Despite previous abyssmal sales of the saloon in North America, VW plans to bring the Volkswagen Phaeton back to the United States. Only 2,253 units of the luxury level car sold in the States from 2004-2006, leading to Volkswagen's failed annual sales target of 20,000 units globally.
Selling $85,000 cars to Americans may encounter strong resistance as the original U.S. offering substantially depreciated. Used models typically range in price from $25,000 to $35,000.
Still, it is Volkswagen's goal to triple their share in the United States by 2018. "We have our eyes firmly set on the U.S. market," said VW Dresden factory director Juergen Borrman in an interview with Bloomberg. Borrman, who oversees assembly of the Phaeton, said the U.S.-spec Phaeton will get a complete overhaul.
A facelifted version of the car is already on sale in parts of Europe. Changes include a higher quality interior, and a renewed front and rear. The U.S. car could also get new engine choices, as it will coincide with the launch of the second generation of the car.
The current Phaeton has been on sale since 2002. It is currently sold with four petrol engine choices, including two versions of the 6.0-liter W12, and two diesel models. The car's horsepower output ranges from 221 to 444 hp (165 to 331 kW).
The question still remains, if the Phaeton sold so poorly in the U.S. before the economic crash, why try again now?