VW re-enters the ranking
After a two-year absence, Volkswagen brand has re-entered the ranking at No. 10 with a value of roughly $6 billion, up from $5.1 billion last year. VW dropped out of the ranking in 2016 and 2017 because of backlash from its emissions scandal. In September 2015, the automaker admitted that it used a so-called defeat device in its diesels to cheat government tests to measure vehicle emissions. While the scandal cost VW billions in fines, its customers remained loyal.
“VW maintained its strength in terms of its brand recommendation and brand trust. Those haven’t been dented,” Walshe said. “Although customers hear about these negative things, it doesn’t stop them from buying. VW’s sales have shown this.”
VW set a record with global vehicles of 6.23 million last year.
“Yes, VW’s value is still lower than it was when it left the ranking [in 2015, when its value was $9.3 billion], but it shows the power of brand to get you back on your feet,” Walshe said. “The power of brand to shape your future should not be underestimated.”
Telsa closes gap with Audi
Tesla, which increase its brand value to $9.4 billion in 2018 from $5.9 billion last year, maintained its place at No. 8 in the ranking. It finished just behind Audi, which had a brand value of $9.6 billion, a rise of 3 percent from 2017.
The biggest gain in value among automakers in the top 10 came despite Tesla’s well-publicized setbacks, including its struggled to keep pace with strong demand for its Model 3 entry-level car. “People are excited about Tesla because it is not just a car brand, it’s a Mars explorer brand,” Walshe said. “This is tremendously attractive to consumers. Tesla stands for great promise, but it is going to have to deliver on this promise.”
Google stays No. 1
When it comes to the ranking of all brands, Google retained the No. 1 spot. Google's brand value rose 23 percent to $302.1 billion. (Download a PDF of the 2018 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Brands, above right.)
Apple held on to the No. 2 spot because of a 28 percent rise in brand value to $300.6 billion. Amazon passed Microsoft to take the third spot in the overall global ranking with a 49 percent rise in brand value to $207.6 billion. Microsoft was fourth with a brand value of approximately $201 billion and Chinese tech giant Tencent rounded out the top five with a 65 percent rise in brand value to $179 billion. Last year, Tencent was No. 8 in the global ranking.