Volkswagen (NASDAQOTH:VLKAY) reported an operating profit of $15.1 billion in 2012. That was way ahead of earnings at both Toyota and General Motors, even though VW's global sales trailed both.

It has been a great story for the German auto giant. But that story may be in trouble: First-quarter profits were down sharply. In this video, Motley Fool contributor John Rosevear looks at the story behind the numbers -- and ponders whether VW's plans for world domination can get back on track.

Motley Fool contributor John Rosevear owns shares of Ford and General Motors. Follow him on Twitter at @jrosevear. The Motley Fool recommends BMW, Ford, and General Motors. The Motley Fool 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.