Volkswagen sees sales slump in China, vows rebound this year

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen profits fell 30% in the first three months of the year despite booming business in Europe and North America. That’s because sales fell in China, where the German company is facing increasing competition from homegrown models. VW reported Thursday that after-tax profit fell to 4.7 billion euros from 6.7 billion euros in the first quarter of last year. Sales revenue jumped by 21.5%, to 76.2 billion euros, as the company saw strong demand. But the company sold 14.5% fewer vehicles in China, the world’s largest car market. Chinese competitors such as BYD are rapidly developing new electric and hybrid vehicles at competitive price points and competing with foreign brands.