Volkswagen has discontinued the slow-selling Phaeton full-size sedan from the UK market.
Many will be surprised to hear that Volkswagen was still selling the Phaeton in United Kingdom, a model which came out back in 2002 and received a couple of facelifts in 2007 and 2010. It's no longer available as the outdated model had an engine lineup which didn't meet the upcoming Euro 6 emissions regulations.
Volkswagen invested no less than $1 billion in developing the Phaeton but they never really managed to achieve the annual sales target of 20,000 units. At the beginning of the year Bernstein analyst Max Warburton said VW lost €28,000 for each car sold in the 2002 - 2012 interval.
The Phaeton doesn't really make sense in Volkswagen's lineup but the model is still available in some markets and it's even getting a second generation before the end of the decade. We've been hearing some interesting rumors about the successor, like that it's going to be more comfortable than a Mercedes-Benz S-Class and that it will come with semi-autonomous driving technology.
It could be even bigger than the current model but should shave off some serious weight by adopting an all-aluminum body. Volkswagen development chief Heinz-Jakob Neusser previously said the new Phaeton is going to be a "class leading" vehicle as well as "very smooth and luxurious" while a German report from January 2015 stated Volkswagen wants to make it the most comfortable car in its segment.
The second generation Volkswagen Phaeton will likely be unveiled in the second half 2017 for Europe and Asia, but U.S. customers will have to wait until 2018 or 2019.