Tesla Steals VW's Spot in the Top 10 Most Valuable Car Brands in the World

How things change, hey? Last year, Volkswagen (as a group) was fighting for the first place in worldwide sales with Toyota, and it even managed to hold it for a few months. Now, the brand that lends its name to the group, Volkswagen, has been knocked out of the world's top ten by what can only be described as a newcomer. And an EV maker.
Tesla Motors 1 photo
Photo: Duncan Rawlinson on Flickr
What happened? I guess we all know the answer to that one: Dieselgate. Volkswagen was caught knowingly lying to its customers, and even though other brands in the group were involved as well, the public inevitably sanctioned VW the most. Its inability to provide a fix for the problem didn't help its case either. Such a blow to the brand's image is hard to quantify, but it clearly left its mark so the only real question is how far down did it drag the Volkswagen name?

Well, now we have an answer thanks to Millward Brown group's BrandZ annual report, a paper that evaluates all the brands in various industry and lists them according to each one's value. For 2016, the first spot was taken by Google, followed closely (a difference of less than $1 billion) by Apple, with Microsoft third, and Facebook on fifth. The most valuable car brand is Toyota, but it only sits at number 28 in the overall standings.

However, the Japanese manufacturer dominates the carmaker's chart, leading BMW, which is on second, by $3 billion, and Mercedes-Benz (third) by $7 billion. The gap between third and fourth is also huge, as is the one between number seven (Audi) and number eight (Land Rover). But the coup de grace here is provided by Tesla, the "small" EV maker managing to break into Top 10 on its first-ever listing, pushing VW out as it does so.

With an estimated value of over $4.4 billion, Tesla is just $2 million away from the next position, coincidentally taken up by Porsche, another brand in the VW Group. Now, we don't know about the plans VW's sports car maker has for the future, but Tesla has been on an upward trajectory, and with the way things are going, it's hard to predict its growth will stop here. Unless the Model 3 turns out to be some kind sort of fiasco or a major PR scandal comes out of nowhere, Tesla will probably jump more than just one position next year.

In fact, only these days billionaire investor Ron Baron told CNBC: “I think [Tesla] could be one of the largest companies in the United States and the whole world.” Why is that? He believes the company's rapid growth is to blame: “They’re going to be $20 billion in sales next year, $20 billion. This year, they’re doing $8 or $9 billion. Last year they did $5 or $6 [billion].”
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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