• Jan 17, 2008


click above image to view more pics of the Passat CC in high-res

Remember when Volkswagen launched the Phaeton, and everyone was like, What the heck are they thinking? Yeah, that was awesome. But it left a huge gaping hole in Volkswagen's product line-up between the Passat and the Phaeton. Wolfsburg tried to bridge the gap a little with the previous-generation Passat W8 4Motion, but that didn't do so well and was quickly taken off the market. The Passat CC unveiled earlier this week in Detroit helps fill the void, and the next Phaeton is expected to go down-market, but the gap is still so wide between the sedans that Volkswagen is reportedly considering making another one to slot into the line-up. Since the Phaeton isn't sold in the U.S. anymore, we assume this gap-bridging car is destined for the European market only.

This isn't mere rumor, speculation or conjecture. It comes straight from the mouth of Volkswagen's design chief, Klaus Bischoff, who revealed at the Passat CC's unveiling "We are planning another model between the Passat CC and Phaeton." Well, there you have it.

[Source: Auto Motor und Sport via The German Car Blog]



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  • 32 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      VW has a pretty solid lineup. This is all fine and good to announce new models, but they should concentrate on selling what they have first, expanding the core market before worrying about another super sedan.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't know if european pedestrian protection laws are to blame, or incompetent designers, but the bubble front on this just like the normal passat is plain ugly. I think it must be the designers, cause BMW continues to be able to make nice short front ovehangs...
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Not saying I know enough about cars or brands to disagree, but in my perception, Saturn is now way near Audi, Acura, BWM, etc even if lower entry models." by Rick

      LMAO!
      • 7 Years Ago


      But it left a huge gaping hole in Volkswagen's product line-up between the Passat and the Phaeton.

      What about the quality gap? Should they not fill that also?
        • 7 Years Ago
        That would mean admitting that they have a problem. Getting anyone from Ferdinand Pietsch on down to admit that they're not gods walking the earth is hard.

        Things like the Phaeton (or the Veyron, or any of the shiny playtoys they trot out) are distraction activities, partly to keep the public and the media's focus off quality problems, but also to keep management from having to address them, too.

        It's like how I post on autoblog to avoid writing a report, only on a much larger scale.
      • 7 Years Ago
      gap, there are sop many vws that occupy the same place its pathitic. lets see

      rabbit, jetta, eos, beetle
      passat , cc

      they make suzuki look bad
        • 7 Years Ago
        What?

        Mini is a B-Segment car like VW Polo.

        1-Series is a C-Segment car like VW Golf.

        Where is the overlap? Not all hatchbacks are in the same segment!

        And there is a big price difference between Mini and 1-Series, too.

        On the other hand, the new Beetle is based on the MkV Golf. So they are like you said in the same segment. Just with different styles.
        • 7 Years Ago
        THe New Beetle is still based on the MKIV Golf.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Good points, I've just heard quite a few friends with minis express an interrest to grab a 128, etc.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah, I mean who wants to cater to customers who want a hatchback (Golf) or a sedan (Jetta) or a convertible (Eos). BMW should just ditch the 1 series, it's total product overlap with the mini just like the beetle and the golf. you're right, there's no place for niche retro cars in automakers lineups, Why should anyone have the choice of buying a passat for more pasanger space, everyone should be limited to just a jetta option. Thank goodness the US automakers aren't overlapping even more, man then they might be loosing money. phew.

        And you forgot the tiguan, which obviously won't succeed with an base price of $22,400, 200hp, 217lb ft of torque and a 6MT standard. Man what is VW thinking. It's a wonder they make billions and billions every year.
      • 7 Years Ago
      looks like a CLS
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow its an Olds Aurora wheels and everything!!
        • 7 Years Ago
        I immediately thought - from the fron to the rear -

        Mercedes meets Toyota meets Aurora
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm still baffled as to why the Phaeton was derided as being a foolish move and yet everyone seems to be fascinated by the Hyundai Genesis.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Because Hyundai does not have a luxury brand that it is duplicating with it's main line brand.

        Hyundai is just getting better, and offering more for less. Ironically, that is what capitalists usually do, when things are going the way they should.

        VW, on the other hand, is the most everyday brand VAG has in the US. It is supposed to appeal to the masses. That is what Volkswagen means in german. People's vehicle.

        Audi, formerly Auto Union, was and still is more upscale. Why does VW feel the need to duplicate luxury vehicles?

        Not only that, but now VAG has lots of premium brands, including Lamborghini, Bentley, and Bugatti. What are they going to do next? a VW supercar as an alternative to the Veyron?

        It makes no sense, regardless of whether the Phaeton or CC is a good car. The brand image doesn't support it. People constantly wonder why these cars aren't Audis, or why VW feels the need to compete with Audi on Audi's turf.

        Hyundai doesn't have that same problem of stepping on its own toes. It just has to change it's image with the public, which is probably why Genesis is taking first billing, and the Hyundai badges aren't as bold (and missing from the front end.) as they try to blur the lines between make and model branding. Note that the Genesis is not branded as a Kia. Then it might share the same confusion as the VW products...
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Genesis is supposed to come in at a reasonable price. Hence the interest.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @mk Audi was never fromaly Auto Union

        Audi was founded in 1910 by Horch the orginal name was Audi Automobilwerke GmbH. Horch was not allowed to use his own name as brand name.. his name Horch means listen.. Horch took the latin word of horch(listen) audire..the order form of audire is in latin audi.. So he used simple the latin form of his own name for his new car comapny.
        In 1915 the company was renamed in Audi Werke AG. They have build super luxury cars mainly. Because of the world wide crisis in the 1920´s Audi merged with DKW in 1928. In 1932 Audi DKW Horch (the first car comapny from Horch that he left early) and Wanderer formed the Auto Union and the four Rings were born standing forAudi Horch DKW and Wanderer.
        At the end of ww2 the Auto Union Ag was killed by the ruissans in east Germany. In west Germany the company was founded completley new..many of the workers and engineers escaped from east Germany and found a new home in Ingolstadt Bavaria. 1958 Mercedes took over the west German Auto Union and sold it to Volkswagen in 1964. Volkswagen ordered Auto Union to sell their cars under the first name Audi.. in 1969 Auto Union merged with NSU and the comapny was named Audi NSU Auto Union AG. Since 1985 it is named now Audi AG... after 70years the company was back to the orginal name from 1910.

        This was the Audi logo from 1910

        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/de/0/04/Audi1.jpg

        • 7 Years Ago
        Firstly, competition within the VAG was never going to have any effect on Phaeton's success (or otherwise) mainly because the car-buying public has very little knowledge about the business structures of the car companies. Secondly, the Phaeton was cheaper than equivalently-engined A8s in much the same way that the Golf is cheaper than the A3.

        The primary reason for VW's upmarket drive was that the profit margins on cars such as the Passat V6 and Golf R32 are considerably higher than on their smaller-engined siblings and it was hoped that, if brand perceptions improved, the sales of those models would increase. Since VW is by far the largest component of the VAG, this would have a far greater effect that any possible cannibalisation from Audi and the like.

        Hyundai, on the other hand, has had trouble shifting the Azera but has decided that an even more expensive car will sort things out. VW has obviously realised that the Phaeton was a leap to far and has decided to take an incremental approach to improving its brand.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ughh - not this again!

        The Phaeton listed for btwn $70k to over $100k.

        The Genesis is going to start at under $30k and will not break $40k.

        Get the picture?
      • 7 Years Ago
      What about Audi? Why would someone want a VAG product priced as high as a Phaeton, or even a bit lower, and not look at Audis?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Isn't VW and Audi corporate siblings? Why is VW trying so hard to crap on Audi's turf? This makes no sense. I would never shop this car if it comes within sneezing distance of the A6's price.

      VW may getaway with marketing this in Europe and elsewhere, but the in shallow badgestatus conscious American car market, this will fall on its face again.

      In the eyes of the US car buyer:

      VW does not = BMW, MB, Lexus, Cadillac, Audi.

      As a brand, preceptionwise, it is slotted just between Buicks (not for long), Chevys, and Acuras and Infinitis.

      Other than the Corvette, GM won't dare to try selliing a Chevy that far upmarket.

      WV here is a clue:

      Tier 1 Brands: MB, BMW, Audi, Porsche, Lexus

      Tier 1.5: Cadillac (is moving up), Infiniti, Acura.

      Tier 2: Volvo, Saab, VW, Lincoln.

      Tier 3: Toyota, Honda, Chevrolet, Buick, Hyundai, Ford, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Nissan.

      Tier 4: Kia, anything from China etc.

      P.S. Notable omission: Jaguar, not really sure what the heck to do with them.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I can't believe I missed Mazda. I knew I forgot something.

        Tier 3.

        Mostly economy and mainstream cars, even despite trying to go a bit upscale with CUVs.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Based on your classification, Tier #2 is highly debatable since Lincoln, Saab and Volvo (to some extent) aren't really that good.
        Ford and Buick should be clubbed together in a separate category, say Tier 3.5.
      • 6 Years Ago
      VW has ben saying that they want to make vehicles in the USA. They said they figure the Passat is $4,000.too high. so driving the Passat down-market at least in price will leave a big hole. Forget the Phaeton. For the typical buyers, VW is looking to keep them in the fold. So they offer the move-up one from the Passat.
      Then this buys them time to re-invent the Phaeton market. Or to come out with one like the Infiniti EX, to keep the interest up.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So VW figures because it can't sell compacts--due to crappy reliability and high price--that it can somehow sell luxury cars... with crappy reliability and a high price? Man, I sincerely hope their new efforts at up-scale models bombs.
        • 7 Years Ago
        VW car production 2006
        5.5million (without light trucks) 5.68million with light trucks
        Honda car production 2006
        3.5million (without light trucks) 3.67million with light trucks

        welcome in the HUGE world outside the USA..

        • 7 Years Ago
        Lol, you know you're desperate when you have to dig up stats from 1974. How about looking at TODAY, and looking at the pitiful VW golf figures compared to the Civic sales in the US?
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