Made-In-China Phaeton? Um Himmelswillen!

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Wolfsburg’s Über-VW, the Phaeton, will be produced in China. At least if the Chinese car site Auto.163 is correct. The news is coming to you via Chinacartimes, which doubts the article’s veracity, not only because the logic behind Auto.163’s reasoning is a bit backwards. Is it really?

made in china phaeton um himmelswillen

Says Chinacartimes:

“Auto.163 are citing VW’s new DSG gearbox factory in Tianjin as the source for its Chinese Phaeton rumors. The new gearbox factory will produce the DQ380 and DQ500 gearboxes which are only used in the flagship vehicle. Does this mean the Phaeton will be produced in China? Probably not. Does it mean that the gearbox will likely be exported? Probably yes.”

The Phaeton became infamous in the U.S. for being a dud. It was pulled off the U.S. market in 2006, despite the efforts of Jack Baruth to prop up its market share by buying two. That spike in the U.S. Phaeton sales, that was Jack.

The Phaeton currently goes through its second spring. Last year, 11.000 were sold, 50 percent more than in the already surprisingly good 2010. Moving the production of the Phaeton to China would make sense. “Asia is its most important market,” said a Volkswagen spokesman. “70 percent of the vehicles go to the Far East.”

China is the Phaeton’s largest market also because the Phaeton is a great way around some company or government purchasing rules. The buyer can claim with a straight face that “it’s a Volkswagen.”

“The Phaeton is priced from an affordable 758,800 RMB to 2.53 million in the Chinese market,” says Chinacartimes. That’s between $120,000 and $400,000. Should it be produced in China, the price could come down a bit because the 25 percent import tax is avoided. But then, once you are in that stratosphere, a few dollars less don’t really count. Also, Volkswagen could close the Phaeton’s factory in Dresden if most of them are made in Shanghai.

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  • Kuyafabes Kuyafabes on Aug 30, 2012

    Doesn't make sense technically: "The new gearbox factory will produce the DQ380 and DQ500 gearboxes which are only used in the flagship vehicle." So far, the Phaeton uses longitudinally installed engines, and both cited gearboxes are transversally mounted (hence DQ = Doppelkupplung Quer). If the Phaeton successor goes on a Passat basis, those DQs would be fine, but in that case the largest possible engine would be a five-cylinder (or the dying VR6) (which might be sufficient for most Chinese though, but then this car is without V6 Diesels and thus out of Europe and anyplace outside China) (which in fact is the current status).

    • See 5 previous
    • CRConrad CRConrad on Sep 08, 2012

      @CRConrad Right-o! Thanks a lot, KuyaFab!

  • DeadWeight DeadWeight on Aug 30, 2012

    So the made in China Phaeton will be more or less reliable than the one that was made in Deutschland?

  • Spookiness I can see revising requirements for newer vehicles, like 3 years, but not for older. I live in a state with safety inspections next to a state without, within a common metro-area commute "shed." Besides the fact that the non-inspection state has a lot of criminals to begin with, they're poorer, less educated, have a lot of paper-tag shady dealers, very lax law enforcement of any kind, and not much of a culture of car maintenance. It's all of their janky hoopties dead or burning on the side of the road every mile that farks up the commute for the rest of us. Having a car inspected just once a year is a minimal price of civilization, and at least is some basic defense against some of the brake-less, rusted-out heaps that show up on YouTubes "Just Rolled In."
  • Pippin Republicans Senators - "We refuse to support your nomination because you don't have a background in traffic safety! That's the priority!"Biden nominates someone with a background in traffic safetyRepublican Senators - "This new nominee is totally unacceptable! They're in favor of new regulations to improve traffic safety! We need big government out of (men's) lives!"
  • David S. 4.4L Twin turbo, thanks BMW!
  • Ajla "a brake upgrade"Unless you are racing it I doubt that is needed. Stopping from 85mph with 700hp isn't much more taxing than stopping from 85mph with 400hp. And the F-150's brakes are already capable of stopping with a 9000lb trailer.
  • MaintenanceCosts Great, a clumsy truck that can go faster without any commensurate upgrades in stopping or turning ability. I'll look out for these in a ditch near me in the near future.