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Toyota regains world’s most valuable car brand spot

Published on 5th Oct, Edition 40, 2015

 

Toyota is the world’s most valuable car brand. It is a defined brand that is having quality and value. The brand has finished in the top spot among other renowned auto brands in seven of nine years in a latest study conducted recently through Millward Brown Optimor BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Car Brands. The annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking was created by Millward Brown Optimor.

Among other brands including the list, Toyota brand is valued at $29.6 billion. Ford had the largest uptick in brand value with a 56 percent gain. It has moved it into the Top 5. BMW, valued at $25.7 billion, Mercedes-Benz, ($21.5 billion), Honda, ($14.1 billion), and Ford, ($11.8 billion), rounded out the top 5 in this year’s Millward Brown Optimor BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable Car Brands award list. Chevrolet rejoined the list for the first time since 2009.

In the USA, Toyota observed very much as a local brand because of the support and the significance of its manufacturing in the USA. It is recovering lost trust after the recalls of 2009-10.

The BrandZ study uses financial data as well as the views of potential and current buyers to calculate brand value. Nissan ($11.1 billion), Volkswagen ($8.4 billion), Audi ($7.1 billion), Chevrolet ($4.9 billion) and Hyundai ($4.6 billion), anchored the second half of the rankings.

Of the 10 brands, only Volkswagen failed to gain value in the latest study. The agency says the Volkswagen brand, with sales trending 10 per cent lower through April than the year-earlier period, has faced pricing pressure in China while not seeing the same success in the United States as other brands. In the United States, Volkswagen sales fell to 118,154 through April 2014, down from 131,822 in the year-earlier period, according to the Automotive News Data Center.

Car brands are thriving in 2014 as the end of recession and US consumer confidence are evidenced in a willingness to make big purchases once again. Car market have performed best with Ford as the top rising car brand and Chevrolet re-joining the top 10 this year at No 9. Audi had the second-largest boost in value. Toyota’s brand value rose 21 per cent, Mercedes-Benz’s increased 20 per cent and Hyundai jumped 15 per cent from 2013.

Toyota has plans to invest $50 million into building artificial intelligence into cars. It would be joining the race to develop driverless vehicles. The joint research with Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will take place over the next five years. It is emphasizing its interest in technology that could be used by people as they grow old or become less able to drive safely.

Toyota Corporation will in the beginning focus on the acceleration of intelligent vehicle technology, with the immediate goal of helping eliminate traffic casualties and the final goal of helping improve quality of life through enhanced mobility and robotics.

Lab efforts will be directed by former US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program manager Gill Pratt, who headed a recent contest for robots that could be used to help emergency workers in disaster situations.

 

Roots in Pakistan

US and European cars dominated Pakistan’s roads in the early years after it won independence from UK in 1947. But fuel prices made their compact, efficient Japanese rivals more popular and from the 1960s onwards manufacturers like Toyota, Suzuki and Honda gained a stranglehold on the market.

Italy’s Fiat made a brief foray in the 1990s, while South Korea’s Hyundai as well as Daewoo-owned Chevrolet tried and failed to gain a foothold in the 2000s before the financial crisis forced them to exit.

Pakistan is also undergoing a major construction boom driven by Chinese investment after President Xi Jinping visited Islamabad in April to unveil a $46 billion investment plan known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Car sales have escalated due to the growth of car leasing and financing facilities. Sales in the 11 months to May rose to 30 per cent from a year earlier, according to Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association.

Very much interested to cash in, a delegation from German auto giant Volkswagen visited the country in recent weeks, according to Pakistani officials and German diplomats. Volkswagen is not the only company expressing interest but there are a number of other companies from South Korea and Europe that are talking to and are thinking of setting up assembly plants in Pakistan.

Volkswagen is exploring options to enter the Pakistani market has excited car enthusiasts who are tired of high prices and limited choices. Volkswagen in the market would help drive costs down. The monopoly of auto-manufacturers in Pakistan could be broken if Volkswagen produces at least 20,000-25,000 cars annually. Baber Kaleem Khan, editor of PakWheels.com magazine, said Volkswagen would be well poised to tap into the lower to mid-range market.

Toyota Group being acknowledged as the world’s most valuable car brand and is considering further investment in Pakistan. Japan fully understands Pakistan’s challenges and has shown increased interest in Pakistan amongst Japanese companies.

Japanese domination

Both Pakistan and Japan enjoys longstanding friendly relations which needed to be further improved. Pakistan wants to expand trade and investment relations with Japan. It is looking for special economic zones to be established by Japanese entrepreneurs in Pakistan.

The global auto giants are attracted by Pakistan’s booming economy, which the International Monetary Fund predicts will grow by 4.5 per cent in the next financial year.

The investors’ confidence in the medium-sized economy of $232 billion has improved since a new business-friendly of Nawaz Sharif-led government took power in 2013, with Karachi’s share market among the world’s top 10 performers in the past year.

Pakistan’s car market has been dominated by Japanese automakers for decades, but a mini-economic revival looks set to attract new players from Europe and Korea into the mix.

Toyota, Suzuki and Honda car assembly plants already work round the clock in Karachi and Lahore. Even the customers still wait for up to five months for new vehicles to be delivered.

There are bright prospects for investment in the automobile industry. Demand for cars in the country is rapidly rising even more quickly, as economic growth has reached its fastest pace since 2008 while renewed investor confidence and easing inflation have increased consumer spending.

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