Tesla is the fastest-growing car brand, rising +32% to $5.9bn, in the 2017 BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking, released today by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown. The sharp increase reflects the success of the car’s positioning as an innovative but stylish luxury brand offering the performance of a high octane, carbon-burning engine without the guilt.

Toyota remains the most valuable global car brand. The company saw a -3% fall in brand value to $28.7billion, with increased sales offset by tough currency challenges as well as increased investment and rising labour costs.

BMW ($24.6bn) and Mercedes-Benz ($23.5bn) complete the top three, with Ford moving up one place to no.4 with a brand value of $13.1bn.

With a successful year in terms of sales, the total brand value of the Top 10 car brands has remained level at $139.2bn. This compares with a -3% fall last year. Innovation has been a strong theme for many brands this year as they seek to develop solutions to the many challenges they face including new forms of ownership and greater connectivity of their vehicles.

The level performance for the sector reflects the fact that while sales grew in key markets – both China and US reported record sales – the discounts required to be competitive squeezed margins among mainstream brands. By contrast, luxury brands avoided the squeeze and these car brands now make up 52% of the Top 10 Car brands by brand value, compared to 36% when the BrandZ Top 100 was launched in 2006.

As the largest and definitive brand-building platform in the world, BrandZ reflects the brands that are integrated into today’s consumer lifestyles.  It is the only brand valuation study to combine interviews with over three million consumers globally with analysis of the financial and business performance of each company (using data from Bloomberg and Kantar Worldpanel).

Mercedes-Benz, up +4%, was the best performer among the top seven places, while there was more significant movement at the lower end of the top 10.

In addition to Tesla’s success, Land Rover (no.9) and Porsche (no.10) also grew strongly, growing +17% and +16% to $5.5bn and $5.1bn respectively. The former has taken advantage of growing demand for SUVs while the latter has built its popularity in key Asia markets such as Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.

“The car business is an industry anticipating rapid change and many brands are already taking steps to prepare for new sales channels, changing forms of ownership and the arrival of more connected and autonomous cars,” commented Peter Walshe, Global BrandZ Strategy Director at Kantar Millward Brown. “The financial pressures to deliver current sales while also investing and anticipating the future are placing established brands under great pressure and creating space for newcomers like Tesla to power ahead. Strong brands will not only help car groups boost existing revenues but encourage consumers to stick with them as the vehicle they drive changes fundamentally.”

The BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable Car Brands 2017

Rank 2017


Brand value 2017 ($M)

Brand value change

Rank 2016

Rank in global Top 100


















































Land Rover












Many car brands already have made substantial investments in autonomous cars and have significant capability, especially at the levels of ‘hands-off’ or ‘feet-off driving’, with related features already available, including lane-keeping technology.

They are also making strides in connectivity. Both BMW and Nissan have arrangements to integrate digital assistant technology from Microsoft’s Connected Vehicle Platform. Toyota has licensed patents from Microsoft for its Azure cloud computing.

Many car makers are also working hard to integrate with technology ecosystems. BMW and Ford are working with Amazon, for example. Using Amazon’s Alexa, drivers of some BMW models can conduct certain engine checks using voice controls, even from home. Ford plans to enable its Sync system to respond to voice commands from Amazon’s Echo.

The major car brands are also experimenting with new mobility solutions for when consumers desire access rather than ownership. Mercedes has launched an Airbnb-type network that enables members to rent their Mercedes. Audi is testing a rental program called Audi on Demand. Members choose the Audi model that matches the occasion – shopping, going to dinner or just wanting to drive around – and a concierge delivers and picks up the vehicle.

Ford purchased US ride share shuttle service called Chariot. In Amsterdam, car share service companies are picking up people in Tesla cars.

All this is preparation for the main battle, the arrival of truly autonomous cars. Here the competitive set has expanded with Alphabet, Apple and Samsung all investing heavily. Alphabet renamed its autonomous car enterprise Waymo and is running a major test of its vehicles in Phoenix, Arizona, while Apple received a permit enabling it to test autonomous cars in California and Samsung has been approval to run its cars on public roads in South Korea.

When and where autonomous cars enter the mainstream market, however, will depend as much on legislation as it does on the ability of the world’s smartest technology brands to make the software work safely.


Summary of headlines from the 2017 BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands:

  • Amazon is now one of the world’s Top 5 most valuable brands. It rose to no.4 in the Top 100 after increasing its brand value +41% to $139.3bn. The retail giant has continue to focus on its technology ecosystem honed to meet multiple consumer needs, as well as introducing new artificial intelligence-enabled services including grocery delivery and personal assistant Alexa.
  • Google, Apple and Microsoft retain the top three positions, growing their brand value +7% to $245.6bn, +3% to $234.7bn and +18% to $143.2bn respectively over the past year, while Facebook, at no. 5, grew +27% to $129.8bn.
  • Strong brands continue to outperform their competitors. Compared against key benchmarks over the past 12 years, the portfolio of BrandZ Top 100 brands grew 50% more in value than the S&P 500 and 3.5 times the MSCI All Country World Index.
  • Consumer-centric technology ecosystems are making brands indispensable.  Consumers can increasingly carry out a variety of activities, from online shopping to watching television, under the banner of one brand and across multiple devices. This convenience for consumers also allows the most powerful brands to minimise the risk of consumer switching.
  • New brands are increasingly born global, allowing them to grow rapidly. Technology allows businesses to provide their offerings globally from day one. This is fostering a new breed of entrepreneur, who is not restricted by the geographical or sector boundaries that have traditionally limited the speed and scale of growth.
  • Traditional non-tech brands are adopting technology to innovate and increase consumer appeal. Fastest riser Adidas has introduced 3D printing to produce its footwear, for example, while fast food brand Domino’s Pizza offers customers a real-time tracker for their order.
  • The BrandZ Top 100 is getting younger. The average age of a brand is now 67 years, compared with 84 years in 2006, reflecting the entry of the newer technology brands and the emergence of brand China.
  • Brands that make it clear how they will make consumers’ lives better, such as Huawei and Toyota, have grown three times more on average over the last 12 years (the top third grew +170% compared to the bottom third which was +57%).
  • Great communications puts a brand at an advantage. The top third in terms of strongest communications (including McDonald’s and L’Oréal Paris) have grown 196% in value, compared with 47% for the bottom third. This is because they have successfully amplified the difference they have built.


The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands report and rankings, and a great deal more brand insight for key regions of the world and 14 market sectors, are available online here. The Global report, rankings, charts, articles and more can also be found via the BrandZ app. The BrandZ app also contains the same features and functionality for all BrandZ regional reports and is free to download for Apple IOS and all Android devices from www.brandz.com/mobile or search for BrandZ in the respective iTunes or Google Play app stores.


About the BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands Ranking

Carried out by WPP's marketing and brand consultancy Kantar Millward Brown, the BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking is now in its twelfth year. It is the only study to combine measures of brand equity based on interviews with over three million consumers globally about thousands of global ‘consumer facing’ and business-to-business brands with a rigorous analysis of the financial and business performance of each company (using data from Bloomberg and Kantar Worldpanel) to separate the value that brand plays in driving business and shareholder value. Consumer perception of a brand is a key input in determining brand value because brands are a combination of business performance, product delivery, clarity of positioning, and leadership. The ranking takes into account regional variations since, even for truly global brands, measures of brand contribution might differ substantially across countries.


About Kantar Millward Brown

Kantar Millward Brown is a leading global research agency specialising in advertising effectiveness, strategic communication, media and digital, and brand equity research. The company helps clients grow great brands through comprehensive research-based qualitative and quantitative solutions. Kantar Millward Brown operates in more than 55 countries and is part of WPP’s Kantar group, one of the world’s leading data, insight and consultancy companies. Learn more at www.millwardbrown.com.


About WPP

WPP is the world’s largest communications services group with billings of US$74 billion and revenues of over US$19 billion. Through its operating companies, the Group provides a comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services including advertising & media investment management; data investment management; public relations & public affairs; branding & identity; healthcare communications; digital, eCommerce and shopper marketing and specialist communications. The company employs over 205,000 people (including associates and investments) in over 3,000 offices across 112 countries. For more information, visit www.wpp.com.

WPP was named Holding Company of the Year at the 2016 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the sixth year running. WPP was also named, for the fifth consecutive year, the World's Most Effective Holding Company in the 2016 Effie Effectiveness Index, which recognizes the effectiveness of marketing communications. In 2017 WPP was recognised by Warc 100 as the World’s Top Holding Company (third year running).   


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