Instead of producing the Phaeton to compete with the 7-Series and S-Class in Europe, Volkswagen will modify the next generation of the car to the US and China markets. Since the Phaeton's launch in 2002, it has only sold a few units.
The Phaeton has just been facelifted and fitted with several internet connectivity features initially seen on the latest Audi A8, which it directly competes with. VW has plans to give the next Phaeton a new platform.
Insiders divulged that its styling and mechanical components will be steered towards the US (where sales of the Phaeton concluded in 2009) and China (where VW predicts to sell 3,000 of the current model this year).
The insider said that it's definite that the Phaeton will have to return to the US. He also revealed that this is reflected in the next version and he wants us to expect that this will "look much more like a car for America."
What this means is that there will be a small increase in size and it will have a more grandiose styling than the current car's ultra-conservative look. VW is looking at several options for the underpinnings of this car.
It's likely that the source will be the extended version of the Audi A6 that's currently being sold in China. However, this insider said that it's still possible that the A8's aluminum platform will be used.