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Originally Posted by MotorAuthority
Rumors of the Volkswagen Phaeton's return to the U.S. have been brewing, off and on, for almost two years. Now, the return looks more likely than ever, with VW's American CEO Stefan Jacoby saying it's time for a comeback for the big sedan.
When Volkswagen's flagship Phaeton was last sold in the U.S., it was almost universally overlooked, selling just 3,354 total cars in its brief 2003-2006 stint in the American market. Nevertheless, Jacoby today told Automotive News that "it was a mistake to take this car out of the market."
Jacoby thinks the VW brand is the right place for the Phaeton, and that focusing on a diesel Phaeton as a high-tech, efficiency-driven flagship may work best.
VW has previously admitted that the Phaeton was generally unsuccessful due to a number of shortcomings, including problems with initial quality and blasť styling. It is convinced it has learned the lessons from that failure and is ready to try again, however.
The problems with the Phaeton were largely addressed in the newly facelifted 2009 global model, which saw the inclusion of a direct-injection gasoline V-6 engine rated at 276 horsepower, offering enough power without the overkill of the $100,000 W-12 flagship or even the full-luxury pricing of the $70,000 entry-level models.
Instead, the next Phaeton, tipped as a 2011 model-year car, is likely to start closer to $55,000 and will be positioned largely below the Audi A8, its corporate cousin.
"He is not gay, he's married"
"Oh please! Its right up there with 'He's not gay, he is in a fraternity'"
They should also consider a Re-Failure of this vehicle. They already sell the A8 in the US (which the Phaeton is quite similar to), and it's so much better than the Phaeton in every possible way. The Phaeton, under the VW brand, would be like Lexus selling the LS under the Toyota brand - it just wouldn't have the panage that a car north of $40K should.
The Phaeton was too bloated, heavy (I remember nearly 3 tons), and thirsty (with the W12 as the only US option) to make sense. Especially when you can buy its better sibling, the A8 (which, mind you, doesn't sell quite as well as the S class or 7 series in the US). Granted the A8 and Phaeton may not share a lot (I'm not sure of this, just guessing), many people perceive Audi and VW to be from the same family (and they are), so marketing a lesser brand in the same price range as the other just doesn't make a lot of sense.
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