VW Gains Traction and Gets Ambitious

The German automaker's lesser-known units, Skoda and Audi, delivered strong sales for the first quarter. Now it wants to take on Toyota

Volkswagen's polished first-quarter results were exactly what Porsche Chief Executive Wendelin Wiedeking had in mind when he snapped up a controlling stake in the world's No. 4 automaker last year as it struggled to restructure. VW's operating profit for the first three months of 2007 rose 81%, to $1.48 billion, generating a 4.1% margin. Profit after tax of $1.0 billion was up 127%.

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