Volkswagen Phaeton to return to the United States

Article by Anita Panait, on July 18, 2013

Volkswagen AG is planning to reintroduce the Phaeton to the United States, seven years after pulling out the luxury sedan from the country. VW had to pull out the Phaeton, its most expensive model, from the US due to weak. However, VW has been unable to crack the upscale segment in the US, and the Phaeton seems like an ideal candidate to do so.

VW may show the Phaeton U.S. consumers at the Detroit auto show in January 2014 in preparation for its eventual return. Phaenton’s US comeback would complement the rollout of the carmaker’s new SUVs as VW is planning to use the luxury sedan to show off its engineering prowess.

VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn confirmed to Bloomberg at a conference in Wolfsburg, Germany, this month the return of the Phaeton to the US. He remarked that a brand as large as VW needs a halo project in the upscale segment. “We've seen what happens to brands that don't have that kind of project," he told Bloomberg.

The US return of the Phaeton, a pet project of VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech, is part of the carmaker’s plan to invest $5 billion over the next three years to roll out new models and increase sales in the country.

VW wants to reignite sales in the US, where deliveries have began to decline following a two-year boom that was ignited by the redesigned Passat and Jetta sedans in 2011.

VW showed at the 2013 Detroit auto show its seven-seat Crossblue concept SUV, which is intended to be a big seller alongside the Passat. Winterkorn told dealers in a meeting last week that VW needs to and will "take initiative" in that crucial U.S. segment.

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