakes over bumps, at one point I had lost brakes for almost an entire block, the brakes came back about 50 feet from the stop sign! The car was at the dealer more than it was driven, they replaced the computer, all the electronic switches and still couldn't find any issues. I sacrificed the Prius and its good gas mileage for an Audi a4, wish I did it sooner!

June 28, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Um, once again, for the nine zillionth time, recalls don't mean your cars are all junk. They used to hide that stuff, and have lots of 'service bulletins' a.k.a. 'hidden recalls' that you never heard about, but now it is more out in the open, and considered (mostly) a sign of good customer care to correct issues....

June 28, 2013 at 6:53 pm

It really surprises me after millions of recalls for serious defects (like brakes, steering, and accelerator) people still buy Toyotas!

June 28, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Monte Carlo? What part of Iowa are you from?