Power Redistribution Looming for Asian Car Manufacturers image

Car industry is changing quickly with new technologies cropping up constantly and unexpected takeovers regularly making headlines. It seems that one manufacturer has remained unaffected by major changes in car industry and despite some questionable management decisions keeps increasing it’s presence on a daily basis.

I’m talking about Toyota – the world’s largest car manufacturer both by production numbers and sales volume. According to Millward Brown – a marketing research giant – Toyota has been the most valuable car brand in the world for a few years. They are now facing stiff competition from Korean brands that are looking to overtake them.

For Toyota to still be the leading car brand is amazing considering all the banana skins they have slipped on recently: the long and agonizing failure of their F1 team, quality issues and a couple of mammoth vehicle recalls.
These issues could easily sink any car manufacturer, but it seems that normal rules don’t apply to Toyota. This just proves that when it comes to consumer acceptance and recognition, the size and global presence of a brand may be the most important factor.

However, the experts believe that Toyota might have bitten off more than they can chew. Their quality issues occur mainly due to the fact that their expansion has been too rapid. Quality is bound to suffer if too many new factories are launched within a short time-scale as the monitoring becomes far harder. The vehicle recalls also are a big problem. They may have not stopped Toyota’s short-term growth, but the cost must have hurt profit margins and shareholders.

The master of slow expansion is Hyundai with its daughter brand KIA. Just 10 years ago they were a little known car manufacturer on the far edge of the world making basic and unappealing vehicles. Suddenly the cars are everywhere, beating established car makers on warranty terms; and the rumour goes that Hyundai is about to build their third factory in North America.
They’re not – for the time being they’re sticking to the two highly successful manufacture hubs they operate in the States and the experts are praising them for a clever business strategy.

This is what the top list of the most valuable car brands look like right
now:

1. Toyota
2. BMW
3. Mercedes Benz
4. Honda
5. Porsche
6. Nissan
7. Volkswagen
8. Ford
9. Audi
10. Lexus

Although this list doesn’t reflect the sales volume, the major car leasing companies and dealer branches will agree that those ten are amongst the most popular choices of their customers. Hyundai and KIA cars haven’t made it to the Millward Brown’s top list yet, but during the last couple of years they’ve enjoyed the highest increase in value among all car-related brands. It can be only a matter of time before Korean car makers emerge as a global super-power.