Passat Sport Static

There's nothing wrong with the Volkswagen Passat -- except that too many U.S. buyers are choosing Hondas and Fords instead. Photo credit: Volkswagen

Is Volkswagen's (NASDAQOTH:VLKAY) plan for world domination in trouble?

VW has said that it aims to be the world's No. 1 automaker in sales by 2018. That would mean passing both General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Toyota (NYSE:TM), something it hasn't yet managed to do. But with VW's sales booming in China and holding steady in troubled Europe, analysts have been inclined to take the company's s goal seriously.

There's one wrench in the works, though: After big growth between 2009 and 2012, VW's U.S. sales have started to fall. In this video, Motley Fool contributor John Rosevear looks at why VW's U.S. sales are down this year, and at the German giant's prospects for recovery in what is suddenly a much tougher marketplace.

Fool contributor John Rosevear owns shares of Ford and General Motors. You can connect with him on Twitter at @jrosevearThe Motley Fool recommends Ford and General Motors, and owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.