Could Volkswagen be the new Hyundai?

October 12, 2011 12:00 AM

One of the better automotive success stories in recent years has been Hyundai, as the South Korean automaker has shaken off its reputation for "cheap" vehicles with a number of well-designed and hot-selling models. So what's the next company poised for a major turnaround?

USA Today reports that it may be Volkswagen. The German automaker was once one of the big players in the U.S. market, but has steadily lost sales over the years as Japanese and domestic brands began to dominate. That's not true this year, however, as sales are up 22 percent, a nice increase over the industry average of 10 percent.

The new Jetta compact has been a big reason why, being met with praise from nearly all sources. Volkswagen is also launching big redesigns of the Passat and Beetle this year. The company appears to be focusing on the American market, as it recently opened a new facility in Tennessee to produce these vehicles.

Volkswagen also claims it has increased the build quality of its vehicles. Many of their drivers are seeing less car repairs over time, and warranty claims for the company are down 10 percent.

Drivers who buy one of these new vehicles still need to pay attention their auto maintenance schedules, however, taking care of things like oil changes and brake service at the appropriate times.

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