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Volkswagen Axes Phaeton; Promises Successor For 2019

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On: Mon, Dec 21, 2015 at 11:02AM | By: Carl Malek

Volkswagen Axes Phaeton; Promises Successor For 2019

In a move that many in the industry saw coming following the announced closure of the Phaeton's state-of-the-art plant in Dresden, Germany, Volkswagen insiders have revealed that the Phaeton itself has been axed. It's a move that will not only save Volkswagen money, it will also leave room for an all-new successor that would make its appearance in 2019.

The current generation Volkswagen Phaeton has had a rough go of it ever since it was introduced, with Volkswagen of America dropping the model in 2006 after slow sales and a poorly executed marketing campaign doomed the model to failure in the hotly contested U.S. luxury car market. The sedan was still sold in the Chinese market, as well as its home European market where it costs more than its similarly equipped cousin the Audi A8. Sales in both of these markets have been flat lining, and the Dresden plant itself churns out only eight cars per day. This figure is very modest in comparison to some of Volkswagen's other models, and, with dieselgate and its looming financial toll on the horizon, an unnecessary drain on Volkswagen's financial resources. After the plant finishes work on the final Phaeton, it will shut down for roughly a year; that time will be spent on completely remodeling the plant. According to separate reports published by Automotive News, the newly renovated plant will be home to a new model once it opens, but it is currently unknown exactlywhat model will be built when the dust clears.

A prime candidate could be the all-new version of the Phateon that the company is reportedly working on. Unlike the current generation Phaeton, the new model (which may or may not retain the Phaeton nameplate) would offer an all-electric drive train, and share some of its platform with the production version of the Audi e-tron quattro concept. It could also take a second crack at the U.S. market, though Volkswagen would have to invest more in marketing, as well as learn from the mistakes made with the original Phaeton to help it stand out from rivals. If it can succeed in doing that, it would fill a noticeable void in Volkswagen's U.S. lineup with the flagship sedan position currently held by the Passat mid-size sedan.


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