Despite the Volkswagen Phaeton suffering poor sales and losing money, Volkswagen is committed to the idea and wants to build another generation of the luxury sedan. It could cost the company an estimated $737 million to do it, while already having the Audi A8 to fill a similar role.
Volkswagen of America honcho Michael Horn has already promised to bring the slow-selling but excellent Phaeton back to the United States in 2018 or 2019. Beyond the confirmation of the nameplate, though, there's really very little in the way of concrete data on what the next generation of VW's range-topping sedan will look like, be powered by or cost.
Volkswagen knows that its US operations need some help, so it installed Michael Horn as CEO of its American operations a few months ago. In a new interview with Bloomberg, Horn goes into detail about his two-pronged focus for the company – making dealers happier and improving product.
Since its ignominious departure from the US car market in 2006, there have been any number of on-again/off-again rumors about the Volkswagen Phaeton returning to our shores. With that said, VW's aggressive goals in terms of worldwide sales dominance would seem to countenance all manner of new product; taking a second stab at a halo-luxury car for the US, included.
Whatever Volkswagen has done to get to the position of dominance in the European – and indeed the global auto industry, it's clearly been working. But some of its decisions still leave us scratching our heads. The Phaeton is one such four-wheeled decision.
The Volkswagen Group had a whole lot and then more to show off at the Frankfurt Motor Show this year. There were about a dozen vehicles rolled out at the pre-show VW Group evening, and then more once the show opened the following morning. For the Volkswagen brand itself, the new production Up! was the main focus, sharing the stage with the Nils concept, the Beetle R showcar and the Polo rally car. But there was, according to the UK's CAR magazine, to be one more major debut.