The Recession Is Over: Phaeton Production Needs Second Shift

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

The recession must have come to a sudden end. Volkswagen can’t make enough Phaetons to meet demand. Last year, Volkswagen sold 7,000 of the facelifted Über-VW. This year, all indicators say “mehr.” You probably suspect who’s buying most of those Phaetons:

The Chinese.

China has become the biggest market of the Phaeton. It is being built in what must be the world’s fanciest car factory. Imagine shiny parquet floor. Bright wood where no tires touch the floor. Dark wood where the car come down to earth. To fill the sudden demand, the Phaeton factory in Dresden is switching from one to two shifts, reports Automobilwoche [sub]. It can now crank out 48 hand-built Phaetons per day.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Gswhiz Gswhiz on Jan 26, 2011

    I thought VW ceased production like 2 years ago?

  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Jan 26, 2011

    China because they have no memory of the Bug.

  • Blowfish Blowfish on Jan 26, 2011

    Even Northern Chinese accuse Southern Chinese of “eating anything as long as it has four legs and two wings, jut not tables and airplanes, well, with tables one can make an exception.” The SARS happened in Hong Kong circa 2003 was purported to have been started by eating all these exotic animals. Several villages in Canton, MK was infected, and the a few blokes came down to Hong Kong looking for cure and that was all it started! My friend grew up there during the early 60s, they were being fed with powered tree barks & roots as staple of diet. Chairman Mao was successful at taking over the whole country but wasn't all that swift in growing food for the masses. Always buzy at getting rid of people with brains or not quite agree with his agendas. Another few more yrs forward, his Red Guards not just terrorize the whole country, and even turn against their own parents too! If u live down the River Delta of Canton, namely the fragrance harbour, circa 68, everyday there were many floaters came down the river drifted right into the harbour. All these good deed rendered Eichman & Auschwiz looked tame.

    • Mpresley Mpresley on Jan 26, 2011

      The late 50s (Great Leap Forward) and Cultural Revolution era (66-76 or so) were not good times for the Chinese. For those that grew up or otherwise lived during this period, hunger was not uncommon. And prior to that was the civil war and before then, WW2. One ought to keep history in mind when thinking of the transformation of China. A car is a very meaningful statement in China-something we in the West usually take for granted.

  • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on Jan 26, 2011

    If I was in the market for a big luxo-barge, the Phaeton would be far and away my first choice. Understated, classic shape, no "flame surfacing" BS, every toy imaginable and some you haven't even thought of. Much less blingy than an Audi A8, more old-school luxury and less sports sedan. Just the ticket for crossing a continent in fine style. Big Passat indeed.