Ranked

Top 10 most valuable automotive brands on the planet according to BrandZ

BMW, which recently introduced the new 4 Series coupe is one of the most valuable automotive brands in the world.

Photo courtesy of BMW

New analysis by BrandZ has determined the most valuable automotive brands in the world. To determine the rankings, the company used a formula that looks at the brand's market capitalization and took into consideration the results of a global public survey that measured customer attitudes toward vehicle brands.

Scroll down to see the top 10.

No. 10 - Porsche

Porsche 911 Turbo S

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

Porsche doesn't make as many vehicles as some automakers each year, but they're still plagued by problems similar to what you'll find in a mass market car. The Porsche lineup includes the 718, 911, Taycan, Panamera, Macan, and Cayenne. Each of those has multiple variants - the 911 alone has 22 different models.

No. 9 - Volkswagen

2020 Volkswagen Jetta Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen's U.S. lineup is small, but much of it is made in the U.S.A. There's Jetta, Jetta GLI, Passat, and Arteon cars as well as Tiguan, Atlas Cross Sport, and AtlasSUVs. If a wagon is more your style, you can get a Golf SportWagen or a Golf Alltrack. The Beetle, Golf, Golf GTI, and Golf R are also still on sale.

No. 8 - Audi

2021 Audi Q5

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi has had a big year revamping its lineup and adding the E-Tron all-electric SUV and additional variants of its most popular models.

The Audi cars lineup now includes: A3, S3, RS 3, A4, S4, A5 Sportback, S5 Sportback, RS 5 Sportback, A6, S6, A7, S7, RS 7, A8, S8, A5 Coupe, S5 Coupe, RS 5 Coupe, A5 Cabriolet, S5 Cabriolet, TT Coupe, TTS Coupe, TT RS Coupe, TT Roadster, R8, R8 Spyder, A4 Allroad, A6 Allroad, and RS 6 Avant.

The roster of SUVs includes: Q3, Q5, SQ5, Q7, SQ7, Q8, SQ8, and RS Q8.

The aforementioned E-Tron SUV is joined by the E-Tron Sportback in the Audi EV stable.

No. 7 - Nissan

2020 Nissan Titan PRO-4X Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan has a wide variety of models to choose from. Its Versa, Sentra, and Altima cars have all be redesigned over the last two years. The Maxima got a solid mid-cycle refresh. On the SUV side of things, the Kicks, Rogue Sport, Rogue, Pathfinder, and Armada all remain options. Nissan plans to launch new versions of most of those in the next two years. The Frontier has a new engine for 2020 and will be all-new for 2021. The Titan has also undergone a significant upgrade.

No. 6 - Honda

Honda CR-V Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Ford recently slimmed their lineup as the company's focused shifted toward next-gen models. Still, there's a number of competitive offerings. Fusion and Mustang are their only cars. The SUV and crossover lineup includes the EcoSport, Escape, Edge, Explorer, Expedition, and Mustang Mach-E. Some Flex models remain on automaker lots. The Ranger, F-150, and Super Duty round out the trucks lineup while the vans offered are the Transit and Transit Connect. The Ford GT is still sold in limited quantities.

No. 5 - Ford

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford recently slimmed their lineup as the company's focused shifted toward next-gen models. Still, there's a number of competitive offerings. Fusion and Mustang are their only cars. The SUV and crossover lineup includes the EcoSport, Escape, Edge, Explorer, Expedition, and Mustang Mach-E. Some Flex models remain on automaker lots. The Ranger, F-150, and Super Duty round out the trucks lineup while the vans offered are the Transit and Transit Connect. The Ford GT is still sold in limited quantities.

No. 4 - Tesla

Tesla To Release Fourth Quarter Earnings Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Tesla sells the Model 3 and Model S cars as well as the Model X SUV and Model Ycrossover. The Cybertruck is Tesla's next big model release.

No. 3 - BMW

BMW i4 concept

Photo courtesy of BMW

Visiting the BMW lineup is like going to Baskin Robbins. There are a wide variety of flavors to suit nearly every palette. the list of SUVs includes the X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6, and X7. There's the 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8 Series sedans and coupes. There are M and cabriolet variants of most of the cars. BMW also sells the new Z4 as well as the i3 and i8 electric vehicles.

No. 2 - Mercedes-Benz

2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz stable is nearly full, not just with a wide variety of models, but a slew of engine options to choose from once you pick the car or SUV you're after.

In the U.S., the automaker sells the A-, C-, E-, and S-Class sedans. There's also the Mercedes-Maybach sedan line and the E-Clas wagon. The CLA, C-Class, E-Class, CLS, S-Class, and Mercedes-AMG GT (two- and four-door) all have coupe variants.

There are C-, E-, and S-Class cabriolets as well as the SLC and SL roadster and a convertible version of the Mercedes-AMG GT.

As for SUVs, the lineup includes the GLA, GLB, GLC, GLE, GLS, and G-Class. Mercedes offers coupe versions of the GLC and GLE.

No. 1 - Toyota

2020 Toyota Tacoma

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Toyota delivers a lot of what customers are looking for. Its lineup includes the Yaris, 86, Supra, Corolla, Camry, and Avalon cars as well as the CH-R, RAV4, Highlander, Land Cruiser, and Sequoia. The company also sells the Tacoma and Tundra trucks. They recently announced that they would be selling a plug-in version of the RAV4 and bringing back the Venza nameplate for 2021.

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The Nissan Ariya has wind glide over it in the testing tunnel.

Photo courtesy of Nisan Motor Company

Nissan is targeting a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.297 for the Ariya all-electric crossover. If it can make that number, it will be the company's most aerodynamic crossover to date. What does that mean? Let's take a closer look.

What is drag?

Simply put, drag is an aerodynamic force. It's mechanical in nature, so it is the result of the interaction of a solid body and a liquid. In the case of a car, this liquid is air. (Yes, air is a liquid.) It only occurs when one part of the equation (the solid body or the liquid) is in motion. If there is no motion, there is no drag.

Drag only occurs in the opposite direction of the object's movement. Think of a car cutting through the air as it drives down a north-south road. As the car heads north, the air it passes through is pushed south. The car is in motion; there is drag.

2022 Nissan Ariya

Photo courtesy of Nisan Motor Company

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What is coefficient of drag?

The coefficient of drag, also called a drag coefficient, is a number that aerodynamics professions (aerodynamicists) use to determine the shape, inclination, and flow conditions on a vehicle's drag. The shape of an object (bullet vs. square vs prism, etc.) has a large impact on the amount of drag created by airflow surrounding a vehicle. Objects with narrower front ends tend to have a lower coefficient.

Scientists and vehicle designers want to keep air moving around the car for maximum efficiency. The inclination of the airflow to either move in a smooth, connected pattern, or to be broken up with air sitting, stalling in one particular part of the vehicle, lessening airflow and making the vehicle less aerodynamic.

A vehicle's Cd is determined by plugging various measurements into an equation. Cd is equal to drag (D) divided by the quantity of density (r) multiplied by half the velocity (V) squared multiple by the reference area (A). As an equation, it looks like this: Cd = D / (A * .5 * r * V^2).

The smaller the Cd, the more aerodynamic a vehicle is.

2022 Nissan Ariya

The Nissan Ariya employs aerodynamic wheel design, made to help it cut though the air with greater ease.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

What is the coefficient of drag of the Nissan Ariya?

"With the growing shift towards electric mobility, aerodynamic testing is becoming increasingly important. The aerodynamics of electric vehicles are directly linked to how efficiently the vehicle moves – less drag and better stability allows the customer to drive longer distances before having to recharge," said Sarwar Ahmed, Aerodynamics and Aeroacoustics Engineer at Nissan Technical Centre Europe.

Nissan is targeting a 0.297 coefficient of drag for the Ariya. How will it achieve that number? By utilizing precisely shaped body lines and strategically placed air ducts, among other components. There's a bonus to better aerodynamics when it comes to EVs.

"Following official homologation of the Nissan Ariya later this year, we anticipate the range to improve compared to the 310 mile figure shared in 2020 during the World Premiere. This will give drivers more efficiency and confidence to go even further on a single charge," said Marco Fioravanti, VP Product Planning, Nissan Europe.

How does the Ariya's coefficient of drag compare to other Nissans?

The newest Nissans, the Kicks, Pathfinder, and Frontier, don't have their Cd publicly available yet, but other models have their results. The targeted 0.297 Cd in the Ariya is less than that in the 2021 Armada, Murano, and Rogue. But, it's higher than the Nissan Leaf.

The fact that it's higher than the Leaf is not surprising. Shorter cars tend to be more aerodynamic because they sit lower to the ground and have a smaller profile. That also explains why Nissan's largest and boxiest SUV, the Armada, has the highest number on the list.

How does the Ariya's coefficient of drag compare to numbers from other EVs?

The Nissan Ariya's coefficient of drag is higher than that of most other electric cars, crossovers, and SUVs sold in the U.S. Here's where the others measure up:

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Toyota is mobilizing, putting its money where its mouth is to help Texas affected by severe winter weather.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Winter Storm Uri impacted nearly every single one of Texas's 254 counties. North Texas-based Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) has pledged $1 million in relief for those affected by the storm. The aid is slated to serve both Toyota and Lexus customers and a variety of Texas-based non-profit organizations.

Over 60 Texas counties were part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) recent Texas Severe Winter Storms (DR-4586-TX). It is currently categorized as an active disaster.

"We take our role as community leaders seriously, so when winter storms affected millions right in our back yard, our top priority became helping Texas get back on its feet after this ordeal," said Sean Suggs, group vice president of Social Innovation, TMNA. "Texans have supported our company in myriad ways, and we want to help our neighbors emerge from this storm stronger than ever."

The $1 million relief effort includes:

North Texas/DFW Metroplex

  • United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, in support of North Texas Cares and West Dallas nonprofits to quickly distribute funds to grassroots organizations: $450,000
  • North Texas Food Bank: $100,000
  • The Family Place and Genesis Women's Shelter to fund hotel rooms, food, and transportation for their clients: $30,000
  • Toyota employees will be able to support the needs of four North Texas community partners significantly impacted by the storms by purchasing items from their Amazon Wish Lists.

San Antonio

  • SAWS Community Pipe Repair Fund, through the San Antonio Area Foundation to assist individuals and families stay in their homes safely with funds for plumbing repairs: $100,000
  • Let's Help SA Fund to provide food, water and shelter: $200,000

Houston

  • United Way of Greater Houston to support the Greater Houston 2021 Winter Storm Relief Fund that supports local home repairs: $50,000
  • Houston Food Bank: $50,000
  • CrowdSource Rescue to provide food, water and fuel: $20,000

Additionally, Toyota will match up to $10,000 in individual employee contributions to nonprofit organizations recovering from the storm.

Toyota and Lexus Financial Services customers who are looking for loan and lease payment relief, and were impacted by the storm, may be able to receive assistance under a new Toyota program that has a variety of options for clients.

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