The Wheels Aren’t Falling Off This Car

In an industry full of missteps and forced resignations, Hyundai is one company actually headed in the right direction.

First off, the economy is playing right into Hyundai’s hands. Long known as a maker of low-priced vehicles, Hyundai in an enviable position. The Sonata is priced roughly $2,000 less than a Toyota Camry, and the Santa Fe SUV is almost $10,000 less than a Toyota RAV4.

While still lagging far behind Toyota in sales, Hyundai does have one advantage: A full 55 percent of its sales come from countries in emerging markets, versus 31 percent for Toyota. And because those countries have withstood the worst of the global slowdown, this means the company can continue to see greater sales growth.

Also helping Hyundai is its product mix. Almost 65 percent of the automobiles it makes are small cars. In a world of rising gas prices, demand for these vehicles will increase, allowing the company to capture market share while other manufacturers re-tool their assembly lines.

Finally, the company introduced its AssurancePlus program, where it will make your payments for three months if you lose your job. And if you’re unemployed longer than that, Hyundai will buy back the vehicle. (This idea has proven to be so strong that GM and Ford recently announced similar programs to encourage people to buy.)

If you’re looking for an investment that could be on the upswing, Hyundai fits the bill.

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