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Tesla drops: Elon Musk controversies shake up automotive brand hierarchy

21 February 2024
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  • Mercedes-Benz bumps Tesla out of top spot in brand value ranking
  • Rising interest in Electric Vehicles (EVs) spurs brand growth
  • Bosch, most valuable and strongest Auto Components brand, increases brand recognition

[21st February, LONDON]Mercedes-Benz overtakes Tesla to regain its position as the world’s most valuable Automobiles brand, according to a new report from Brand Finance, the world's leading brand valuation consultancy. Tesla’s drop to second position comes in the context of controversies surrounding Elon Musk which have affected the electric car maker’s reputation, impacting its brand value (down 12% to USD58.3 billion). Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz' brand value grew 1% to USD59.4 billion.

Luxury sports car manufacturer, Ferrari, maintains a high brand strength with a score of 90.0/100, earning a AAA+ rating and solidifying its status as the world's strongest automotive brand. Research conducted by Brand Finance underscores the brand's robust familiarity, recommendation, and reputation metrics, while optimistic forecasts have further contributed to its increased brand value (up 43% to USD10.6 billion).

Alex Haigh, Managing Director, Brand Finance, Asia Pacific commented:

"The decline in Tesla's brand value is made all the more compelling against the backdrop of an automotive industry increasingly focused on electric vehicles, however, Tesla's brand strength persists, a sign that the company’s core identity is resilient. As other EV manufacturers, such as BYD and New Flyer, see considerable growth, Tesla’s enduring high levels of consumer familiarity and recommendation are likely to be pivotal for the company to stay competitive."

The Chinese auto sector continues to grow, fuelled by strong global EV interest which is driving investments and exports. BYD is China's most valuable auto brand, with its brand value increasing by 20% to USD12.1 billion. While Chinese auto brands experienced fluctuations in brand value, brand strength is rising - Brand Finance research reveals that 19 out of the 22 Chinese brands featured in the 2024 Brand Finance Automobiles ranking improved in brand strength.

New Flyer’s brand value has increased by three-and-a-half times its previous value (up 250%) to reach USD646 million. This follows burgeoning demand for electric vehicles in the public transport sector, New Flyer's distinctive position in the EV bus market, and the steadfast support from the British and Canadian Governments in funding public transport initiatives involving EVs.

Bosch's is the most valuable and strongest Auto Components brand, with a valuation of USD14.6 billion. Brand Finance research shows it is excelling in metrics like 'Brand I Admire' and 'Positive Contribution', indicating growing respect for its brand and contributions. Updates in Familiarity and Consideration evaluations reinforce this recognition.

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Media Contacts

Penny Erricker
Communications Executive
Brand Finance

About Brand Finance

Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. Bridging the gap between marketing and finance for more than 25 years, Brand Finance evaluates the strength of brands and quantifies their financial value to help organizations of all kinds make strategic decisions.

Headquartered in London, Brand Finance has offices in over 20 countries, offering services on all continents. Every year, Brand Finance conducts more than 5,000 brand valuations, supported by original market research, and publishes over 100 reports which rank brands across all sectors and countries.

Brand Finance also operates the Global Brand Equity Monitor, conducting original market research annually on over 5,000 brands, surveying more than 150,000 respondents across 38 countries and 31 industry sectors. Combining perceptual data from the Global Brand Equity Monitor with data from its valuation database enables Brand Finance to arm brand leaders with the data and analytics they need to enhance brand and business value.

Brand Finance is a regulated accountancy firm, leading the standardization of the brand valuation industry. Brand Finance was the first to be certified by independent auditors as compliant with both ISO 10668 and ISO 20671 and has received the official endorsement of the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) in the United States.

Definition of Brand

Brand is defined as a marketing-related intangible asset including, but not limited to, names, terms, signs, symbols, logos, and designs, intended to identify goods, services, or entities, creating distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefits.

Brand Strength

Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors. Brand Finance evaluates brand strength in a process compliant with ISO 20671, looking at Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and the impact of those on Business Performance. The data used is derived from Brand Finance’s proprietary market research programme and from publicly available sources.

Each brand is assigned a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score out of 100, which feeds into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand is assigned a corresponding Brand Rating up to AAA+ in a format similar to a credit rating.

Brand Valuation Approach

Brand Finance calculates the values of brands in its rankings using the Royalty Relief approach – a brand valuation method compliant with the industry standards set in ISO 10668. It involves estimating the likely future revenues that are attributable to a brand by calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for its use, to arrive at a ‘brand value’ understood as a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market.

The steps in this process are as follows:

1 Calculate brand strength using a balanced scorecard of metrics assessing Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and Business Performance. Brand strength is expressed as a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score on a scale of 0 to 100.

2 Determine royalty range for each industry, reflecting the importance of brand to purchasing decisions. In luxury, the maximum percentage is high, while in extractive industry, where goods are often commoditised, it is lower. This is done by reviewing comparable licensing agreements sourced from Brand Finance’s extensive database.

3 Calculate royalty rate. The BSI score is applied to the royalty range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty range in a sector is 0-5% and a brand has a BSI score of 80 out of 100, then an appropriate royalty rate for the use of this brand in the given sector will be 4%.

4 Determine brand-specific revenues by estimating a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to a brand.

5 Determine forecast revenues using a function of historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts, and economic growth rates.

6 Apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues.

7 Discount post-tax brand revenues to a net present value which equals the brand value.


Brand Finance has produced this study with an independent and unbiased analysis. The values derived and opinions presented in this study are based on publicly available information and certain assumptions that Brand Finance used where such data was deficient or unclear. Brand Finance accepts no responsibility and will not be liable in the event that the publicly available information relied upon is subsequently found to be inaccurate. The opinions and financial analysis expressed in the study are not to be construed as providing investment or business advice. Brand Finance does not intend the study to be relied upon for any reason and excludes all liability to any body, government, or organisation.

The data presented in this study form part of Brand Finance's proprietary database, are provided for the benefit of the media, and are not to be used in part or in full for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.

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