Mercedes Benz isn't amongst the 10 most valuable brands in the world any more, says the recent chart of the American magazine Business Week. We say that ranking, determined by the agency Interbrand, is absolute rubbish. We doubt the results, and this has nothing to do with patriotism, preferences or being biassed. It even is not about whether Mercedes is on 9th or 99th position. By the way, it's on 11th.

Just a few facts: Of all names, the presumingly most hated make on the planet, Microsoft, is on second position, behind Coca Cola. Seems as if the editors have confused general awareness and positive image. Another suspicious thing is that 8 out of 10 companies in the chart are from the USA. Such as General Electrics - a name of a minor global meaning.

The United States Of America are not the world - but Business Week and Interbrand obviously want to make us believe this. Let's have a look at the number 9 of the ranking: Toyota, the first auto maker in the list. Is there really anyone who seriously believes that this name is more valuable than BMW, Ferrari, Mercedes, Porsche, Rolls Royce and so on?

With Lexus, the Japanese attempted to attack the European premium makes but were and still are unsuccessful - outside of the USA, even though the international press says that the cars are pretty good. They simply lack the right image. Not even in Japan, Toyota or Lexus has a chance against the more prestigious names. Why doesn't Toyota relabel Lexus to their own name? Simple thing. Its name is not more valuable than that of the carmaker from Stuttgart.

And what's the situation in the United States? Over 50% of the vehicles costing more than 100,000$ sold there in 2003 bear the trident logo of the German car maker on the hood, succeeded by Porsche on second and Ferrari on third position. In Germany we would call this dominance. In addition, in that year, Mercedes Benz was the most frequently mentioned brand in the U.S. hip hop charts. Toyota hasn't been in the ranking.

Is it just because 50Cent, Eminem or Usher don't know any rhymes on this name? The Asians themselves have presently started a new, fresher, younger brand in the USA, Scion. How come? Can't conceive that the name Toyota is so cool there. It would be pretty interesting how the American editors would explain why Toyota doesn't find its way in each sort of market segment in a twinkling of an eye!!!

Okay, a name's value is hard to figure out. But common sense suggests the Business Week chart is nonsense. Just close your eyes and fancy: A fairy appears and offers the rights in the names Ferrari, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Rolls Royce and Toyota for just one Dollar - but you sadly have only one 'buck' in your pockets. Which one you would preferably buy. Imagine you would have opted for Toyota! Oh Sh**. What a nightmare!

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