Kia has shoved its way into Interbrand's annual Top 100 Best Global Brands list, debuting this year in 87th place.
Interbrand pegs Kia's estimated brand value at US$4.1 billion, marking a 50 percent increase over 2011 and smashing the 11 percent average growth across automotive brands on the 2012 list.
Toyota remains the only automotive brand in the top 10 however, where it is lead by the likes of Samsung, McDonald's, Google, Apple and, at number one, Coca Cola.
Toyota's position is an improvement on its 11th place ranking last year, while Mercedes-Benz and BMW have moved up from 12th and 15th.
VW luxury marque Audi sits well behind its main German rivals in 55th spot, although this marks an improvement from 59th in 2011.
Ford has also improved, moving from 50th to 45.
Compatriots GM and Chrysler do not figure in the list - both are diluted by their sub-brands and both still relatively fresh from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection (the US Government retains a significant ownership in GM - holding around 500 million shares of GM stock).
Kia's debut in the list will no doubt light a fire under partner Hyundai, with the bigger of the two brands placing 53rd this year - up from 61.
Released annually, Interbrand's Top 100 Global Brands list is compiled through an analysis of a brand's financial performance, and the role that a company's brand plays in the actual purchase decision.
Car Brands In The Top 100
- Toyota (10th overall, brand value $30.23bn)
- Mercedes-Benz (11th, $30.1bn)
- BMW (12th, $29.1bn)
- Honda (21st, $17.3bn)
- Volkswagen (39th, $9.3bn)
- Ford (45th, $8.0bn)
- Hyundai (53rd, $7.5bn)
- Audi (55th, $7.2bn)
- Porsche (72nd, $5.2bn)
- Nissan (73rd, $5.0bn)
- Kia (87th, $4.1bn)
- Ferrari (99th, $3.8bn)