Toyota FCV. ©Toyota

Toyota FCV. ©Toyota

Interbrand’s 2014 Best Global Brands rankings, published Thursday, deem the Japanese company the world’s most powerful and valuable car brand and the eighth most important brand across all business categories.

The latest rankings, announced on Thursday, are based on three criteria: the financial performance of the branded product or service; how that brand influences consumer choice; and how able the brand is to demand a premium price. All of which gives Toyota a brand value of $42.39 billion, significantly more than Mercedes-Benz, ranked in second place.

The third most valuable automobile brand is BMW, with Honda and Volkswagen making up the top 5.

It is the tenth year in a row that Toyota has come top in the rankings, and Interbrand puts this sterling performance down in part to its perceived dominance in greener technology. The Prius has become the environmentally friendly personal mobility status symbol of choice among a growing number of motorists, particularly in the USA.

The company that has risen the most in this year’s rankings is Audi, now in eight place. The company has had back-to-back record years for sales but it is also capturing people’s imaginations with its very impressive demonstrations of autonomous driving technology.

Self-driving cars are generating a huge buzz at the moment, even if they won’t become a reality for some years to come. And Audi is one of the company’s generating the most attention and excitement in this area, boosting its brand.

Interbrand claims that this association with autonomous driving technology has had a similar positive effect on BMW, Volkswagen and Nissan and their brands.

The top 10 global automotive brands

1 Toyota
2 Mercedes-Benz
4 Honda
5 Volkswagen
6 Ford
7 Hyundai
8 Audi
9 Nissan
10 Porsche

The results are part of a larger report into the World’s top 100 brands across all industries and sectors of which Apple comes top, Google second and Coca-Cola third, but in which Toyota (8th) and Mercedes-Benz (10th), BMW (11th) and Honda (20th) still managed to break into the top 20.