VW defends its leap into luxury; Phaeton's goal to expand buyer base

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Sep 22, 2003.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,732
    Likes Received:
    1,596
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    [​IMG]

    By RALPH KISIEL | Automotive News
    (08:20 Sep. 22, 2003)

    DRESDEN, Germany -- Volkswagen of America Inc. will begin selling the 2004 Volkswagen Phaeton luxury sedan in December in what has been one of its most bizarre car introductions.

    VW would like to focus on marketing the Phaeton, and a campaign is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2004 when enough cars get to dealership showrooms. Instead, VW officials here and in the United States often find themselves defending their decision with dealers and the press to build a premium sedan with a VW badge. "The Volkswagen label is not wrong on this car," said Jens Neumann, who sits on the Volkswagen AG board of management and is in charge of North American product strategy, during a press introduction of the car here.

    With the Phaeton, VW is breaking ground in the United States with its first luxury car designed to take on the likes of the BMW 7 series, Mercedes-Benz S class and other luxury vehicles. Two hundred of VW's 607 American dealers will get Phaeton models. VW of America is wrangling over the U.S. sticker price with parent company Volkswagen AG, and is cautious when talking about volume expectations. VW of America expects to sell between 4,000 and 5,000 Phaetons annually - eventually. But in light of the Phaeton's poor European sales since its 2002 introduction, VW is being deliberately murky on its short-term expectations for the U.S. market.

    The Phaeton was introduced in Europe with V-6 and W12 gasoline-powered engines and a short wheelbase, and VW says it learned from that experience. In the United States, it says, a V-8 is critical. "The lesson learned is that you don't launch with six cylinders and 12 cylinders, where you get nothing, or more than you want," says Frank Maguire, vice president of sales and marketing at VWoA. "We said that we won't take the car unless it's long wheelbase with a V-8. We could never sell a luxury car in the United States without an eight-cylinder engine."

    Through July, VW has sold a disappointing 2,574 Phaetons this year. The automaker had expected annual global volume to be as high as 15,000 units. VW is banking on its Touareg SUV to pave the way for the Phaeton in the United States. "I'm glad the Touareg was launched in the States before the Phaeton," Neumann said. "That gives people time to get used to the idea that Volkswagen has the technology and knowledge to build a luxury vehicle."

    VW has begun assembling the U.S. version of the Phaeton in its factory here. The U.S. model will be equipped with a 4.2-liter V-8 that generates 335 hp, or a 6.0-liter W12 that makes 420 hp. The United States will get the Phaeton with a long wheelbase, which was unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show this month. The longer wheelbase provides more room for rear-seat passengers.

    In Germany, VW has priced the V-8 powered Phaeton at 73,350 euros, or about $82,500. "The challenge is not the product," Maguire says. "It will stand up to anything out there. The challenge is: Will people buy a luxury Volkswagen?"

    VW's American dealers would like to see the Phaeton with the V-8 priced below $60,000, so dealers can undercut competitors, says Gene Langan, chairman of the VW National Dealer Council. "I think if that car comes in priced right, we have a good opportunity to sell this car," Langan says. "Especially with the response we've had with the fully loaded $50,000 Touareg. We've done very well with that. We've had BMW, Mercedes, Volvo and Lexus customers come in and buy that vehicle and not bat an eye at the price."

    Fifteen percent of VW customers leave for a luxury brand. So VW will focus its marketing efforts on retaining customers who are in the market for a luxury sedan, and on those it calls "nonconformist buyers" and "transcendent drivers" - buyers who look beyond a vehicle's badge.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Chris87

    Chris87 flatoutperformance.com

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    12,200
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB
    Does not make sense to me.


    /vw fan
     
  3. xxpanipuri

    xxpanipuri Gideeyup Motherfuckers....

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2000
    Messages:
    5,731
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    i like them and if i were in the market for that size car i'd probably consider it..
     
  4. sanjay

    sanjay New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2002
    Messages:
    5,666
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto/Philadelphia
    i dunno why they don't make it into an audi

    :dunno:
     
  5. mrautoxer

    mrautoxer Guest

    vw....luxury :confused:
     
  6. anjego

    anjego Invading your economy!

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2002
    Messages:
    33,270
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago
    i'll take two
     
  7. Rev. Johnny Vegas

    Rev. Johnny Vegas Rectal Ventriloquist

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2001
    Messages:
    66,620
    Likes Received:
    139
    Location:
    250 miles north of home
    They did. Its called the A8L.
     
  8. jinushaun

    jinushaun New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    60,739
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA, USA
    $60k is still too expensive! :rofl:

    They had no V8?! :rofl: :ugh: 6 -> 12 :uh:
     
  9. sanjay

    sanjay New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2002
    Messages:
    5,666
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto/Philadelphia
    the audi is priced exactly the same as the vw tho

    :hs:
     
  10. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,732
    Likes Received:
    1,596
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    To VW's credit, it looks and sounds like a very nice car.

    I think the price will make or break it more than anything else.
     
  11. jinushaun

    jinushaun New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    60,739
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA, USA
    Great car, but price and VW badge = :ugh:
     
  12. joy division

    joy division New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Messages:
    16,419
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    hollywood, LAids
    It is an AMAZING car, however it has NO market here and people who have 80+k to spend on a luxury car won't buy a fucking VW. Sorry :(
     
  13. Hoser

    Hoser Good day to be lifting these huge triangular weigh

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2002
    Messages:
    2,054
    Likes Received:
    0
    it might just surprise you...the Toureg is definetly a higher class vehicle then any other VW sold in NA recently and it is selling pretty well. What's to say a luxury Sedan won't be the same? If the quality is what they say it is, there will always be those who purchase it for the actual car and it's benifits rather then the logo on the front grill
     
  14. Girth

    Girth ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Messages:
    71,406
    Likes Received:
    107
    Location:
    Houston
    Thats a damn good looking car... VW should get credit for trying to get away from "the company that made the beetle" name. The Toureg is :cool: and this car is amazing. :eek3:
     
  15. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,732
    Likes Received:
    1,596
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    Mexico. :o










































    Just kidding. :fawk:
     

Share This Page