Singapore profits as Germany loses 'nation brand' strength

Singapore profits as Germany loses 'nation brand' strength
A Volkswagen dealer in Frankfurt, Germany.
PHOTO: Nikkei Asian Review

BANGKOK - Ripples from German auto giant Volkswagen's diesel emissions scandal have been felt worldwide, sometimes in unexpected forms. As the incident has tainted the image not only of the company but the country as well, Germany has lost its position as the most powerful "nation brand" while Singapore, in a windfall, has taken over that spot.

UK research company Brand Finance is releasing a report Monday that reveals Germany has slipped to 13th in 2015 from the No. 1 position in 2014 in a survey of 100 countries under the category of "nation brand strength." Though the metrics changed slightly this year, the report acknowledges that "Germany has lost its status as the world's most powerful nation brand to Singapore."

By this calculation, Germany's brand value stands at US$4.166 trillion (S$5.81 trillion) losing 4 per cent or US$191 billion from last year. The loss cannot be attributed only to the VW scandal, but the research company recognises that the country's brand strength is "derived in large part from its manufacturing prowess [including] automotive brands such as Volkswagen." That "such an iconic German brand, the 'people's car,' could behave in this way is beginning to undo decades of accumulated goodwill and cast aspersions over the practices of German industry," said David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance.

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