Volkswagen Emblem

Volkswagen is making progress in its quest to be the one automaker to rule them all. According to The Detroit Bureau, Volkswagen saw profits more than double last year as sales increased by 14.7 percent. All told, the company earned $20.5 billion in 2011, up from $9.1 billion the year prior. The profit figure is well ahead of what industry analysts predicted for the German automaker. Total revenue is up by 26 percent as well, which is around two percent more than forecasters calculated.

It's worth noting that a fair chunk of the automaker's earnings were due to the ongoing merger battle between Volkswagen and Porsche. Last year, Porsche attempted a raid on Volkswagen stock in an attempt to take over the larger company before Volkswagen had a chance to swallow the smaller manufacturer whole. The effort failed, however, and while Porsche is now facing down multiple lawsuits as a result of the company's stock assault, Volkswagen enjoyed a swell in pre-tax profits last year – 18.93 billion euros in 2011. In 2010, the automakers pre-tax profits were 8.99 billion euros.