You may be aware of the long-time competition in China between Volkswagen and Buick, but another brand apparently should be in that conversation too: Hyundai. In a recently published annual consumer survey, the Korean company actually took the top spot to beat out its German and American rivals in second and third, respectively. The results were part of the China Brand Power Index that interviewed 11,500 people around the nation and was paid for by the country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

While Hyundai proved popular with voters, its sales haven't necessarily shown that yet. According to Bloomberg, the brand had falling numbers in China for the first quarter of the year. Even Ford outsold the South Korean automaker in the same period, despite scoring lower on the survey.

Meanwhile, Audi ranked as the populace's favorite luxury brand, which is hardly a surprise given the Four Rings' strong sales in China. In January alone the automaker saw a 15-percent boost in volume there. Parent company VW's strong performance was somewhat more surprising, though. State media severely criticized the German automaker in March, and customers protested last year for the allegedly poor handling of a recall.

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