Volkswagen's American Phaeton Will Start At $70k, Will Surely Fail Again

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

Hot on the heels of Volkswagen’s apparent plans for a Chinese-market luxury sedan, Automotive News is reporting that Volkswagen’s next-generation Phaeton, destined for the American market once again, will start at $70,000.

According to AN, the next Phaeton will include a plug-in hybrid, as well as a V8 TDI engine. A W12 is also expected to make a return, though this will likely not be sold in the United States.

Despite sorely needing a larger crossover and a refresh for key products like the Jetta, Volkswagen is persisting with their dream of selling a high-end sedan in the United States, at a price point that is encroaching on their premium marques like Audi and Porsche. The Phaeton, for all its engineering excellence, was a massive flop in the United States.

On the other hand, the product VW most sorely needs in America, is conspicuously absent from their lineup, and VW has only just settled on where it will be produced, after a round of serious horse trading and internecine squabbling. The Phaeton, according to AN, has apparently been completed already, but VW seems content to continue the current car’s production run, owing to its popularity in China.

This, dear readers, is a great example of how the company continually seems to misunderstand the American market. Rather than get to work on plugging the biggest hole in its lineup, the company persists on a fool’s errand masquerading as a vanity project.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Sigivald Sigivald on Sep 23, 2014

    "I want a giant Volkswagen prestige sedan/S-Class-Competitor but I'm just a little too stingy to get an A8L." Said nobody in the entire history of the universe.

  • Wmba Wmba on Sep 23, 2014

    Ferdy Piech couldn't care less what America thinks, whether the Phaeton loses money, or anyone's opinion except his own. Of course that means marching across the world installing giganto-bizzaro machinery in his assembly plants to churn out MQB Golfs etc. And ruining VW's ROI in the process. That's why VW is now on a vast money-saving groupwise exercise (Phaeton excepted, natch), and is now locking horns with their union IG Metall about pay raises. There's going to be a fight there, I think. But as his Supreme Majesty, Imperator Piech has decreed a new Phaeton, and since he dislikes America for not buying VWs like the rest of the world's sutomotive lemmings, a Phaeton will once again be rammed down the throats of the not too wonderful US VW dealer body, whether they like it or not, in an attempt to wake them up. Won't work, but Piech will enjoy sticking it to his somewhat scurrilous (in general) US dealers. This is a drawn out popcorn epic. Will be fun.

  • Wodehouse Wodehouse on Sep 23, 2014

    Get an outsider, for heaven's sake, to pen the outside of it. It then may have a chance of getting noticed. VW's (Volkswagen Group as a whole, actually) current design language is mind numbingly dull.

  • Hgrunt Hgrunt on Jan 29, 2015

    Is there some kind of german tax loophole they're taking advantage of by building the phaeton and losing money on it?