• Aug 17, 2009
Volkswagen Phaeton - Click above for high-res image gallery

At least as far back as March 2007, we were reporting that Volkswagen might bring back their range-topping and bank-draining Phaeton sedan to the States. Back then, it was the company's CEO Martin Winterkorn predicting the car's return to America, but in more recent times, we haven't heard much news about the luxury liner. Then spyshots of a re-designed 2011 Phaeton emerged in June of this year, but we speculated there was zero chance of the much-maligned model being sold here.

Of course, Stefan Jacoby, president and CEO of Volkswagen of America had to prove us wrong by telling The Detroit News that yes, there will again be Phaetons sold on American VW dealers' lots. He doesn't get specific about when the luxury sedan will return (or even if it will be anything like the model American consumers already shunned), but he does say it will indeed be the range's high-end flagship once again.

Jacoby also lays out the brand's U.S. strategy to pretty much have something to offer in every category save perhaps amphibious vehicles. He admits additions to the German carmaker's U.S. lineup could include a Polo-sized car below the Jetta, a compact SUV to be produced next to a new midsize sedan in Chattanooga, which will be topped by another new midsize sedan "like the Avalon for Toyota."



[Source: The Detroit News]


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  • 33 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      People clamor for a VW Scirocco, VW corporate shoots the idea down. Phaeton bombs *miserably*, VW insists on bringing another one over. Sigh. Somebody high up is dense. Let Audi be the top-end luxo here, focus on cheaper cars--you know, living up the the "people's car" brand? Talk about delusions of grandeur.
      • 5 Years Ago
      WOW I never realize how much this car looks like the old 05 kia optima from the back ..this thing is nice but not nice enough for almost a 100k ....I much rather buy a Hyundai genesis for 39k or a Hyundai Equus for 59k and save the 40 or 30 k and buy a Hyundai Sonata with the change , lol and still have about 10 to 12 k left to buy a kia rio...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I can only see this working out if VW accidentally ships Sciroccos instead of Phaetons.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Still seems ridiculous to offer a very costly car with the VW name which means "Peoples Car." What people?

      Better to buy an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes for the kind of dough a Phaeton costs.
      The idea of an $80K car with that VW logo on the front is silly. Fortunately, the same car is under the Audi brand, so people can buy that car without the classless name.
      • 5 Years Ago
      For decades now VW management (mostly the German part) has been and still is hopelessly clueless about America and marketing anything here. They did not want the first GTi here, they did not want the New Beetle at all (Dr. Piech wanted it), they did not want the T5 Eurovan in the USA, nor do they want the Sirocco, but they did want the Routan and do want the Phaeton.

      Tellingly, the Germans still profess amazement that the image of VW in America is still heavily tied to the old Bug. This love of the old Bug was discovered a few years ago by the ill fated "Moonraker" project but I guess S. Jacoby did not read the Moonraker reports.

      I have never met an American employee of VWGoA that personally believes that the Phaeton can succeed here. It has not even succeeded in Europe where the image of VW is very different than in the USA. However, the German staff, and most especially Stefan Jacoby, care not a wit what any Americans think, they know what is best, they are, after all German auto executives. See also: Daimler-Chrysler

      The Phaeton is a wonderful car in nearly every respect, it is a brilliant answer to a question no one but Dr. Piech ever asked. Look up the list of top VW management who have criticized the Phaeton or any high profile Piech project publicly and then look at their career path after that point.

      About Piech, he is still the head of what you could call the oversight board at VW, which oversees the company boards. Germans do love their bureaucracy. A familiar Piech quote: "During my career several people have tried to push me out the door... Nobody has succeeded yet." The Phaeton exists and will continue to exist and will come back to America because "Dr. Piech wants it."
      • 5 Years Ago
      The new generation really has to offer a distintive styling to atract to to the buying public. Current model looks like a Passat on steroids. I've seen one today, not a regular sight on the road, and had to look two times to recognize it. The styling doesn't go well with the technological marvel that it is.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hopefully they also bring over the diesel engines.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Again....why do analysts have to keep reiterating why this model will not do well in the U.S.? Consumers willing to fork out that much money are NOT going to buy a VW. Just because the model is fairly successful in Europe does not translate to equal sales in the U.S.

      There are so many other options at this point in that price range that the amount of money VW would have to spend penetrating the market and making consumers aware of the model would never equal their investment in production and bringing the model to dealerships.
      • 5 Years Ago
      There is a very simple fix for this car that will make it sell here.
      Take the stupid VW badges off of the car.

      There, VW, send me my check.
      I can't believe they pay some these executives what they do and they can't figure this out.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's Captain Kirk's favorite car!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzVIculiTWQ


      I really liked it, and their great value on the used car market.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @AMcA: Actually, it's probably just a zoomed-out map view and the car is being photographed on Ibiza or Mallorca... you know, islands. In the middle of the Mediterranean. With roads.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hyundai will undercut them with the Equus and steal what little sales in the $75k+ market that aren't already claimed by BMW or Mercedes.
        • 5 Years Ago
        dont be so quick to judge, while i agree the Equus will certainly take a chunk of the market, the Phaeton is a technological showcase of goodies you dont see outside of bespoke vehicles, things like built-in air conditioned, massage seats, drink warmers, adjustable rear seats, and an climate control diffusion system that will coll the car without blowing air in your face. Not to mention that the Phaeton is essentially an Audi A8, which is also the same chassis as the Bentley continental so people know the chassis is thoroughly tested. The w12 motor is also used in the Bently. Not to say that the Equus is without its merits. For the well-heeled who are not brand conscious, the Equus and the Phaeton will both be pretty high on the list
      • 5 Years Ago
      "brand's U.S. strategy to pretty much have something to offer in every category"

      Great, so please tell me this means there's going to be another Caddy sold in the US!!!!
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