Every year the brand consultancy firm, Interbrand, publishes a list of the 100 Best Global Brands, based on its own analysis.
For the ninth time, Toyota ranked tenth in this year's study – the highest of any automotive brand – and 11 other automakers made the top-100 list.
To rank global brands, the firm considers not just capital value or sales income but a combination of three key factors:
• Financial performance
• The role the brand plays in influencing consumer choice
• The brand's strength to command a premium price, or secure earnings for the company.
The top spots on the list were filled by predictable players. Coca Cola was number one, followed by Apple, IBM, Google and Microsoft, in that order.
Toyota, once again, was the top automotive brand, in 10th place (+1 from last year).
Other automakers to make the 2012 list, by overall ranking, were:
11. Mercedes-Benz (+1)
12. BMW (+3)
21. Honda (-2)
39. Volkswagen (+8)
45. Ford (50)
53. Hyundai (+8)
55. Audi (+4)
72. Porsche (0)
73. Nissan (+17)
87. Kia (not previously ranked)
99. Ferrari (0)
Most of the automakers moved up in the rankings from last year, with Honda the only one to lose ground, and Kia joined the exclusive group for the first time.
Automotive brands are becoming more attuned to the emotional connection consumers have with their cars, Interbrand observed. This has caused many of them to develop more effective, echnologically savvy ways to reach target markets and help prospective buyers better relate to car brands.
For the most part, the entire industry appears to be focused on engaging customers and prospects in a more relevant and personalized manner throughout the entire purchase cycle, the report says.
Nissan was singled out, among automakers, for growing its market share, "by pushing the envelope on innovation and by creating bold vehicle designs like that of the Nissan Juke. Nissan’s ability to overcome challenges and continually innovate caught the attention of consumers and helped increase its brand value by 30%."
Audi, BMW, Ford and Hyundai, as well as Kia, also earned special commendations.