VW accelerates electric push as margin at core brand slips

WOLFSBURG, Germany, March 12 (Reuters) - Volkswagen on Tuesday said it will launch 70 new electric models by 2028, accelerating its rollout of zero-emission cars as earnings revealed the operating margin at its core brand had taken a hit from new emissions tests.

The profit margin at its core VW brand slipped to 3.8 percent last year, down from 4.2 percent, as higher investments into electric cars and challenges getting combustion-engined vehicles certified ate into profits, VW said.

Volkswagen released full earnings on Tuesday after pre-releasing earnings in February, when it said its 2018 group operating profit came in at 13.92 billion euros ($15.8 billion), 0.7 percent higher than the prior year and below 14.53 billion euros forecast in a poll.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; editing by Thomas Seythal