The January to March period was good to two of the world's top automakers.

Thanks to rising sales in North America and Asia, Volkswagen and Hyundai have reported better than expected results for the financial period ending March 31.


VW, Europe's largest automaker, saw its net profits increase 86 percent during the first quarter to $4.2 billion. Although part of that increase can be attributed to a one-time financial gain, VW's vehicle lineup was also in hot demand during the period.

In particular, VW's Audi luxury brand performed well during the quarter, recording a 27 percent increase in profit to $1.8 billion. Audi's success was fueled by strong demand for its A6 and A8 luxury models.

VW continued its dominance in China during the quarter, with profits from its joint-ventures climbing 52 percent to $1.1 billion. However, those earnings aren't reflected in the group's financial results.


Hyundai continued its astounding growth during the first quarter with net income up 31 percent to $2.2 billion. Hyundai performed particularly well in the U.S. where its sales were up 15 percent.

Hyundai expects to sell 4.3 million units in 2012 - up 5.7 percent from 2011 - with affiliate Kia expected to contribute another 2.7 million sales.

"The increase in U.S. auto industry's demand is more than we had expected," Chief Financial Officer Lee Won Hee told The Detroit News. "Our Elantra and Sonata supply is not able to keep up with the demand in the U.S."