Mercedes-Benz is now the most valuable automotive brand in the world. That's according to the latest study conducted by Brand Finance. The German automaker edged out Toyota and bested rival BMW for the top spot on this list.
Brand Finance says that Mercedes managed an impressive 24 percent year-over-year growth in its brand value to $43.9 billion. Toyota fell by 6 percent and now sits at $43.7 billion, which Brand Finance blames on the Japanese automaker's comparatively weak position in China. New car buyers in the Chinese market have been slow to warm up to Japanese automakers, but they're keen on aspirational luxury brands.
Speaking of the Chinese market, a handful of brands big in China but unheard of in many global markets are on the list. Haval, Geely, BYD, Baojun, and Foton are all climbing. In fact, Geely recently acquired a nearly 10 percent stake in Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler, which could boost its $6 billion brand valuation.
The Volkswagen Group, which oversees VW, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, and several other brands, is still the most valuable overall at $75.8 billion for its entire portfolio.
Last year's biggest gainer? Aston Martin. The British automaker is up 268% over the prior year and now has a brand value of $3.6 billion. Aston Martin recently posted its first profitable year since 2010, which boosted it from 77th place on last year's list to 24th for the 2018 forecast.
The best finish for an American automaker? That's Ford with an eighth place showing. The Blue Oval brand dropped from 6th in 2017, and saw its value fall from $22.4 billion down to $17.2 billion.