Volkswagen announces that it will cut investment next year by eight percent, or one billion euros, while it shepherds cash to pay for the diesel emissions issue.
Volkswagen Phaeton News
Volkswagen is announcing a big push towards electrification in the future, and headlining the new models is a next-gen EV Phaeton.
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.
In the 1930s, if you had the means, you could have custom coachbuilder Fleetwood fabricate a one-of-a-kind Cadillac just the way you like it. Well-heeled customers would peruse a build book to pick and choose the accoutrements they most liked. About 15 months later, their custom-bodied Cadillac would be delivered for their enjoyment.
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.
2011 Volkswagen Phaeton – Click above for high-res gallery
Ferdinand Karl Piëch, head of the Volkswagen Supervisory Board and grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, knows that nothing lasts forever – especially, life. The VW boss man has his mind on his money while his family has his money on their minds.
2011 Volkswagen Phaeton – Click above for high-res image gallery
2011 Hyundai Equus – Click above for high-res image gallery