Tesla Makes Top 10 Auto Brands List, Volkswagen Drops Off

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Originally published on EV Obsession.

Hmm, what could have happened for Volkswagen to fall off of a “top 10 automotive brands” list and be replaced by Tesla? Such a huge mystery!

The list I’m referring to is BrandZ (h/t Sebastian Blanco). And, honestly, the biggest surprise for me is that Tesla wasn’t already on the top 10 list, but I guess it just didn’t yet have the mass appeal / name recognition.

Notably, Volkswagen was in a tight race with Toyota last year for #1 largest car company, and it is clearly the largest auto company in Europe. Nonetheless, a horrible diesel pollution scandal was a good way to tarnish the brand — kudos to the Volkswagen execs who decided to cheat the people and shorten their lifespans for decades.

Back to BrandZ: the ranking system determines the “value” of hundreds of brands around the world. This is not stock value but “brand value.” Think of it like Trump’s brand value versus his net worth. 😉 While Tesla’s stock value is nearly $34 billion right now, its brand value is $4.4 billion, according to Brandz.

At the top of the overall list are the following heavyweights:

  1. Google — $229 billion
  2. Apple — $228 billion
  3. Microsoft — $122 billion
  4. AT&T — $107 billion
  5. Facebook — $103 billion
  6. Visa — $101 billion
  7. Amazon — $99 billion
  8. Verizon — $93 billion
  9. McDonald’s — $89 billion
  10. IBM — $86 billion

The top 10 automaker brands broke out as follows:

Cars Top 10


Where do you think Tesla will fall next year on this list? And will Volkswagen crawl back into the top 10? Well, you might want to know how the ranking is determined before guessing, eh? Here’s the short description:

“Carried out by WPP’s marketing and brand consultancy Millward Brown, the BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking is now in its eleventh 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.”

You can download the full report for more details on methodology.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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3 thoughts on “Tesla Makes Top 10 Auto Brands List, Volkswagen Drops Off

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  • Very interesting analysis, Zach. Thanks.

    It’s a bit of a misnomer to say that VW is off the list though since Audi and Porsche are VW assets.

    It’s great to see Tesla on the list. Go EVs.

  • An interesting post Zac but since Tesla is production limited rather than customer limited brand recognition does not matter at this point in their history. The response to the Model 3 launch illustrates to me that their brand recognition is sufficient for their current needs. All done without paying for a single advertisement too.

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