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High End Luxury Cars



  • This forum certainly has died down...

    Anyone have Phaeton sales figures? Is it doing as bad as predicted?
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Phaeton sales are up a whopping 4,595% thru July of this year as opposed to last for a total of 939 sales thru Jul-04 and 90 in Jul-04.

    here's the link to press release:,+02:01+PM
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    90 Phaetons sold last month.

    I like the Phaeton and think it's a very good car inside and out, but the name "VW" just doesn't have the cache among upper echelon buyers.
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    And the trunk is too small for such a large luxury sedan.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    I think the problem with the Phaeton is not necessarily the VW badge. The success of the Touareg shows people are willing to spend decent dough (look the the V10's price tag) for a legitmate offering.

    The problem with the Phaeton is that it is *boring* - a plain vanilla luxury sedan that is porkier than all rivals and features ultra conservative design along with the VW badge. Not special enough. They should have done something a bit more daring - like an ultra-luxury wagon or 2-door with hatchback or so. They would sell just as many, and yet it would embed the VW brand image with some "specialness".

    The problem with the Phaeton is not the badge, in my opinion. It's the car - it's going against better cars, loses the battle fair and swquare, and that is that.
  • motownusamotownusa Posts: 836
    Does anybody think the Cadillac XLR will be a sales dud? What were they thinking. People are not going to spend 75G's on a Caddy. Haven't they learned their lesson from the Allante.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    I think it is mainly the badge/brand reputation. I'm not saying that it's necessarily a better car than the S, 7, or LS, but I bet that if the exact same car wore a star, checkered flag, or L, it would sell much more than 90.

    VW sells very few V10 Touaregs, relative to V6 and V8 Touaregs. Also, as SUVs go, the Touareg isn't that different in price from other non-luxury makes. The 4-runner and Armada are up their in price as well, and neither wear a luxury badge.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    I do not think Touareg shoppers even consider 4runners, and I don't even know what an Armada is, which comes to show. The Touareg competes against the boutique soccer mom SUV brands, and does well, showing that VW *can* compete brand wise.

    The Phaeton is known as overweight and as an incompetent handler. The only thinbg going for it is the interior finish, and rationally that ain't going to cut it against the established opposition in its niche. Wrong marketing strategy.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    You misunderstood my post. It has nothing to do with whether Touareg shoppers cross shop 4runners and Armadas.

    You said:
    "The success of the Touareg shows people are willing to spend decent dough (look the the V10's price tag) for a legitmate offering."

    The Touareg is essentially a $40,000 SUV. There are many $40,000 non-luxury name plate SUVs that sell well, such as the 4runner and the Armada. For whatever reason people are more willing to spend $40k for a non-luxury name plate SUV.

    On the other hand, a $70k sedan from a non-luxury name is a different story. I don't know how it works in Europe, but in the status-minded US, a $70k VW sedan is doomed from the start, unless it is head and shoulders better than the competition, which it is not.

    The LS430 is not exactly a well handling car, yet it sells like hotcakes.

    There is a reason why Toyota created the Lexus nameplate in the US instead of selling Celsiors (LS) and Aristos (GS) as Toyotas, like they did in Japan until very recently.
  • hjcanterhjcanter Posts: 31
    How can that trunk be so small, compared to the Audi? 4 cubic feet less storage space!
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    I wonder how many of you who are so quick to label the LS430 as not a well-handling car have ever driven one recently?
  • livinbmwlivinbmw Posts: 120
    Yeah, I've driven LS430 both recently and frequently ......... naturally, BMW sets the standard for performance and road manners and the Lexus has other strengths.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    The key is that no one is questioning the existence of the V10 Touareg - it does not sell like the 6 and 8cyls, but it sells better than VW expected and has been widely labelled as "desirable". So VW can sell an expensive car. The Phaeton doesn't sell because it is not good enough to compete against the other established cars - as a newcomer to a market segment you need a new and easily discernible value proposition. The Phaeton does not have it. It is a very basic product strategy flaw.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
      I don't see the "Need" for the Phaeton..Doesn't VW have Audi for that expressed purpose? I think Toyota was smart enough to segregate their product lines along Scion, Toyota, and Lexus. Each of these lines have distinct qualities. For historical note, the LS was made for the US market and released later in Japan. In some ways, it's always been the "real" Lexus and not a rebadged Toyota.

      I'll agree with you that BMW sets the bar in performance sedans. What we Lexus fans often complain about is the other posters tendancy to label a LS430 as a car with Barge like handling. The LS430 never gunned for the BMW customer, I think that's what Infinti is trying to do.

    I'm posting from London at the moment..Can anyone explain why Mercedes would build an A Class?? Wasn't Chrysler supposed to cover the sub $30K bracket for them? I cringe everytime one passes me. I also have seen 1 LS430 in my whole time here. You can compare that to about 50 BMW and MB's. Lexus really needs to work on their European market share.

  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    I'd be shocked if the V10 Touareg sold in any significant numbers.

    I think the biggest factor in the sluggishness of Phaeton sales is the fact that its a VW.

    I guess we'll just have to disagree.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    ALL of Japan needs to work on its European market share, not just Lexus. Toyota may be putting the hurt on Ford and GM here, but not in Europe. I think part of the reason is the type of cars that Europeans drive. Obviously BMW, Mercedes, VW, Peugot/Citroen, Renault, Opel\Vauxhall do very well, its their backyard, and they know their customers. Japanese cars have traditionally been softly sprung and more suited for American tastes rather than European, and they are only just recently learning how to make proper sports cars, aside from S2000, NSX, and GT-R that is.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    On the Touareg V10, you are wrong in your perception, it is a success. No doubts there.

    On the VW label being the cause for the Phaeton's lack of success we can certainly agree to disagree, since the only sure thing is that it is not successful anywhere, and the reasons are not easy to prove or disprove.
  • The last post I see is #6636 from Pablo on August 7th at 10:55pm. Is it possible that there have not been any subsequent posts?? Or is Pat doing a little house cleaning?
  • Not much action in the last few days.

    Anyone want to talk about ALLANTE'S
  • hjcanterhjcanter Posts: 31
    I do not want to talk about Allante's, but has anyone heard about the new Audi S8 (2005.5 or 2006)?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    and since your post is #6637, you can see that no posts have been deleted between pablo's and yours! :)
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Someone was telling me that Audi now plans to coke out with a luxury sports "wagon" version of the A8 that looks like the sporty Avant of old, that is, with a slanted rear window as opposed to the vertical one all wagons go for these days. If so, I think it's smart and stylish differentiation. The newest incarnation of the A8 -ther than the Phaeton- is the only lux sedan I haven't driven or been driven around in.

    Incidentally, since I work in a location that's somewhat off the beaten path in Silicon Valley and am on track to put over 25k miles on my car and motorcycle this year, it seems I am about to get a generous allowance for leasing a car (our CEO obviously has the same problem :-), and that in turn means I might consider one of these or one notch below these sedans towards the end of the year. Or I might just pocket in the allowance and go on as usual until the wheels fall off my current car(s). :-) I wonder what leasing deals one can get on a Phaeton - VW must be pretty desperate to move a few, I'd think, and the fact I haven't seen a single one driving around actually is appealing: counter chic and understatement is still very "in" in Silicon Valley, and the Phaeton might actually be a great car for that. Odd there's not more of them around.
  • I saw a Phaeton about a week ago driving the opposite direction on Highway 1, near Pismo. It was beige and looked like an over-weight Passat. And there's nothing wrong with looking like an over-weight Passat IMO. That's the only one I've seen so far...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Nothing wrong with the phaeton. Good looking car and if you get a good reliable one you'll probably get the best value car around in the segment. I've seen them as low as 749 loaded up at $72-73K, zero down, 12k miles per annum. VW has to subsidize it because it's not selling.

    I will tell though you that I spent a lot of time behind the wheel of an A8 this week on a trip down south and couldn't wait to get back into my LS430. I used the dynamic suspension setting which was the besr ride the car offered but it just lacks the luxury ride I'm used to. The MMI was a disaster. It goes on and off, reboots itself, freezes the radio and is very distracting to use while driving. And this is supposed to be far superior to I-drive? Audi and BMW are nuts with this needless stuff and my bet is audi is having a lot of problems with this technology. The audi dealer certainly hinted at that. I didn't like the nav at all and the female voice orders you around rather than speaks nicely to you. She also has limited patience. I'd divorce her in a secomd. One thing great on the Audi though is the ability to access a built-in phone tied in with On-star. As well the interior materials are very high quality. But it's not a car I have any desire to own or lease. Nevertheless it's the best looking car in the segment.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    I agree on the whole gimmickry computer interface thing. I wonder who on earth made BMW or Audi believe they could put better interfaces together than, say, Apple or other companies that spend a lot of money researching how to make information accessible to humans. My wife is buying a new SUV as we speak (I am somewhat nervous because as far as I know she might have already picked something by the time I get home, I am writing this from the airport waiting for a delayed plane. FWIW, she seems to want to stay loyal to MB and get an ML350 as of our last conversation), and last weekend she took me to sit in a few and play "bad cop" in the dealerships, and even there the user interfaces are abominable. Good old fashioned knobs are so much better.

    I had heard the Audi wasn't the smoothest rider, but of course on German highways it's got the reputation for being the most planted high-speed cruiser. Cross-country driving at 135mph is probably not a top ranking buying consideration in the US...

    Thanks for the info on the Phaeton!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Did she ever look at the Pacifica. It didn't sell big but I always liked it and never heard anything bad about it. The Lexus SUV's are far superior to the ML. I get the RX as a loaner and it is a great ride with real luxury and built a lot better than the ML. Should take a look there. A friend took the X5 last year and while it has a harsher ride he's had nothing but excellent reliability with it. But overall CR gave it poor reliability. I'd look at that if German is the preference. Also the Tourag - how can i forget it - it's a looker and I've not heard anything bad there.
  • designodesigno Posts: 14
    Wow. Have any of you seen the recent spy pics of the 2006 S-Class? It's looks AMAZING! The rear looks like a even sleeker version of the Maybach. It will easily become the most beautiful car, having the sleek styling of the CLS, and the classic elegance of the Maybach. Great job so far, MB!!!!!

    Can't wait to get my hands on one. Planning on going to the dealership this weekend to put a deposit on one!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Why don't you post a link to a picture. The ones shown on here a while back didn't excite anyone and many thought the current car is better looking. Maybe what you are seeing is more representative of the true style or maybe its just difference of perception on the style already posted.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Funny you mention the RX. We did stop by the Lexus dealer after I got back on our way to dinner, and I discovered R-r (my nickname for her, no sure if its a grumbling Rottweiler's or a purring cat's sound, it varies) is not as brand loyal as I thought. And I have to say, not having been inside the new RX330, that the interior blew me away. It's leagues ahead of anything in its segment, the only possible exception being the Touareg, but the styles are different. It seems RX330 and Touareg are the final contenders, and she's going to test drive them (and also the ML350 and the BMW X3, which she likes more than the X5). I sense we might get a Lexus in the near term, that interior seemed to put it in the lead.

    Amd thanks for the Pacifica suggestion - we hadn't thought about it, but upon a quick lookup in Edmunds it certainly deserves to be looked at! She's got a hard $35k (+ trade in) spending limit if we stick by our premise of buying cars cash, which I think needs to be revised given the fact she obviusly would like to drive a new car every 3 years without many hassles. Of cours ethe numbers look great on a lease when you bring a trade-in into the picture, but I am reminding her she needs to think about the next one since she'll have no equity build into it, and either she saves some out of her budget (i.e. not "invest" it into shoes and jewelery) or she'll be driving a Civic 3 years down the line. :-)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Good luck. Let us know what you do.
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