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Although most of the automotive industry was left scratching its collective head when Volkswagen introduced its flagship Phaeton in the first place, Volkswagen itself is still scratching its head trying to figure out what went wrong, at least in the U.S. It's not giving up, and in the process has given us another set of hints at the form the next Phaeton could take.

According to reports from Automotive News, Volkswagen of America CEO Stefan Jacoby has revealed that the next Phaeton will come to the American market with a $55k price tag, a shorter wheelbase, a diesel engine and more modest and patient expectations from Wolfsburg. The $55k price target would significantly undercut the $70k base price the current Phaeton had when it was pulled from the U.S. market, even with purchase incentives that at times topped $10k. Using a turbodiesel engine in the new Phaeton, according to Jacoby, would allow the luxury sedan to be positioned as the company's technical and environmental flagship. (Watch out, Lexus.)

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Let's see.....
      Audi offered their much better looking "upmarket" version, the A8, for almost the same price.
      A new Phaeton with more style & Diesel power for 55K should do much better.

      • 7 Years Ago
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      • 7 Years Ago
      55k?Waaay too too much for a VW. VW needs to understand that it's the poor man's Audi.
      VW should work on offering a 1 series coupe competitor.That's what they need to do.Much more realistic.
      • 7 Years Ago
      VW seems to think "targeting" a different audience from Audi means something. Honestly, I think most Audi owners find that brand at least partially because they want to avoid the perceived pretentiousness of driving a BMW or MB. Isn't that what VW is directed towards with the old and new Phaeton?

      If VW wants to find success with this dumb idea it needs to REWRITE the play book. Make it a hatch/hybrid/diesel hybrid/removable trunk/built-in microwave/ built in iBook... SOMETHING to differentiate it from... itself and every other trunked boring middle-management ride on the road.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The phaeton was never a failure. It's just called the bentley continental now.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sorry, I was looking at the January sale figures. As for 2007, the Phaeton had 4% less market share than the 7-Series. Not bad for a first generation product at a brand disadvantage.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why aren't they focusing on affordable diesel power? This (was) a nice car... but completely off target in so many ways. Come on VW... go back to your roots and take care of the every-man first.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Face it. The brand name matters. If it didnt Toyota would sell the Lexus as a Toyota. People that buy luxury cares usually are somewhat pretensious (not all, thats why a FEW Phaetons sold) and dont want to own a car with the same brand name as someone driving a Jetta or Rabbit. If you have a $55K VW only car people know you have a $55K VW.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yes, they're both luxury cars but the Phaeton and A8 target different buyers in the way that the E-Class and CLS so. You buy an A8 if you want a sporty drive and the Phaeton if you want a comfortable one.

      Interestingly, with the Phaeton and A8 the VAG outsells Mercedes in the luxury segment in Germany. The Phaeton also outsells the BMW 7-Series
      • 7 Years Ago
      They will sell a $55K car under the VW nameplate that people will still ignore, but won't bring their hottest new sport coupe (Scirocco) because they are afraid it will eat into GTI sales. Can anyone say "Stupid is as stupid does.", consumers are screaming for one but don't even care if this one exists in the US.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Jesus, these guys are totally TOTALLY clueless.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If only VW had another brand which was more capable of selling a $55K car... One that had some experience marketing the advantages of Diesel...
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