Thanks to 900 million active users worldwide, social-media site Facebook is now a more valuable brand than any automotive company, according to the 2012 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Brands Study released by market research firm Millward Brown this week. Based on the study, Facebook is now ranked 19th on the annual list with a brand value of $33,233,000, up 16 slots from last year.
That means Facebook has now surpassed even the most valuable automotive brand in the world, which, this year, is BMW, occupying 23rd place with a brand value of $24,623,000. Toyota is the second most valuable car brand, perched in the 28th slot with a brand value of $21,779,000.
Other car brands that made it to this year's top 100 list--which, by the way, was again topped by Apple with a brand value of $182,951,000--are Mercedes-Benz (46th; $16,111,000), Honda (65th; $12,647,000), Nissan (81st; $9,853,000), and Volkswagen (96th; $8,519,000).
The study, according to Millward Brown, "ranks the world’s most valuable brands by their dollar value, an analysis based on financial data, market intelligence and consumer measures of brand equity."
Overall, the collective value of all automotive brands went down by seven percent compared to last year.
"The car industry faces future demographic challenges," the study said. "Among socially networked youth, cars become less necessary for staying in touch with friends. For them, cars do not define personal status as they did for their parents."
Below is the list of the 10 most valuable car brands (with their brand value in parentheses).
1. BMW ($24,623,000)
2. Toyota ($21,779,000)
3. Mercedes-Benz ($16,111,000)
4. Honda ($12,647,000)
5. Nissan ($9,853,000)
6. Volkswagen ($8,519,000)
7. Ford ($7,025,000)
8. Audi ($4,703,000)
9. Hyundai ($3,598,000)
10. Lexus ($3,392,000)
So, do you agree that Facebook's brand is more valuable than that of any automotive company? Take our poll.