The Phaeton Returns to the US to Boost VW Sales image

The VW considers bringing back the Phaeton luxury sedan in the US, a solution to boost sales in one of the few markets it has not been able to crack.

The Phaeton luxury sedan, which is VW’s most expensive model, is expected to be unveiled to the US customer in January as the German automaker prepares the model’s return after it was discontinued 7 years ago due to low sales. By reintroducing the Phaeton, VW plans to show off its engineering bravery, as the rise from the mainstream Passat sedan begins to fade.

“A brand as large as Volkswagen needs a halo project in the upscale segment,” said CEO Martin Winterkorn, confirming that the Phaeton will return to U.S. showrooms. “We’ve seen what happens to brands that don’t have that kind of project.”

In 2012 the Phaeton sold about half the global volume the automaker had targeted. The return of the model in the US is part of VW’s plan to invest $5 billion in the following three years to introduce new models and increase sales in the US market, where deliveries have begun to drop after a 2-year burst due to the Passat and Jetta sedans, redesigned to fit the tastes of the American customers.

The redesigned Phaeton might be unveiled at the Detroit auto show in January, to test the reaction regarding a possible rollout. The model will have the same underpinnings as the Audi A8 sedan, but the automaker also plans a hybrid version, according to anonymous sources.

Source: Bloomberg