By on April 18, 2014

phaetons

In an interview with Bloomberg at the 2014 New York Auto Show, Volkswagen America CEO Michael Horn says the Phaeton will return to the United States market as early as 2018.

Autoblog reports the full-size luxury sedan — which last sold in 2006 on our shores — has been under consideration by the automaker for a return sometime between 2018 and 2019. No word has been given on whether or not the 2018 Phaeton will be underpinned by the Bentley Continental Flying Spur, as it was the last time the sedan was sold.

Whether the return will be marred once more by customers scoffing at the idea of paying Audi-A8 money for a VW badge depends on what Horn does to improve dealer relationships, which are strained between the automaker and the network as of late. Currently, both sides are in negotiations regarding improvements to bonuses, marketing and other issues in the hope narrowing the “great distance” between the two parties.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

112 Comments on “Horn: VW Phaeton To Return To US In 2018...”


  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    Not high on my list of concerns right now.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Bring Der Caddy over! The Transit Connect needs more competition.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Why VW, Why? After all these years, you are STILL dragging your feet on a competitive CUV, yet persist in bringing over a car that completely does not fit the brand, and that no dealer wants to sell or service. This might make sense if the car was profitable, but it is not.

    • 0 avatar
      vbofw

      This is a great point. VW: want to move some metal in the U, S, and A? Get a chunk of the CRV, Escape, Rav 4 pie.

      My GF test drive all of the above and decided on the Outlander – THE OUTLANDER – without giving the Tiguan a fleeting thought.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I know that some compact CUVs are considered to be hatchbacks-on-stilts, but the Tiguan really *is* a high-riding Golf. And the Golf is subcompact. I think the Tiguan is *waaay* too small.

        But that’s not even the meat of the crossover market. Where people seem to be willing to pay the most money is with large, seven-passenger crossovers, like the Highlander, Traverse, Acadia, Explorer, Pathfinder, etc. I believe that VW is working on a large crossover to share a platform with and be built alongside the Passat in Chattanooga.

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          Isn’t the Touareg in this category?

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            No, the Touareg is a dedicated five-seater. Technically it could fit a third-row, but it’d be very cramped. Really, the Touareg belongs to a class of rugged international luxury crossovers, like the X5, M-Class, Range Rover Sport and Cayenne (with which it shares a platform). The Touareg’s pricing is also out of whack with the category I’m referring to. Plebeian three-row crossovers need to start around $28K-$29K, but the Touareg’s entry-price is *well* above that threshold.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      Where is the Skoda Yeti profiled at TTAC a couple of months ago? Call it a VW Yeti and it would sell well into the five figures. I’d even be interested. VW desperately needs a vehicle in this size and price range, and yet VW leaves the Yeti sitting on the shelf?

      The Phaeton went from ignored to despised, and will never sell over a thousand units a month. Dealers will have to train technicians, stock parts, and floor plan a car that neither they nor their customers want. Foolish.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        1000/month would be a big win. Here are past Phaeton sales:

        2003: 343
        2004: 1939
        2005: 820
        2006: 235

        This car was a huge fail. Think of all the investment required just to support 3337 cars in the US.

        VW really ought to look in the mirror and fix its quality and perception problems in the US market, rather than doing the Phaeton thing.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    If Kia can sell a luxo barge, why can’t VW?

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Who says they can? The K900 just came out. We shall see

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Because Kia builds better cars?

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      But Kia has a nationalistic domestic market with a strong preference for domestic brands, which explains the development of the K9. Exporting it for halo purposes was probably an afterthought. Does anyone want a Phaeton, including the Germans?

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Actually, Kia needs to export the K9 b/c the Germans have taken a huge chunk of the luxury sedan market in Korea.

        Imports and foreign-owned brands probably make up around 25-30% of the Korean auto market these days.

        What you are talking about is the Japanese auto market.

    • 0 avatar
      koreancowboy

      You’re implying that Kia is actually selling the K900.

      (I work at a Kia dealership, and have been looking at this K900 in front of me for well over a month now…people like it, but don’t want to spend $67K on it)

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        That’s true. For one thing, the car was *just* released. For another, $67K is quite a jump for an automaker whose cars (however nice) generally don’t even crest $40K. At $47K or even $57K, the K900 might be too good to ignore, but at $67K, you’ve priced out most of the people who’d be looking for a bargain. You’re dealing with folks who won’t even look at a Kia and would rather pony up another $30K for a German or British luxury barge. They probably won’t even know that the K900 exists because they couldn’t be bothered to step into the dealership or pay attention to it.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Its a 35-40K car for 70K and people aren’t buying it figuratively or literally.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Kia sold about a hundred last month.

        Probably looking at around 150/month of V8 sales for the K900.

        The bulk of K900 sales will be for the V6 and probably won’t be until the next gen model (when it gets AWD) – that K900 sales become worthwhile.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I wonder what Herr Baruth and Frau McBigbra would say about this.

  • avatar
    alsorl

    This is probably one of the most underestimated autos made today. I’ve read of people in the past with over 250,000 miles with no issues. Or so they say. It also has a uniqueness unlike other trendy autos, like Audi, MB, and the bland same car different size and shape BMW’s.

    • 0 avatar

      …????

    • 0 avatar
      gtrslngr

      @ alsori – Who ever is feeding you that information is either ; A) Lying thru their teeth B) Completely delusional and suffering from a severe case of PDVS [ Post Decision Validation Syndrome ..and yes its real ] or C) Is the epitome of the ” Misery Loves Company ” axiom

      Look at the mass of non – VW sponsored Phaeton websites/forums and you’ll find reams and pages of complaints- issues -maintenance woes etc coming from everyone : from the owners right down to the VW mechanics working on them that in fact hate the car for its over complexity – lack of accessibility and complete lack of support [ parts and technology ] from VW . Fact is theres been nary a Phaeton that can go more than 10k without suffering a whole multitude of woes

      So underrated ? Not hardly ! More like justifiably hated . As far as uniqueness of style ? Seriously ? A Passat on steroids and a healthy dose of Botox is … unique in your eyes ?

      But seriously alsori . When it comes to the Phaeton [ or any VW-Audi product as a matter of fact ]

      Just Say No !

      From one [ former S4 Avant owner ] Who knows ….

      • 0 avatar
        alsorl

        You could be correct. But seriously. I have coworker that just sold his last year. It just would not break. I drove in it a couple years ago and it had 230,000 miles then. He bought it new and never had any major issues. Even a select few BMW’s get through life without having any issues.

        • 0 avatar
          gtrslngr

          Seriously … he’s either lying – too ashamed to admit to the truth – or suffering from that PDVS I spoke of . But yeah … when Phaetons do function [ which is very seldom ] … they are a fine driving machine . After all … they are just a bargain basement Bentley Continental in VW drag [ which also hardly ever functions either btw ] Problem being .. Phaetons hardly ever function at all

          • 0 avatar
            alsorl

            Don’t know. But it was the first big item he bought after medical school. And it just drove well with no issues for a long time. I guess every once in a while even a turd can float.

    • 0 avatar
      TheyBeRollin

      It really was, particularly the W12 variant. They sold in such small numbers, had such severe depreciation, and were so reliable that they were/are almost impossible to find on the used market, too. It’s the only excellent vehicle VAG made in the early 00s to my knowledge (based on the new VWs my friends owned).

      • 0 avatar

        > It really was, particularly the W12 variant.

        The used W12 Phaeton is in so many way the perfect enthusiast cruiser: rare yet madly depreciated, premium without being pretentious, affordable but always a $20k engine away from being scrapped.

        VW should make them that way from the factory for 25 grand, and they’ll be sure to sell at least 200, with another 1000 waiting in the wings until they hit 15k.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    Sweet! I can’t wait to pick one of these up used for $15,000 in 2021.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    A big part of luxury cars is the service you get from the dealer. I know Audi gives you free rentals, usually a Audi A4. How is that going to work at VW dealers?

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    I don’t get why VW needs this when it has Audi. Bring us the GTD and Jetta GLI and R wagons instead.

    • 0 avatar
      koreancowboy

      Same reason why Kia needs a competitive minivan (coming), a proper sports car, and a Rio that is more differentiated from the Forte (re: bigger on the inside like the Versa).

  • avatar

    A VW Service Writer’s wet dream…

    I’ll be looking forward to acquiring a 10 year-old example for the same price as a 7 year-old Jetta with a sagging headliner, buttons long since robbed of their markings, untraceable electrical problems, and message centers bursting at the seams with warnings long ignored.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      According to the service writer at the shop that service my wife’s VW the Phaeton was a service writers nightmare. The cars were unreliable, the mechanics hated working on them, and the customers were very unhappy with the car, reliability, and costs to keep it running.

      The service writer got to be the focus of everybody’s anger. The guy said he hated seeing one roll in the door.

  • avatar
    cdnsfan27

    The return of the Phaeton is all about Herr Winterkorn’s ego, there is no room for this car in the U.S. market as a lot of VW dealers are twinned with Audi dealers who sell the A8. As others have stated VW should concentrate on competitive “people’s cars” and leave the luxury to it’s VAG siblings.

    • 0 avatar
      gtrslngr

      What VW and especially VW -Audi USA need to make in light of the overwhelming and completely unfulfilled demand [ Worldwide I might add ]… is a 21st century version of the much loved and now very much missed VW Micro Bus .

      Fact is they made the prototype/concept back in the day . Even went so far as to develop it somewhat . And yet despite overwhelming demand [ from Surfers - Skiers- SnowBoarders - Outdoorsy Types - Bicyclists ( Mt & Road ) - Aging Hippies - Newbie Jam Band hippies - Tradesmen - Musicians - Artists etc etc ] VW continues to ignore the obvious and focus on the ludicrous

      Living proof that VW-Audi is completely out of touch with their potential customer base

      ( Damn ! Looking over that list of who wants a VW Micro Bus … well …. Damn ! Thats the majority of Subarus Outback /Forester demographic ! Damn ! An entire market just waiting to be filled and VW could be doing it …. taking a whole lot of sales away from Subaru in the process )

      • 0 avatar

        The supposedly “overwhelming” demand could not even keep Element afloat, what to say about Microbus. Today’s market has plenty of alternatives. Flex, Caravan, Wrangler. Real Hawaiian surfers are partial to beater Tacomas.

        • 0 avatar

          Microbus would have nostalgia in its court.

        • 0 avatar
          colin42

          The VW Bus is known more as a camper with the pop top. The last such vehicle sold was the Eurovan. Look on EBay and you’ll see those with to Weekender package sell for 2-5x the cost of the standard MV.

          The Honda Element was never sold as a camper (although there is a company that will fit a pop top to the element for +$5000). Also the Element only sat 4. That being said have you seen how much they go for used?

          So yes build the microvan concept from a few years back (not that silly VW up platform mate from last year) and offer a camper and weekend package. It not like VW is selling any of its other minivans in the US that this would steal sales from.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        They get some things right. They doubled the Jetta’s sales and upped the Passat’s sales fivefold I think by dumbing them down.

        But building a Phaeton over a midsize SUV is pretty silly.

      • 0 avatar

        A well designed and well Engineered VW Microbus would sell like hotcakes in the US, especially if VW can get the exterior to carry over some of the hippie microbus traits.

        VW should stick to what they do best (which isnt much admittely) – efficient smaller cars and small to midsize crossovers, with diesel and turbocharged engine options, manual transmission options, and sell on the uniqueness of their brand (everyone remembers “Fahrvegnugen”, no one likes “Das Auto”).

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      So far as I can tell, nearly every decision VW has made in the US lately has been about ego, either Herr Winterkorn’s or someone else’s.

      They certainly don’t seem to be about selling cars.

  • avatar
    gtrslngr

    Revisiting the dreaded pos known as the VW Phaeton ?

    Living proof that the folks at VW-Audi [ and especially VW-Audi USA ] have either ;

    1) Gone stark raving mad

    2) Have been drinking from the same Dr Tim infused drinking fountains the folks at GM have been

    3) Have hooked up with ” Pinkman ” ( is that you Walter ? ) and partaking in his wares

    4) Are desperate to regain a market segment they never had [ with VW ]

    5) Have been plagued with Dementia : completely forgetting what a complete and abject travesty the Phaeton version 1.0 was … both sales and mechanical wise

    6) Have relocated their HQ to Colorado without telling anyone and are now deeply imbedded .. both business and partaking wise in the 420 revolution here .

    or .. 7) Are calling everyones bluff on this in order to get a rise out of everybody … getting a bit of free publicity in the process with no intent what so ever of following thru on the Phaeton 2.0

    Though any of the above .. knowing VW-Audi as I do are completely plausible options .

    I’ll bet on #7

  • avatar
    mjz

    Stubborn Germans!

  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    C’mon…the Phaeton coming Stateside again?

    Why not focus on some other product lines that would make more sense and begin to deliver volumes to achieve the magical 800K in North America. The up!, Polo, Scirocco, Touran, Caddy, and Amarok would be far better markets to exploit. But, you guys know best…don’t you?

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      Amarok?!

      Who, Kind Sir, will be in the market for a VW pickup?

      Perhaps Corn-Fed Timmy from the Bible Belt? Surely his Pro-Union father would disown him.

      The adventurers? No, they want their Subies.

      Hmmmm…

      No Chanks, no chanks.

      • 0 avatar
        EquipmentJunkie

        My company, for one. Second, the contractor from CT who was standing beside me at a Munich trade show last year who said, “Why aren’t these sold in the States?”

        I suspect you never looked at the prices for old VW Caddys. They are insane. However, what else will deliver the mail and 40-mpg?

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The Amarok would be a money loser. It would handily get clobbered by Toyota.

          I’ve pointed this out elsewhere — in Germany, the base model large-cab Amarok with a 2.0-liter diesel stickers at about US$32k + tax.

          You can buy a well-equipped V6 Toyota for less than that. Toyota has the brand and the durability that VW does not.

          If VW tried to sell those here for Nissan prices (base of under $20k), it would lose money. But it can’t sell them for European prices because we wouldn’t pay nearly that much. So the thing is dead in the water, either way.

          When Americans salivate over the European cars that got away, they rarely notice how much those cars cost in Europe. That’s one reason why we aren’t offered the same stuff: we won’t pay enough to make it worth their while.

          • 0 avatar
            EquipmentJunkie

            Perhaps, but I have explored the Amarok heavily. Adding the Chicken Tax is a tough pill to swallow, but to be successful the Amarok has to be assembled here and a long-term approach is required. The commercial buyer would need to be central in that long-term strategy. Ford could do the same thing with the world Ranger.

            I, for one, will never consider a Toyota. Past experience prevents me for going down that road again.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You might not buy a Toyota, but it is the clear brand leader in the space.

            If VW sells 10-20,000 units per year in the US, for example, it won’t make any money. You might appreciate the altenative, but VW would be subsidizing your purchase with its losses.

            In the alterative, if it could sell for higher prices, then the higher revenues could make up for the low volume. But not many people are going to pay $40k or so for a low-volume VW pickup truck, so that also doesn’t work.

            There’s no business case for the Amarok, no matter what. Avoiding it altogether is one of the smarter things that VW is doing with its US sales.

          • 0 avatar

            Way more people have bad past experience with VW. You cannot make a market for Amarok all alone.

            I know some crazy people exist. In Albuquerque EDO area just south of Grove a guy lives who drives a white Tiguan with a trailer. The trailer is usually loaded with some construction materials, sometimes a motorcycle. It’s 1 man for 600,000 people in the area who think he’s stark mad.

          • 0 avatar
            Jimal

            Normally I agree with you PCH, but in this case I do not. A European production Amarok would be an expensive non-starter, but all VW would need to do is set up a line in Mexico or – gulp – Tennessee to serve the Western Hemisphere (or, import from Argentina). My gut tells me that we’re at a full-size truck tipping point where small trucks are going to appeal to more people again.

            VW has a history of not being quite segment competitive. By all accounts I’ve read, the Amarok doesn’t suffer from that problem.

            At this point, not bringing the Amarok is as harebrained as bringing the Phaeton.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            VW couldn’t sell enough of them to matter. The low volume would make it a money loser, even if it was built in North America.

            VW’s brand image in the US helps to sells cars in the US to Germanophiles and to those yuppies in training who would like to own but can’t afford some other more costly German car. The brand is also a bit quirky, dating back to the VW Beetle “lemon” days. All of those characteristics are the opposite of what a pickup truck brand needs to be.

            In any case, the small truck segment is on the decline. Launching a new product in a dying market makes no sense at all, particularly if there is nothing else to share the platform. (The disappearance of the BOF compact/midsized SUV does not bode well for compact pickups in the US.)

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      I doubt that any of those cars could succeed here, while low American prices would make most of them unprofitable, anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        EquipmentJunkie

        I know what you are saying, but the Phaeton won’t either.

        People said the same about the Sprinter van and now everybody except GM is using the same type of European van platform.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The issue with vans is different.

          The US van market has become fairly small. The volumes are so low that it no longer makes sense to develop a separate van for North America, particularly with the prices being as low as they are.

          A global vehicle now makes more sense from an R&D standpoint. That’s not a reflection of popularity, but of global cost savings taking priority over local customization.

          • 0 avatar
            EquipmentJunkie

            I don’t know…the US van market is still 240K and growing. The recession hit that market hard but it is coming back strong. The 2014 market is expected to top 300K. (Ford builds about half of those numbers. A business plan could be made for a North American-only product with those sales numbers due to a vans long life cycle and borrows components heavily from pickups.) 80% of the van market is commercial and according to Automotive News is highly profitable. They had a recent article about US vans which had this quote about the Sprinter and its 12-year history:
            “Guess what? The world has changed,” Claus Tritt, who heads Daimler’s U.S. commercial-van business, said in an interview. “We are no longer the oddball.”

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The large domestic van market is currently profitable because they’re selling old gear that was amortized ages ago.

            Ford will be dumping the E-series vans without a direct replacement because a US-specific van makes no sense in today’s market. Ford will surely lose volume as a result.

            But that volume wouldn’t be profitable enough to keep if it requires a separate R&D investment of several hundred million dollars in order to continue with it. Vans don’t sell for prices that are high enough to justify that much of an investment.

            Likewise, it would make no sense for Daimler to sell a distinct US-oriented van for the low volumes that it generates. It makes more sense to sell a global product, even if that means selling less of it.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            You’re right that it no longer makes sense to develop a separate van for NA. But the reason isn’t because volumes are low, but because the European product is vastly better. Euro vans used to be weak and not up to hauling American-style payloads. Now they’ve gotten beefier. They can do the job just fine, and they’ve retained their huge advantages in fuel economy and efficient use of space.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The European vans don’t sell that well in the US. Nobody would be making a vehicle like that strictly for North America based upon those sales figures.

            In this case, the US is getting someone else’s leftovers instead of calling the shots. The US van market is no longer important enough to warrant its own special version. We do buy enough full size pickups, crossovers and midsized sedans to still get special treatment in those segments.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            …..but because the European product is vastly better. Euro vans used to be weak and not up to hauling American-style payloads. Now they’ve gotten beefier…..

            I guess you don’t know anybody in the construction or facilities fields. From a performance point of view the Sprinter is actually quite good and dynamically way better that the ancient vans made by Ford. But reliability – you know getting to the jobs that pay the bills – the Euro Sprinter is a disaster.

            …..In this case, the US is getting someone else’s leftovers instead of calling the shots. The US van market is no longer important enough to warrant its own special version. We do buy enough full size pickups, crossovers and midsized sedans to still get special treatment in those segments…..

            This. Sad to say. Though I can’t help but wonder if a new van built with new pickup components…not a bad model for this product, would not make economic sense. Ford is dragging its feet with bringing over the large Transit…wonder why. And you MUST offer a diesel for HD use.

  • avatar
    tedward

    I just don’t understand this, and I usually find myself sticking up for VW on TTAC threads.

    1. How is the Phaeton going to share a showroom with a large US Passat that comes in (fully loaded with a V6) at $35k? It better look as outlandish as the El Mirage concept if it wants any consideration at all. These are same size, same profile cars as it sits right now. This will be a huge problem in the US market. The Germans simply don’t see it is my guess.
    2. There’s a lot of low hanging fruit to pick first in the lineup. VW badly needs a larger CUV, a mainstream 3-row SUV, a subcompact such as the Polo, a Bus for sure, and could probably benefit greatly from spreading some AWD around the lineup in general. These are steps needed to tread water in their competitive space, whereas the Phaeton looks more like cliff diving from here.
    3. Will VWAG make sure the resources exist in country to service and support this vehicle? Frankly it should probably go to Audi for service, not VW, and that may well be a good solution as the owners will need techs used to working on this component set and they must absolutely always have nice loaner cars available (not Jettas.)
    4. How does this product stack up on the risk vs. reward side of things? There is clearly an upside to pushing a brand upmarket in appeal while still selling mainstream, but it requires a long period of smooth success to see the fruits of that labor. There is also clearly a huge risk or reputation harm from a botched launch of a high priced vehicle, and unlike the upside, negative views propagate quickly and stick longer.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The Phaeton appears to be an ego-building exercise for Piech, and nothing more. There doesn’t seem to be a business case for it; this is one of those instances when one guy makes an irrational decision, and nobody dares or bothers to override him.

      VW is obviously being left behind by not having a US crossover, although the Audi brand can pick up some of that slack. But I doubt that the Polo could be sold for a profit here.

      If I was VW, I would revisit its entire US brand strategy. They still don’t understand this place very well, although they do manage to get a few things right.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Sheer idiocy. They’ll sell 2000 Phaetons. For the same investment they could be selling 200,000 US-ified Tiguans, if they would just develop such a thing.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I use to enjoy the comments section.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    There is an allure to a stealthy, non-flashy Volkswagen with luxury to rival the other flagships…especially if it shares its wares with a Bentley. However, I don’t think this is a wise idea. The fact that Kia and Hyundai are doing it…well, they don’t have luxury brands. And the Equus and K900 look as luxurious as they are, really, so they’re not exactly anonymous like a flagship VW would surely be. But Volkswagen has Audi. And so they should leave the luxury *to* Audi. The Touareg is a perfectly luxurious—yet horrendously-overpriced—vehicle. Let’s stop there.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      Hyundai/Kia also have most of their bases covered (subcompact, compact, midsize sedans, small and large CUVs) so exploring new markets such as the luxury/near luxury makes some sense.

      VW, however, still has plenty of critical holes in their US lineup- and the lack of a premium large sedan is not one of them.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Meh.

      Stealth wealth was an awesome automotive concept for imports in the late-90s when oil was $20, the USD was strong, the US had full employment, poverty rates in the US were plummeting, and real median income to CPI ratios that were about 25% better than today. It was cool to hide the $3M tech-stock portfolio you had amassed back then.

      Today, the middle class is recovering from a heart attack, and it seems everyone is eager to look more financially healthy than they actually are. Trucks are still selling like hotcakes, despite 400% increase in oil prices during the last decade. Would you like some more cheese sauce on your butter croissant, sir? To make matters worse, the financial unhealthiness of the middle class is happening during a period of unprecedented global labor competition.

      Stealth wealth no more, and CAFE 2025 is very unkind to fullsize sedans, which makes this announcement even more puzzling.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        “Would you like some more cheese sauce on your butter croissant, sir?”

        I’m going to say that to myself the next time some garishly-decorated F-350 gets two inches from my rear bumper while I’m on the motorway.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I like how we went from booming to depression in about a decade.

        “it seems everyone is eager to look more financially healthy than they actually are.”

        All fueled by artificially low interest rates and at the expense of savers.

  • avatar

    Phaeton joke threads are teh best.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    The Phaeton answers a question that was never asked.

    At this point with VAG if I was told they had hired the complete management staff of GM from the 80’s and 90’s I would believe them. Is that you Rick W? What a shame to watch a company that from all outward appearances was headed in her he right direction a few years ago decide to take a break and lay down in the highway.

  • avatar
    gglockster

    A 100K mile bumper to bumper warranty. A VW Service Department that understands Customer Service not Customer Screw.

  • avatar
    dtremit

    It strikes me that Americans would be a lot happier buying Skodas than Volkswagens. Why not slap a VW badge on ‘em and call it a day?

  • avatar
    gtrslngr

    And here I though reading VW was going to bring back the Phaeton was the stupidest automotive thing I’d see for the entire week .

    But NOooooooo … This afternoon Daimler announces the revival of the much despised – seldom purchased … Maybach [ NYTimes Reuters etc ]

    Stupidity having no limits when it comes to automotive manufactures

    Z’at you Walter ?

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    What niche does the Phaeton fill? VW buyers want value and German engineering. Paying over $45k-50k for one seems excessive. Compare to Toyota/Lexus. The top Toyota model in the U.S is the Avalon. If you want to move up market to a premium luxury or sports sedan you go to your Lexus dealer. Same for VW the current range topper is the Passat with the 3.6. VW buyers who want to move upmarket have the whole Audi range thus ignoring the supposed halo Phaeton which is close in price to a A7 or A8. Granted I like the Phaeton but not at $70-80k. If it was more like a larger Passat (The Avalon of Passat’s) at $40k then it would make sense.

  • avatar
    elimgarak

    I posted this on another site but is it even worth it for VW to be in the US market? I would deploy those resources towards Audi, Porsche, etc. and pull out VW’s from the US completely. The VW badge and cars are in ‘no man’s land’ in the american market and i cannot see a turnaround occurring that justifies the investment.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      There are two basic sensible options:

      -Jump in with both feet in order to aggressive build volume, while emphasizing affordable quality/ reliability
      -Cultivate a niche, and learn to live with it

      In other words, copy Hyundai or copy Subaru. Personally, I would suggest that a Subaru-style approach probably makes more sense for VW, since it is already a niche player with a distinctive identity.

      This relegation to the second tier doesn’t seem to sit well with the guys in Germany. But they aren’t willing to transform their cars as they would need to in order to borrow from the Hyundai approach. They can’t have it both ways.

  • avatar
    genuineleather

    Good god how can no one have commented about the video? Worst interviewer I’ve seen in a long time: dull, repetitive, and ZERO research on the subject matter.

    BB Flunkie: So, are you working on selling the Jetta and Golf? Because the Passat is FAR AND AWAY your most popular product.

    Horn: We sell more Jettas than Passats…

  • avatar
    gnekker

    The only time I saw a Phaeton in flesh was last year when I ordered a taxi from Haarlem (NL) to the Shipol airport. I was really surprised to see a Phateon used for taxi service, just imagine the cost of maintenance :-) No wonder taxi is so expensive in NL.
    Sitting inside, I didn’t feel particularly honored, it felt like a slightly bigger Passat, but nothing more.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    They’re going about this the wrong way. A full size, RWD sedan makes only some sense, but falling it a feet-on just doesn’t work. If they want to sell more than a few, they should call it a Panzer.

  • avatar

    Great. They bring back the Phateon but kill the Bluesport midengine sport car.

  • avatar
    TybeeJim

    I’d be more impressed if VW was bringing us the the GTD Golf of the that hi-PO Golf I saw recently.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      According to VW Vortex, the US-spec GTD would require a urea system, whereas the European emissions rule won’t make that necessary until 2016.

      Presumably, adding a urea system to all of the cars would cut into their European profits, so they don’t want to offer it there any sooner than they have to. It apparently must not make sense to offer different setups for each market.

  • avatar
    bd2

    The problem with the Phaeton was that:

    1. looked too much like an oversized Passat;
    2. priced too close to the A8 and didn’t bring the VALUE equation (Toyota did that with the LS400);
    3. did not offer anything other than typical VW service.

    This time around – probably will be priced more around the $50-60k mark and offer higher end service (loaner cars, etc.), but probably will still look like an oversized Passat.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The Phaeton was not underpinned by the Flying Spur, as the Phaeton came along years before the Flying Spur did.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States