LONDON—The Michelin and Bridgestone brands have been deemed the world's most valuable tire brands for a fourth straight year, according to the latest rating by Brand Finance, a London-based business valuation and strategy consultancy.
The two brands are rated nearly equally, with Michelin maintaining a slight—and increasingly narrow—edge over Bridgestone, according to the consultancy's Automotive Industry 2021 ranking.
Michelin's edge over Bridgestone narrowed slightly last year as Brand Finance's valuation of the brand dropped 4.4 percent to $6.85 billion, while Bridgestone's dropped 3.1 percent to $6.81 billion.
All of the brands valued by Brand Finance declined in value last year, with Goodyear, Hankook and Pirelli all declining by more than 16 percent.
The London-based firm attributed the drop in value across the board to the reduced travel and lower car sales in 2020, which resulted in fewer units sold and a resultant decline in market equity.
Furthermore, since the economy has been riskier in general over the past year, investor risk has increased, triggering a rise in the cost of capital.
Continental retained the No. 3 ranking despite a slip in value, down 4.7 percent to $3.18 billion, ahead of Dunlop and Goodyear at fourth and fifth.
Brand Finance cited Group Michelin's and Bridgestone Corp.'s emphasis on sustainability and motorsports heritage for the brands' relative strength compared with competitors.
"Michelin is an elite tire maker with an emphasis on creativity and technology, and you can bet that its 'normal' tires contain some of that racing experience," Alex Haigh, valuation director at Brand Finance, said in a statement.
"Bridgestone places greater emphasis on the 'everyday' driver," he added, "so although its tire line isn't especially extensive, Bridgestone obviously understands its customers and what they want from their automobile tires."