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Volkswagen Phaeton



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    sam818sam818 Member Posts: 127
    Having read that the Phaeton has been such a dismal sales disappointment in Europe (sold only 55% of estimates for 2003), I am suprised to see that there is little talk of discounts here. Can it be that this market is different, or that the initial sales have been primed by dealers who are giving the "impression" that the car is in high demand?
    What kind of prices have been quoted, and what lease deals are there from VW?
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    sam818sam818 Member Posts: 127
    From the WSJ:
    But the company got a shock when only 3,009 Phaetons , a quarter of projected sales, moved off lots by the end of the year
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    bit of light on this situation...

    338 W12s were distributed to ~200 Dealers right before Thanksgiving...And 200 No Option V8s...

    First sales are, by design, to friends of the Dealer Principal or General Manager...word of mouth...

    The only ads that have been the teaser ad on "24"
    on Fox...and print in "The New Yorker"...I am a subscriber that is the only reason that I know that...

    First real campaign begins this month...

    W12s are not replaceable due to exchange rates between the Euro & the USD.

    There are a couple hundred V8s available to Dealers at the Port of Houston to allow for Drive Experience units...The basic Silver V8s
    are to be used as Service Loaners...

    It is certainly a bit early in the game to call this automobile distress merchandise, particularly in light of the fact December is always a week month except for what Mfgs. & Dealers are looking to get rid of...

    My personal call...The Phaeton will be a word of mouth product for at least two quarters, maybe more. First of all, it will always be a niche vehicle...It is big, it is exquisite, and it puts a smile on the face everytime the key is turned, and only a select group will occupy the Driver's Seat...Those individuals will love VW, and always have, or they cannot stand the perceived affectation of other badges...or both.
    Nor, is it for the faint of heart, or those that are concerned with what the neighbors say...For them the Lexus is the safe bet.
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    docrogerdocroger Member Posts: 29
    As an early Phaeton owner, I think that VW will have to decide if they want to move vehicle volume or not. I saved roughly $8000 versus a comparable A8L and that was enough to make me forego the four rings on my grille and a slightly lighter vehicle. Had the pricing been equivalent, I might have gone with the Audi as I have a TT already and previously owned an A6 and have been happy with both.

    Clearly, I'm enjoying the "big fish in a small pond" treatment from VW; the example is the pick up and delivery for service at my home--"you'll never have to come into our service department." Audi would not offer this.

    I'm really enjoying the car; it's fun to drive and feels as peppy as my TT (!). The reviewers have commented about the complexity of the electronics; trust me, within a week of ownership, everything is second nature and is really quite intuitively designed! And, the vehicle is superb in the snow, perhaps because of its mass.....
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    merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I've actually had the chance to see one of these out on the road, it's another classic conservative, but very good-looking car from the VW/Audi school of design. The people were generally stunned to see such a "big VW". Just looking at the "build your own" section at VW.com, there are so many colors to play with, should be interesting to see these on the road as more Phaetons are sold.

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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    That has been my experience as well...This automobile just gets better everyday...And with your wrist on the shifter all of the "Direct Access" for AC, NAV, Maps, Climate, Audio, etc. are right there...
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    rsr742002rsr742002 Member Posts: 64
    I am sorry but I disagree. Your thinking is wishful thinking.

    <<Those individuals will love VW, and always have, or they cannot stand the perceived affectation of other badges...or both.>>

    Nonsense. The love of VW's will not command $70K.

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    markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    My wife and I have owned, by her count as of our next two cars ~ 30 Audis, 3 VW's 1 BMW, 4 Chrysler Products and an AMC Eagle (pre quattro, quattro).

    We may not spend $70K ONLY out of loyalty and affection for "the brand" -- but the "brand" does command loyalty and may push someone who found him/herself at the top of the VW food chain (and wanting a step or three up) staying with the brand rather than jumping to a Lexus or Audi or Volvo or something else.

    The GM philosophy/theory -- that still seems mostly sound even today -- is: create a line of cars that will allow the customers' to stay within the fold from "cradle to grave" -- Chevy, Pontiac, Olds, Buick, Cadillac. Now, I said the concept was "mostly sound" -- please don't assume I think this idea is without flaws or that I think customers are "lifelong" customers of the brand (any brand). When I was growing up, my father was a "HUDSON HORNET" man, then when Hudson died he became a Chrysler Product (Chrysler's and Plymouths, mainly -- only 1 Dodge) man.

    I work with 30 somethings who are absolutely positively Chevy people (and will tolerate other GMC products). These folks, like my parents, did and do develop loyalties and affiliations with certain brands -- cars are very very powerful sirens in this regard.

    I am not suggesting that VWGUILD meant someone would buy a Phaeton just because it is a VW (although some will) nor am I willing to accept that someone out of loyalty to VW still will not buy a $70K car (the same thing from two different sides.)

    IF a long time VW customer is ready to "move on up" he/she now has an option to do so within the VW "family."

    I certainly would give the Phaeton a shot because IT IS a VW because of my long long long time status as an Audi/VW customer and fan. Now, note that I said Audi/VW fan and not VW/Audi fan -- at the $70K price point you can bet your bum that I will look to Audi first -- but this is, as noted, a personal pref thing. It is not a money thing, for if I want another $70K car (I had one for 30 months, a new Audi A8), I will strongly consider both Audi and VW -- in that order.
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    docrogerdocroger Member Posts: 29
    We have 3 choices for full size All Wheel Drive sedans--A8, Phaeton and S-Class 4-matic. The S-class is lots more money and dated. Yes, I looked to Audi first and really liked the A8L. None of the three Audi dealers I visited would deal. Then, I looked at the Phaeton, also really liked it from the outside but the interior really sold me; that's a personal thing, I guess. Then, talking numbers, the Phaeton really ended up being significantly less expensive than the A8L ($200 less per month in identical lease terms). There's no way that the Audi is worth $200 more per month.

    Yes, I took comfort in the Audi-derived 4.2L V8/6speed tip/Torsen AWD, especially as a current TT owner and former A6 owner.

    If VW priced the Phaeton at $60K rather than $70K I think that it would sell 10,000 units easily per year. I feel that I got a great deal on a great car and really got a lot of vehicle for my lease $$.
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    sam818sam818 Member Posts: 127
    What were your lease terms, what spec and price Phaeton do you have? Do you know how much discount you got from list?
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    rickroverrickrover Member Posts: 601
    The lease on my X5 will be up in a few months, the Phaeton is definately on my shopping list. I've been a loyal VW and BMW owner for a long time. The vast majority of my cars have been VW, which almost always have shared garage space with a BMW. BMW has been losing it's appeal to me since the latest 7 series came out and now the ugly new 5 series - Nothing BMW makes interests me in the least, in fact I've come to loath the BMW ownership experience. The X5 has been a great vehicle, very dependable, no problem there.

    The main thing about the Phaeton that appeals to me is that it's a VW and it's a no compromise high performance German luxury car in every respect. I'm looking forward to driving a German luxury vehicle without the Roundel and all that it implies.
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    docroger1docroger1 Member Posts: 3
    Here's the lease deal on my Phaeton, which is a V8 with the Comfort/Cold Weather Package and the 290W Stereo Upgrade, and normal paint (not Piano Finish):

    $1500 Down (covers all fees, etc).
    36 Month/12K Miles/Year

    I must say that the car was delivered (thus far, 800 miles) with no factory defects whatsoever, which is very impressive given the number of gizmos on the car! Contrast this to my wife's Volvo XC90 which left the dealer's lot with more problems than my '76 AMC Pacer. I'm thrilled with the Phaeton; it's really fun to drive and I'm saying that coming out of an Audi TT 225!!
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    sam818sam818 Member Posts: 127
    It would appear that VW has increased the lease rates substantially since January 1st. That $775 Phaeton payment is now quoted around $925 before any tax. I get the idea that VW is trying to give the impression that the car is in high demand. Any better quotes out there?
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    We are now dealing with January residuals...But Dealers will work with clients...the more of these on the road getting feedback like Doc's is what it will take...Word of mouth is what will move this automobile...January residual on 36 months is 60%, 63% for 30 Months and add 2% for 12,000 Miles...

    I was at the San Jose International Auto Show today and talked about the Phaeton for 5.5 hours...non-stop...That is all people wanted to talk about except the Touareg & R32...Both of which also received a great deal of attention...
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    tariktarik Member Posts: 344
    vwguild, you wrote:

    ...The Phaeton will be a word of mouth product...it will always be a niche vehicle...it is exquisite...and only a select group will occupy the Driver's Seat...Those individuals will love VW...

    The biggest smile is on my face now, after reading that. By god, you are entitled to your own views, but this statement too closely resembles a thinking that is about to bring VW to its knees in Europe - Piech's attitude.

    Though undoubtedly, his efforts at AUDI and VW have proven advantageous and trend-setting in more than one area, the overly pronounced hairsplitting over details paired with an unbelievably snotty/snobby, and detached from reality attitude, causes VW unnecessary market issues in the aftermath. Pischetsrieder has pulled the plug on more than one of Piech's so-perceived "legacies" - he's also an excellent technical visionary, but with his feet firmly planted.

    The "Gläserne Fabrik" might be an impressive marketing tool, but only if it keeps producing. German sales are in the tank, and the best case scenario I see happen to the overweight and underpowered plow is the old AUDI V-8's fate: to be a tool to prime public for another try to break into new and hostile territory - success unknown. Plus, the AUDI V-8 was merely a glorified AUDI 200 (or AUDI 5000 in the US) that didn't cost an arm and a leg to produce.

    Sure hope VW can turn it around soon...
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    sam818sam818 Member Posts: 127
    VW: trying to get a handle on your response.... Are you saying that the turn of the year (2003 to 2004) had a predictable effect on the residual? (i.e. it dropped significantly overnight) My understanding was that VW UPed the lease rate effective Jan. 1st, and it appears to be a significant increase. My other thought is that the dealers are happy to have buyers believe there is more demand than there actually is, and by saying that the December lease rates were such a success, VW had to trim it back in January. A lease payment jump from $775 to $925 places the car in a whole different category. What do you think dealers can do to "work" with clients? Unlike a Purchase, Leasing has so many obscure elements, a typical buyer really has no idea which variables are negotiable.
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    docroger1docroger1 Member Posts: 3

    I will say that the lease rate I negotiated was not easily arrived at; I went back and forth between dealers on several occasions (I'm fortunate to be in a metro area where there are several Phaeton dealers), had fairly harsh words with sales managers and general managers before the lease deal was done. I used the tactic that "Clearly Volkswagen wants to get these cars on the road and therefore I expect a significant deal as an early adopter."

    I can't imagine that the Phaetons are selling so well that VW is ready to "stop dealing" at this point. They need to get this product out there; it's really terrific but you can't expect people to walk away from Audi/MB/BMW/Lexus without some financial impetus....
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    markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    . . .why would VW rely on word of mouth to bring a car to market? I have seen 1 Phaeton TV spot -- let's see if the car is marketed and advertised what will (or might) happen? Hmmm -- showroom traffic would pick up? Uhh, gee, with increased traffic the possibility of -- [increased] sales?

    OK, is it that they don't want to stub their toe, so they want to get "things" settled down, so, for the time being the Phaeton is NOT being marketed?

    The initial reviews in the US car magazines have been, well, underwhelming. I would think that VW would want to mount a campaign that both ignored the bad reviews and encouraged someone to go see this new vehicle. Even Infinity with there Q45 ads that NEVER showed the car at least ADVERTISED it.

    I have, as some here know, an Audi allroad -- I have NEVER seen an ad for one them (US). The allroad will soon die before its time, perhaps, due to the fact that it has not been exposed to the potential buying customers.

    The Phaeton -- I have yet to see one driving around in Cincinnati -- is hardly making it even possible to initiate word of mouth.

    I dunno if I agree or not with the posting about Piech, et al -- but the Phaeton deserves to be marketed.

    Perhaps it is coming (marketing, that is)?
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    ffb13ffb13 Member Posts: 181
    well,after 3 more test rides on the phaeton ,and the more i tested it the less i liked it , even though i am in love with it.

    here is why---

    that thing is heavy,heavy,
    when you drive it around town keep your eye on the MPG read out.....

    and it feels heavy.the v8 struggles to move this thing from a stop.......try it on a hill from a dead stop.....

    as you exit the interstate and enter the ramp,check your speed as you may be surprised at what will happen next........
    this is the reason for my going around the traffic circle again for the third time.

    and then,a friend in germany mailed to me the latest consumer satisfaction surveys conducted in GERMANY by ADAC and CAR -center for automotive research----
    (german companies similar to jd power)
    the results------

    germans love their german built cars and what they stand for ......but,,,are very unhappy with their reliability-----

    "the study shows a deep divide between customer demands and reality "

    the results of the customer satisfaction of car buyers in germany show

    satisfaction as follows

    number 1 is toyota followed by subaru,honda,mazda,nissan ,
    number 8 porsche
    number 9 saab

    11 bmw

    21 ford
    26 audi
    27 opel
    29 smart
    31 vw
    32 mercedes benz

    so now vw is finally over mercedes,but next to last.......

    so,germans know cars ,and based on their experiences ,i decided to go lexus.

    i wanted badly to get this vw phaeton.....it was ,or is, a great looker specially inside.......but,after having lived with jaguar and mercedes and saab problems for many years ,i have decided to go for reliability and avoid knowing my service advisor on a first name basis..

    my two bits...........from a guy that wanted this car badly.......
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    I was speaking in the present...like today. Major ad campaign
    begins later this month...I have mentioned here before that
    this is no W8...the orphaned one...Far too much at stake.

    But word of mouth, I believe will be a very significant factor, because of all that has been posted on these boards..."$70,000 for a
    Volkswagen?" It will require a lot of self confidence to face the neighbors and respond to a comment like that, which is why I said
    that only a select few will sit in the Driver's seat...No surprise
    though...it is a lot easier to follow than to lead.

    But, we are very early in the game...My first Phaeton went on the
    Showroom floor at Thanksgiving...The Rose Bowl was played a week ago. I really believe that the proof will be in the pudding! (Just to stay in the Holiday spirit).
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    I am at a complete loss when I read your comments about this automobile...Are we driving the same car?

    Yes, this is a heavy car, but if your are looking at the MPG readout in a car with fewer 100 on the odo...And it matters; you are in the wrong car...that is for sure.

    Speed? I never use "Drive", always the "Tip", but
    then I am going to presume that you were with a Salesperson and that is never comfortable and a
    bit inhibiting. Has the Dealership given you a Phaeton for the day?

    I seldom trust polls...
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    rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,192
    " have mentioned here before that
    this is no W8...the orphaned one"

    Now that, as owner of a 2002 W8 (early adopter) certainly makes me feel great.

    Although I am likely not a potential Phaeton buyer (for other reasons) if I were, my ownership experience with my W8 would probably preclude me seriously considering this car. Not the W* itself, but the marketing, the dealership &#145;experience&#146;, etc. I think VW shot themselves in the foot by not treating the W8 as is there were &#147;...Far too much at stake&#148;. That was their chance to effectively bridge the gap between their $30K sedans and the upcoming Phaeton. I think they blew it, big time.

    Just my 2 cents &#150; (.02 euros?)
    - Ray
    Tried VW, first one owned since the 1960s, likely the last one . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
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    tariktarik Member Posts: 344
    Just my 2 cents &#150; (.02 euros?)

    LOL! Actually, you could express the europhile version of this saying in - well - cents. Going by the momentary exchange rate, the Euro cent is actually worth 27% more than the single US equivalent, putting you ahead of the $.02 pack...
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    ffb13ffb13 Member Posts: 181
    the test ride was with a car nut like me and i took the car out 4 or 5 times for a total of about 10 or 14 hours.

    before i continue let me tell you that my preference is the vw phaeton otherwise i would not be back on this board.

    and let me add that my daily driver in the usa is a 1955 porsche spyder 550 (think james dean )
    and i also drive a 2000 9.5 saab aero,and other hi performance sport cars...my wife drives other cars.

    i find fault with the phaeton in its hi speed handling ,its steering feedback-----what feedback---its heavyness---its lack of ability to negotiate sharp turns at speed in a controlled manner.....its feel when going over bumps......

    but i love the interior,and some of the computer gimmicks on it ........i just love this car when i am sitting in it but not when it is moving .........at my pace.

    if i were to summarize it ,the vw is like driving a computer........lots of fun as a computer being driven all over .......but little satisfaction for a car nut.

    as far as the german customer satisfaction index.......it is deadly accurate as are the consumer reports statistical analysis and jdpower surveys......and if you read the business press you will read about the ceo of both vw and mercedes acknowledging the problems and confirming what the surveys say. ...and pledging to reverse the decline in quality and reliability of their brands.............
    so ,so much for that.

    back to the phaeton.........if ,as i said in my first post..........vw had introduced this car in the same manner that toyota did when they launched
    the lexus,maybe they have a chance...........but,they are doing it in reverse.

    lexus first gave hi-quality of assembly,materials and reliability...........and priced the car below its direct competitors........and once established as a serious contender,they slowly raised prices............
    vw is relying on low priced leases to move their cars..........and they will,as has bmw with the 745........(the 745 will not sell without the leasing deals you get ).......

    but in the long run.......
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    Ray, regarding the W8, you are 100% correct about the marketing; there was none...I cannot speak to the Dealership experience for we are all different...some are just better than others...And, the bridge concept certainly did get lost somewhere along the line. I still do not understand why, for it is a great car and they certainly should have honed in on the 6 Speed Manual...it is awesome...

    13...I can certainly understand your disappointment if you expected something other than a "Touring Automobile"...If you are looking for something that provides more Sport Performance why not try the A8L?...All aluminum and 1000#s lighter...And with the same electronic goodies that you liked about the Phaeton...

    Your Lexus reference is a bit out of date...The primary issue today with pricing of the Phaeton, particularly the W12, has to do with the USD v. the Euro. This is why the W12s that are here are not available for replacement...Today the US Dollar is worth $.77 v.
    the Euro...
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    sam818sam818 Member Posts: 127
    VW.. I found a dealer that appears to still be offering the basic $699+++ lease, (we shall see!) but now I'm confused about color. I understood that dealers could draw from an inventory in Houston at short notice, but all I see available are silver and black. Surely there are some basic "white with beige" interiors in the mix????
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    There was never any Campanella White in the Port of Houston stock...Another choice?

    I know that there is Luna Blue, Aubergine, CouCou
    Grey, Silver and Black...

    These are only supposed to be Demo Drivers anyway...9 Week turn around for orders is the program...These automobiles are not going to be carried as inventory items...
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    docrogerdocroger Member Posts: 29
    Sam, your dealer can sit down with you at his computer and see all of the port of Houston stock; VWGuild has listed all of the Houston colors, each with only one interior choice. The "custom" colors are actually a lot more interesting; I was pretty disappointed with the color selection/interior choices that were available in Houston (but too impatient to special order a car from Dresden :) . ).

    Also, the port of Houston cars are equipped with packages as groups: Either 1) Stripped 2) Comfort/Cold Weather + Stereo Upgrade 3) Loaded. If you want to pick and choose you'll have to special order.
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    sam818sam818 Member Posts: 127
    I finally drove the V8... not so bad....only real disappointment is the lack of color availability, the CD nav (not DVD) and the very basic (not laser) cruise control, and the ride, even in "comfort" it is very "thumpy" compared to my '04 Range Rover. BUT, the dealer, which is one of the largest in a wealthy metro area, has only sold 2 Phaetons since launch, so this seems to reinforce the weak sales story of the Phaeton in Europe. His sales were both conquests from MB, and NOT VW trade-ups.
    The "appointed" salesman, while very helpful, was full of misinformation about the car. For instance he told me that VW planned to only sell 3000 world wide a year, and that the factory could only produce 2 per day (even the math stinks) but it appeared that he was trying to impress me with some non-substantiated exclusivity.
    When you throw in the fact that only a set of very gloomy, dark colors are available, and I can go down the street and pick up an A8 or an XJ in just about any color from stock, this is just NOT the type of car I would special order and wait 9-12 weeks. Telling me I have to wait 9 weeks does NOT make this a more desirable car.
    If you do a google on "Phaeton Sales" you will find plenty of references to the fact that VW may let this car die a quiet death. That remains to be seen, but like an earlier writer, I love the car, but VW is making it very difficult for me to justify an extended order time for an otherwise regular color, and a purchase seems out of the question if the depreciation is going to be affected by what may only be rumors about the early demise.
    What to do?
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    docrogerdocroger Member Posts: 29
    Sam, I know where you're coming from!

    First of all, in terms of the cruise control, I believe that Laser Guided Cruise Control will be available shortly as it is in the owner's manual documentation for the '04 Phaeton.

    However, I think that you have been bitten by the bug (alright, shouldn't use "bug" when talking VW) for this car. I had the same thing happen, I was ready to pull the trigger on an A8 and then stumbled across a Phaeton at the VW dealer and the rest is history.

    The interior of this car and the fit and finish is breathtaking. Yes, the exterior color issues are significant and even more frustrating in that there are not even examples to look at on the lot. I think that I would have been happy with the black/piano, the Coucou grey, and perhaps the Luna Blue. I went with the Silver 'cause that's what I saw (and liked) on the lot.

    Definetely go for the Upgraded Stereo/Comfort package--the rear seat passengers will appreciate their Lumbar massage!!

    Better equipped and $7000 less than the A8--and the dealer picks up and drops the car/loaner at home or work--Audi ain't doing that (they don't have to!).

    This car is different and noone else has it--yet! Lots of fun to turn heads! I leased as well; I'll let the leasing company deal with the resale!!

    Good Luck
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    is available with a selection of 18 or so exterior colors & 9 Leather selections...3000 is the projected sales volume per year in the US...and the Dresden Glass Factory can producce 150 units per day...That said, I drive a Phaeton everyday and I find your description of the ride as "thumpy" incredible...You must live in Beacon Hill or Williamsburg, and drive down cobblestone streets...The AirSuspension System alone renders this description a stretch of quantum proportions.

    I am sorry that the Dealer put you in the hands of a liar & fool...A very bad start for a new product...

    In actual use the NAV System works extremely well, even in a little berg like Pacific Grove, Ca. it identifies even allys...And your point about the Cruise Control defies logic...Even when I heard that "Distance Control" was going to be added as a "Running Change" I could not understand even the need for it...If one is so out of touch with with Speed & Distance; one should not be driving...

    Regarding Sales...I took four(4) orders in 3 days at the San Jose International Auto Show last week...Three 4 Seat configs. and 1 5 seat in WaterWorld...The overall impression from spending 21 hours talking to people over a three
    day period was totally positive & enthusiastic...
    Many were pleased that we were now making a car for ALL the people...even the well to do...:)
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    sam818sam818 Member Posts: 127
    Thankfully this forum is about an exchange of ideas, and VW, I appreciate your input...it is really first class.
    Firstly, VW, I don't think my salesman was "lying" to me, so much as I think he was just not "up" on the facts. There is no doubt that VW is having a tough time moving the cars, but I got the feeling that the salesman was glossing over these issues in an attempt to elevate the exclusiveness of the Phaeton.
    I do not believe that by making the car tough to get, and making only a few colors available at short order is typical of cars in this price category. MB, Jaguar and Audi encourage some type of inventory.
    I believe that VW is trying to hedge its position which is perfectly understandable, but the consumer has the final say as to whether that is going to be acceptable.
    With regard to the ride, yes, it was thumpy...over irregular patched asphalt. The car also seemed to be less rigid than expected even though the specification suggests otherwise. There is some muted body "shimmy" over rough surfaces, which as I noted is completely absent on my '04 RR, which has a similarly high-spec body twisting number.
    And to the cruise control: I long for the day when embedded chips in the road (freeway) enable totally stress free long distance driving. I am more concerned about other crazy drivers, so in the meantime, if my car has the ability to automatically stomp on the brakes and stop on a dime when some idiot cuts in front of me, I applause such technology. Have you any idea when it will be incorporated into the specs.
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    fish8fish8 Member Posts: 2,282
    I was at my local VW dealer this morning getting the oil changed in my '02 Jetta. I noticed 2 Phaetons in the showroom. I sat in one and, I must say, it was VERY nice. One was a V8 and the other was a V12. Sticker's were $72,000 and $80,000. I thought it was a little odd to see an $80,000 car literally next to a $18,000 Golf. It just didn't feel (look) right. I know this has been discussed to great extent...... but for someone shopping in the $80K realm, I don't see how they would feel comfortable in a VW showroom. It is my opinion that the dealer experience should be a tad more "exclusive" than VW can muster.
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    The Phaeton is only supposed to be presented to perspective customers by a "Phaeton Specialist"...an individual who has been thoroughly trained and experienced with the automobile. This is important because there is no reason why you should have been given any information that was less than 100% accurate...

    Regarding the ride...The Phaeton is equipped with an Air Supension System...The driver can adjust the damping control by selecting "Comfort"
    for a soft ride, "Basic" for a standard ride, or "Sport 1" or "Sport 2" for a harder sportier ride...Ride height adjust is also available...Higher is available for poor road surfaces...A lack of knowledge about this may have affected your experience.

    Cruise Control with automatic Distance Control will
    accomplish what you want, but I do not have a firm date...

    Regarding colors and availability...Each Phaeton is, by design, built to suit. Delivery times will vary depending upon geography of course...But 9 weeks is the max. door to door. At this price point it simply makes sense. A customer spending $70,000+ on an autombile will probably not want a car that has been sitting around a Dealer's lot, and the Dealer does not want to be spending the money for flooring. More a practical matter than one of exclusivity, although with a planned production of only 3000 there is some of that too.

    All Phase I dealers have received a Presentation Book, our cost $525.00, that includes Leather & Wood Samples, as well as a color palette for all of the paint choices, all 18 of them.

    Given the fact that that ads have actually only been running on TV since Saturday night and print for the past two weeks, and that we have only had Phaetons for about 5 weeks it is a bit early in the game to draw conclusions regarding success or failure...
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    aggie76aggie76 Member Posts: 266
    I stopped into my local VW dealer and found out they were not qualified to carry the Phaeton but they did have the Presentation book which was very well done. It appears I will have to travel about 90 miles to the closest dealer to look at and then purchase from if I go that directon. Wondering if there is any formal agreement between VW and dealers regarding servicing cars in outlying areas as far as pick-up delivery, etc. Will be tough to justify the travel if the reliability isn't better than the stories you read regarding current models in the line-up. I had an '63 Bug and a '86 GTI with good reliability and would hope the Phaeton is better than good.
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    bostnwhalrbostnwhalr Member Posts: 128
    Over a month ago, at a local VW dealership, I saw a W12 Phaeton with a window sticker of $89k. It had every factory option on top of it's $80k base price. A review of Edmund's pricing confirms that the sticker I saw was real.

    However, VW announced today that the W12 has now been priced at $94,600: "The ultimate VW is here! Volkswagen today announced pricing for its new Phaeton W12 ultra luxury sedan at $94,600."

    http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/- - - www/story/01-14-2004/0002089399&EDATE=

    http://www.thecarconnection.com/index.asp?article=6765&sid=17- - - 3&n=156
    (scroll to bottom of page)

    Did VW just jack up the price by nearly $15,000? I guess they felt that they were just giving them away before at $80k. According to VW, they're still a good deal at $95,000. Any takers?

    I'm sure if the lease deals are right, people will bite, but will anyone actually BUY one, ever? I guess the same could be said for the 745. I wouldn't want to own anything with the complicated electronics these vehicles have. When the warranty is up, expect high depreciation. Repair costs will be astonomical. That's why most folks will lease. Of course, after the lease is over, VW will have to sell these cars at quite a discount I would imagine.
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    merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    What? Thats a very odd thing for them to do on a car that had an uphill battle to begin with, it seems like suicide. I guess they'll try to sell less for more money...

    vwguild....care to chime on this.

    vwguild...I like the Phaeton and all, but I just can't help but think you're making excuses about the car's ride quality, it's been complained about across the board, and that lack of knowledge would be on the salesmans part in the case of a test drive, they should show the driver how to adjust the suspension, though I don't think that is the problem. I surely don't think the car mags don't know how to adjust it, considering other cars they test have similar air suspension systems. I know, I know I should drive it first....lol.

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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    You are reading my mind again...:)

    Regarding this price issue...

    When the Phaeton pricing schedule was put together...4th Quarter 2002, the USD was worth about $1.25 v. the Euro...VWOA in Auburn Hills was pretty firm about keeping the price of the W12 around $85,000USD, but it was a real fight...

    This morning the USD was worth $.79 v. the Euro!

    (Any Commodity traders out there who are short the dollar can afford a couple of Phaetons today)

    Well, all you have to do is the math. In Europe the LWB Phaeton W12 sells for about 130,000 Euros. On October 29th VWAG pulled the plug on any future shipments of the W12 to the US.

    I seriously doubt that what follows had any real impact, but until I learn differently it is my story and I am sticking with it:)

    The Saturday following Thanksgiving there was a
    cocktail party/reception at the W Hotel in San Francisco that was a kickoff for the San Francisco Automobile Show. In attendance was an old friend of mine who at that time was the Regional Team Leader for the Western Region of VWOA...Naturally this topic came up and I mentioned, very enthusiastically, that the decision to remove the W12 from the market was a big mistake. My point was that the 12 cylinder
    competition is all priced at a point that exceeds $100,000.00. The 760li is $117,000 + and the S600 is even more...And that to offer the same power plant capacity at or about the same pricce point would do no harm, but we at least had to offer it!!! My feeling is that at the level the difference between $5-10,000.00 is pretty meaningless...I am fortunate enough to live in an area where homes
    sell for millions of dollars. And from friends in the Real Estate
    business I know that there is no difference when a client is looking at a house for $1.2 million and $1.4 million...it is the house that matters.

    So, I said if the W12 was $100,000 we would still be very competitive, but more importantly, we would at least be able to offer it...and if we don't sell any it is still no harm/no foul.

    And that is where we left it...Today that gentleman is the Vice President in Charge of Marketing for VWOA. I have only read posts about this pricing change, and nothing formal has come across from
    Auburn Hills... That said,I have it pretty good authority that the Base Price of the W12 will be $94,600.00 plus $3000 in Gas Guzzler Tax, $150.00 Ca./NE Emissions, and $615.00 for Destination. Don't know yet if any of the smaller options, Electronic Park Assist, etc.
    will be included...

    Anyway, sorry for the length, but I am delighted at this development.
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    bostnwhalrbostnwhalr Member Posts: 128
    What's funny about the press release is that VW is trying to say that these are the official prices of the W12 as if the price was never set before. I agree that well-healed buyers may not care that much about price, but please if you're truly wealthy and care about preserving and growing wealth, buying a W12 Phaeton won't help since this vehicle will likely depreciate fairly rapidly. Look at 5 year old BMW 760iL's. No one wants to deal with a V-12 once they need service outside the warranty period.

    Look how VW made the Phaeton look different from the Passat and the A-8 by modifying the D Pillar. You have a $100,000 car that looks like an oversized and overweight Passat. And it will be serviced at dealerships ill-equipped to provide the type of service that these well-healed buyers will expect. Meanwhile if you're an Audi dealer, you're angry because you've got a badge-engineered A8 to compete with.

    Like I asked, has anyone actually bought a Phaeton? I'm not talking leasing, but actually bought one?

    If VW was trying to move upmarket, which there are limits since now you're directly competing with VW, they should have tackled to $45-55k market, not the $65k-$100k market.
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    Maybe you should send a resume to Auburn Hills...
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    merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Only one issue with that post. The Phaeton is far from a "badge engineered" A8. The two cars are so different underneath, even their basic structure is very, very different.

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    sam818sam818 Member Posts: 127
    I had the same reaction. The press release totally omits the fact that the price had been set earlier in $79-85k range. I understand completely the economics of making a profit, and how the weak dollar has played into this, but the significant omission regarding the launch W12 just looks like poor PR and a desperate attempt to cover a mistake. While the V8 has a decent shot, maybe the W12 can now only be "window dressing" for VW. Unfortunately, I think that $5-10k DOES make a difference for many well heeled buyers. I am in the mortgage business, and I can tell you that many a $1.5 million mortgage is scrutinized by the Borrower no less, and often more intensely than a Borrower reviews the fees on his $200k FHA mortgage. The wealthier the individual, the more likely he is to be looking for the "deal".
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    Do you have a "link to this "press release"?
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    tariktarik Member Posts: 344
    bostnwhalr (you know, Tim, who's to apply in Auburn Hills...) had posted two sources in TH Post 511.

    Everyone who is even remotely involved with interational trade understands that the price hike was inevitable. To be fair, maybe VWoA simply relied on the financial market's volatility too much, hoping for the USD to catch back up. Bad timing, to say the least...
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    sam818sam818 Member Posts: 127
    Here is the link to the press release. I agree that the price hike is inevitable, I just think the release is not particularly well conceived. I think anyone who has been shopping for this car will understand the issues, and if anything VW is simply guilty of "omission" of facts. I wish them luck, but let's cut them some slack.... they may yet sort this whole thing out over time.
    http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/- www/story/01-14-2004/0002089399&EDATE=
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    toyo_ztoyo_z Member Posts: 47
    the currency issue is going to be the death of many european-built cars in the US market, if it doesnt' get straightened out soon.

    Hearing about the price hike on the phaeton takes me back to the late 1980s.. I remember when porsche 944's were going for over $30k (in 1987 dollars!), and "slant-nose" 911's could easily exceed $100k.

    german-built audis, golfs and jettas were similarly over-priced relative to the japanese competition. Some of the problem was currency related.

    by the early 90s porsche couldn't give their cars away in the US, and we all know that VW almost picked up stakes and left North America.

    I'm more worried about pricing on VW's low-end models than the phaeton, since IMO, frugal buyers will be even more price sensitive.
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    bostnwhalrbostnwhalr Member Posts: 128
    Good point toyo z about 1988.

    Imagine walking into a VW dealer and seeing the base price of a W12 at $80k. The next month, you go to buy one and the price has changed to $95k. That's nearly a 20% price increase. Wouldn't you be a bit floored? Of course, I guess, if most people lease a Phaeton, it will come down to the change in lease payments.

    I agree that currency is going to have an impact on price. Why hasn't VW increased the price of the V8 model by say, $10k? This would also mean that BMW and Mercedes should soon be raising their prices as well which will make the VW more of a bargain I guess. Unless, they hedged their currency risk and bought futures contracts to offset currency fluctuations.

    Currency issues aren't the only thing that could haunt the Europeans. The Autoweek article points out the achilles heal of many of these luxury German sedans. Their complicated systems are confusing, distracting and are prone to malfunction. Look at BMW's idrive or Mercedes' COMAND. Reliability has decreased for these brands (particularly Mercedes), which hurts brand loyalty and resale value in the long run since the cost of repairing these malfunctions are now footed by the car owner.

    I still think that many folks would cross shop the A8. Better performance in a lighter package with hopefully a better dealer experience.

    VW has managed to also anger many entry-level buyers with the worsening reliability on the Jetta and Golf, not to mention the issue with the coils on the 1.8T last year. If you recall, that issue wasn't handled very well since VW dragged their feet in addressing the issue (partly because they couldn't get the parts manufactured in sufficient quantity).

    It's really too bad, because VW makes some of the nicest interiors in the business. I had a chance to test-drive the Touareg and the interior quality was outstanding, especially compared with its competition. Same goes for the Golf and Jetta. However, if you screw it up with overcomplicated systems, (wait til the air suspension on the Touareg needs replacement in 5 years) you risk expensive repairs down the road.

    See you in Auburn Hills.....whatever
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    liamjohnliamjohn Member Posts: 6
    the hell did they build this heavy huge thing. Just by a Audi A8........about the same but better......then you don't have to deal with under qualified VW dealers.
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    First of all, the W12 engine costs us about $15,000.00...Same engine as the Bugatti Veyron. Next...And most important...We were told on Oct. 29th that the 330 W12 Premier Editions would be all she wrote...And you will not see any W12s on a showroom floor with a Base Price of $94,600.00.
    This is an "Customer Order Only" automobile...No extras...which, as I have mentioned before, is all that I asked for...

    Coil packs...Here we go again!!!!!!!!! This was problematic because it was totally random...This was not a situation where VIN:s E123456-E267890 had bad coil packs. Some owners had no problems, some had one bad coil, etc. And, we don't make coil packs...we buy them...Given a 2.7 Million unit recall from GM and a 1.7 Million unit recall from Daimler-Chrysler in the past week, I think we are OK.

    And, lastly...Extended Warranties have always been available to cover owners that planned on keeping vehicles beyond their Factory Warranty.

    I am going to have to rethink that resume suggestion...;)
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