• Jan 10, 2011
2011 Volkswagen Phaeton – Click above for high-res gallery

During a business background event on Sunday at its North American headquarters in Herndon, Virginia, Jonathan Browning, Volkswagen of America's CEO confirmed to Autoblog that the company's short-lived Phaeton sedan isn't likely to return to America any time soon.

Despite a flurry of reports to the contrary since the Phaeton left the U.S. market after the 2006 model year, Browning confirms that the luxury sedan is not part of the brand's ambitious plan to sell 800,000 units in North America by 2018. That said, while it's unlikely to return to North America in that time frame, VW is not completely ruling it out. According to Browning, the large luxury sedan segment is something that VW will eventually field an entry in once again ("It is not a case of if, but when") – but at the moment, it sounds like the return of the Phaeton is likely to be couple of generations away.




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  • 33 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Guess that's why all the execs here in the northern Va area drive Audi's.
      • 3 Years Ago
      A shame, but probably for the best. Although the Phaeton was criminally under-rated when it was launched (despite many people being happy to pay double for added turbo, wood and cow), VW has spent less on keeping it updated than it did on entertaining union board representatives. Despite the facelift the basic platform is now 9 years old and it's no longer competitive with cars such as the new A8 in terms of performance and efficiency. To try and launch the 2011 model in the US would just be asking for a second hiding.
      • 3 Years Ago
      VW's new North American entries are all down market, cheaper designs, cheaper engineering, cheaper materials and lower price points. A deluxe up-market car runs opposite that strategy.
        • 3 Years Ago
        You think? Have you seen the pricing on the Tiguan and Toureg 3? Don't get me wrong, they are super nice vehicles, but cheap and down-graded they are not...
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good, maybe they should stop thinking about new models and get the ones they currently have right. Like changing the design of the new passat and jetta. Both with "don't look at me" styling. BORING!
      • 3 Years Ago
      If I could have any auto, it would be this...period
      • 3 Years Ago
      It was a great car. Unfortunately people buying luxury cars want a luxury badge like Audi,Mercedes etc.
      • 3 Years Ago
      At the rate VW is going, its going to look about 20% bigger than the jetta...
      • 3 Years Ago
      Seeing as how the new Jetta and Passat have been aiming down market this doesn't seem like it would fit very well in to VW's NA current plans.
      • 3 Years Ago

      I always liked the car. It has a distinctive design.

      But why they ever thought it could sell through VW dealers is a bit perplexing. Why not just start up a dealer network - a Phaeton dealer network seperate from VW. Whenever I see VW news that affects the USA, I usually see various executive names, but hardly ever a mention of good ol' Ferdinand Piech, the architect of the Phaeton.

      It's been written that he pretty much gets what he wants, and is a brilliant engineer; he knows atuomobiles, of that there is no doubt. But for the life of me, I can't get my head around how VW is thinking. I'm just guessing that Piech is more involved behind the scenes with VW's USA plan than meets the eye.

      Either way, after years of coming up with dead concept cars that people wanted, then instead coming up with bland, USA designs for main-stream products, the Phaeton stands out as what VW can do and does do everywhere but here. What would have happened if they delivered a new Microbus first? Instead of a decontented Jetta or Passat? Isn't it smarter to deliver what people have wanted for years to get people to come back to the marque?

      I'll say it again, it's like they believe in their own arrogance, they want to know what will bring customers into their showrooms; they know already because we've been blabbing about it, and telling dealers for years. But then they look at you, and say, okay, that's great, now what do want from VW?

      How can they not get it?
        • 3 Years Ago
        They want to establish the VW brand below Audi in the USA. A new Phaeton getting after the same clientele as Audi could be counterproductive in this regard. They got Skoda as additional brand below VW in Europe.
        If they want to, they can probably set up a new Phaeton on an A8 platform in very short order.
      • 3 Years Ago
      We'll get the next gen US only version for $50k. Drum brakes, 2.5 liter engine, 6 inches longer, 5 speed auto, hard plastic interior, made in Tennessee to suit American tastes. The exterior will be updated to look like a stretched Passat.

      I can't wait.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Don't forget about cloth seats and 10 cupholders, each large enough to accomodate a 64 ounce Big Gulp.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Their plan to sell 800000 vehicles consists of limiting our choices? Oh well, at least we still have the Routan haha.
        • 3 Years Ago
        It's obvious that since the original Phaeton was a Volt like failure they don't want to repeat that mistake.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm still infatuated with this car. Thee's a navy blue W12 in town with the 4 bucket seat interior option, and it's an incredible looking car. I'd absolutely love to have one. I dig the understated appearance and the amazing build quality.
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