The Phaeton Fiasco

PhaetonI’m not a car expert, not even a marketing guru, but even I saw the disaster in the making.  A few years ago at the San Francisco Auto Show I loved the new VW Phaeton.  Too bad it will fail, I thought.  It was really obvious this car would not sell, at least not in the US.  

The car is perfect. In fact it’s a technological marvel full of luxuries.  It only has one problem:  the wrong badge. Volkswagen happens to mean “people’s car”, but that’s beyond the point. What matters is that VW’s are perceived as good middle-class cars, not more.  At $80K people buy luxury cars, not just in terms of performance, but image, too.  What were VW thinking ,when they have their own upscale brand, Audi?   This car is clearly an Audi, mistakenly labeled Volkswagen.

There is a reason why Honda created Acura, Toyota created Lexus … but I guess VW slept through that class in Marketing.

Paul Kedrosky has more, including a sales chart.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


  1. $250K Buys a lot of Fahrvergn


  1. […] a decade ago I labeled the Volkswagen Phaeton a fiasco.  A great car coupled with a marketing disaster: The car is perfect. In fact it’s a […]

%d bloggers like this: