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Toyota dips, still leads auto industry among global brands

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Toyota dips, still leads auto industry among global brands

Christine Tierney / The Detroit News

Toyota Motor Corp.'s brand dropped out of the Top 10 in the list compiled this year by Interbrand, but remains the highest-ranked automotive brand.

Toyota fell to 11th place, from 8th last year, while Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz held on to 12th place. BMW was the third-highest ranked automotive brand on the list of 100 "Best Global Brands."

New York-based consultancy Interbrand ranks brands based on a variety of criteria, including the ability to attract top talent to the organization, the financial performance of the branded products or services, and the brand's role in the purchase process.

Coca-Cola led the list for the 11th consecutive year; technology brands dominated the rest of the top 10. Google jumped from seventh place last year to fourth, directly behind Microsoft.

Among the U.S. automotive brands, only two made it into the top 100 -- Ford, in 50th place, and Harley-Davidson, in 98th place.

"Ford stands out as one of the best examples of how to use social media," Interbrand said in a statement.

Ford has increased its emphasis on social media in the past two years, said Scott Monty, Ford's global digital and multimedia communications manager.

To raise awareness of the new Fiesta subcompact ahead of the car's U.S. launch, Ford selected 100 people with "a digital presence," provided them with European-spec'ed Fiestas and let them express themselves on blogs, Facebook, Twitter and anywhere else they chose. Ford combined their content on a single site, without editing or censoring it.

"We saw a vehicle awareness rate in the under-30 demographic upwards of 58 percent -- all for a vehicle that wasn't in the dealerships yet," Monty said.

It attributed Toyota's slide to the massive recalls totaling more than 10 million vehicles worldwide since last fall.

Still, "its longstanding reputation for reliability, efficiency and innovation helped it weather the crisis better than expected," Interbrand said.

Top Toyota officials have described the past year as one of the most difficult in their history, as the automaker renowned for quality admitted to big lapses.

"During a difficult year for the auto industry, Mercedes-Benz and BMW were able to sustain and build their value through innovative design and a focus on delivering premium value vehicles with luxury features," it said.

Volkswagen AG's VW and Audi brands rose in the rankings, as did Porsche, which is being absorbed into the Volkswagen Group. The premium Audi brand moved up two notches, to 63rd place, the VW brand rose two notches, as well, to 53rd.

Porsche climbed two notches, to 72nd place.

South Korea's Hyundai climbed to 65th place from 69th in 2009.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100919/AUTO01/9190307/1148/Toyota-dips--still-leads-auto-industry-among-global-brands#ixzz106Zj176V

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Toyota drops in Best Global Brands Rankings, still top auto brand

by Jonathon Ramsey (RSS feed) on Sep 20th 2010 at 8:01AM

Interbrand uses a number of criteria to rank the world's top global, profitable, publicly-held brands – "global" meaning they operate on at least three continents, derive at least 30% of their income outside of their home market and no single market accounts for more than 50% of their income. Some of those stipulations are why you won't find companies like Mars or The BBC or even Wal-Mart on the list.

But you will find Toyota, which remains the top automotive brand, even with its recent recall and safety woes. The cynic's view might be to wonder how it can still remain so, with Interbrand's 10 principles of strong brands including commitment, clarity and responsiveness. But the company had built so much room that it could fall some ways and still be on top, sliding from eight to 11, just ahead of Mercedes at number 12. Interbrand said that while Toyota's problems were exacerbated by the way the company is set up, it hasn't been hurt as much as some would have thought and it has proven its resilience over the decades.

Oddly, although Ford was cited for having been "extremely innovative with product designs" and having "excelled at marketing its vehicles," lauded for its resilience, its closing of Mercury and its coming sustainability efforts, it falls one spot from 49 to 50. Don't take it personally, Ford – you're still climbing the charts as far as we're concerned. Elsewhere on the list, Volkswagen gains two places to settle at 53, Audi gains two places to reach 63, Hyundai jumps four spots to 65, Porsche gains two spots to 73, and Ferrari loses three spots to end up at 91. You can find the full report here (PDF warning).



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