With Tesla taking 373,000 reservations for its all-electric Model 3, the company has boosted its brand value (which differs from stock-market value, mind you) to about $4.4 billion, making it the world's 10th-most-valuable vehicle brand, according to the BrandZ study. Meanwhile, VW, which continues to reel from its nine-month-old diesel-emissions scandal, dropped off the list. Audi's theoretical brand value of $9.5 billion puts it seventh-highest on the list. Topping that list was Toyota and its $29.5 billion brand valuation, followed by BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, and Ford.
In addition to Tesla's big number of Model 3 reservations (at $1,000 a pop), the company also has an aggressive growth plan to build a half-million vehicles a year by 2018, two years ahead of an earlier forecast. Based on stock price alone, Tesla is worth about $34 billion, though its stock is down about 6 percent during the past year.
VW continues to work to repair both its reputation and non-compliant customer cars. Last week it received approval from German authorities to recall more than 800,000 diesel-powered cars in order to fix the "cheat" software problem. Regardless, VW estimates that the diesel-emissions scandal will cost the company about $18 billion.