Survey: BMW most valuable car brand in the world

A BMW i8 Spyder is displayed at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition in Beijing on April 23, 2012.
AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan
Alexander F. Yuan

(CBS News) It's the number one luxury car maker in the world, and according to a recent survey it's also the most valuable car brand as well. The idea of "brand value" is a tricky thing to nail down, but according to voters polled in a recent survey, BMW is the best of the bunch, with a brand valued at over $24.6 billion.

Market research firm Millward Brown's annual "BrandZ Top 100" global survey covers a wide variety of industries, cars being one of them. According to their report, car buyers rate BMW as the most valuable brand. In a business that runs as much on consumer perception as the actual nuts and bolts of a car, brand value can be the difference between a "buy" and a "pass."

BMW led the pack of worldwide automakers with a perceived brand value of $24.62 billion. Toyota, who held the top spot last year, fell to second place with $21.78 billion.

Millward Brown cites the devastating earthquake and Fukushima nuclear accident as reasons Toyota, as well as fellow Japanese carmaker Honda, fell on the list. Meanwhile, the continuing growth of the Chinese auto market, already the largest car market in the world, lifted BMW and other luxury automakers.

After BMW and Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, and Nissan round out the top five. The highest American automaker was Ford at number seven.

View the complete list HERE.