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Volkswagen Phaeton

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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    go to www.vwvortex.com for a press release
    from the Geneva Auto Show...
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    merckxmerckx Member Posts: 565
    About two years ago,I started reading in the English auto press that VW intended to take on Mercedes.At the time,I was utterly incredulous. But I bought a 2001 Passat GLS last year. I have been delighted to find it one of those rare consumer items that seems to be worth far more than what I paid for it. The only other car I seriously considered was a BMW 525i;I had to go that high up to find a Passat alternative.
    So in that sense VW has a lot of room to add considerable quality to a Passat-level car.
    It is my understanding that Audi,like BMW,will pursue the overtly sporting driver. Whereas VW and Mercedes go a little in the Lexus direction.
    And as VW aparently is also about to market an Accura NSX-type "supercar",the market will be forced to reevaluate its perception of VW. VW is definately on an upward swing,and I think VW will be sucessful.
    When Lexus started with the $35,000 LS 400 in 1990,some could only think"a $35,000 Corolla? No way". They did undervalue the LS at first,actually,but soon raised prices when the public realized what the car was. And I think this new VW could go the same way.
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    toyotas1toyotas1 Member Posts: 134
    I still don't agree with selling $70k cars next to $13k cars!! ESPECIALLY, if they plan to bring other high-priced machines up in here! But this car is a "Ride!".....
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    machiavellimachiavelli Member Posts: 260
    Yeah, I agree. I've said that all along in this thread. I'm not knocking the car itself - it seems like it will be very nice, especially in the W12 version. But, I think it made more sense for VW to badge it as an Audi or another "upscale" channel. Just as Toyota doesn't sell a $50+K LS430 in the same showroom as a $15K Echo, or Nissan doesn't sell the Q45 along side Sentras and Frontier pickups, etc...
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    merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    That's true about that type of person in your post #51. They aren't going to go through all that trouble for a V-dub.

    This fay-ton looks too be a winner on paper, it's up the VW's U.S. operation to make the car feasable for U.S. buyers. Price, service and standing behind the product is critical. I think this can work if done right. VW can't afford to open another channel though, that surely wouldn't make it. The big question is, why would anyone buy the next A8 when you can get the fewtan (basically the same car) for thousands less. This car is going to hurt Audi first and foremost, possibly Mercedes and BMW for a hot minute. Out of the 10K units planned for the U.S. I see 5000 of those buyers coming directly from Audi, and the rest from MB/Lexus/BMW.

    M
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    magnetophonemagnetophone Member Posts: 605
    merc1, well the A8 never really sold more than 5,000, so that means Audi owners are moving up in the ranks. More profit for VW.. sounds like maybe some inner competition isn't a terrible thing after all.

    I think VW thinks they're in a secure enough position to do this kind of market strategy. It's very much like GM pre-1990, although less blatant. I don't think that the Phaeton will take competition away from Audi as a whole. But if it took away A4 sales as opposed to A8 sales, then you know it's not working.
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    will be from "Phaeton Service Specialist Dealerships"...What message does that project??
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    toyotas1toyotas1 Member Posts: 134
    Now I'm confused as to who VW is targeting. At $48k, a V6 Phaeton can't run with a GS430 or V8 S-type. And the $90k V12 will only get 2-3k buyers a year if they're lucky. I guess the V-10 TDI pricing will be the key to the whole ball of wax..... and will people want a $70k diesel......
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    toyotas1toyotas1 Member Posts: 134
    Now I'm confused as to who VW is targeting. At $48k, a V6 Phaeton can't run with a GS430 or V8 S-type. And the $90k V12 will only get 2-3k buyers a year if they're lucky. I guess the V-10 TDI pricing will be the key to the whole ball of wax..... and will people want a $70k diesel......I'd still price the V12 BETWEEN THE 7 AND S-CLASS (if that's possible), or right on top of the S430.....
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    peachtree103peachtree103 Member Posts: 182
    I believe every auto maker is now planning to significantly expand their luxury offerings. GM seems to be spitting out a new Caddy every week. Lutz plans to put serious resources into Saab. Ford is attempting to gain market share in all PAG lines, BMW is adding X3, Z5, and 6 series, Infiniti has finally offered a competitive product in the G35 and is showing signs of achieving its potential. Etc., Etc.

    My point not so much to point out competitors for the Phaeton, as it is to ask is there room for all of these models in this segment. I doubt there is enough growth in the $40K+ segment to support all the new entries. It's great for us consumers, but some automakers are bound to find themselves on the short end of this stick.

    Though VW is on a great roll, and the Phaeton may be a great car, this looks like a large, uphill battle for VW to pull off. I hope they're committed for the long haul.
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    merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    You may just be right about the A8 and fayton.

    M
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    v12powerv12power Member Posts: 174
    The car looks better than the new 7 series, it looks better than an A8 or the LS430. My opinion of course, but it is a sharp, clean design.
    I wouldn't hold my breath for a diesel. Many of the best diesels stay on the other side of the pond due to our lower quality fuel. Both MB and BMW have awsome new diesels, you don't see them here though.
    I agree with the theory against big buck VWs. They are going to have trouble selling in the $70k range. I think the dealer network is a serious liability. The stand alone VW dealerships I have seen will not attract upscale buyers. If in fact, as someone stated earlier, they are upgrading dealers to be able to handle these products, there is hope. Still, it will take time to woo consumers. Status is a big issue, many are fickle in this catagory, the best car does not always win. Though Lexus proved that a darn good car can easily steal some market share. It will be interesting.
    To suggest that there is not room in the market for this car is a little naive. Carmakers are not that foolish. Rest assured there has been copius research done to support the theory of this cars success. I welcome the competition, sure can't hurt.
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    merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Well said, and very, very true. The Phaeton will have some takers no matter what.

    M
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    big_guybig_guy Member Posts: 372
    The very fact that VW does not normally make high-end luxury vehicles may appeal to some buyers. Personally, the majority of people that I know who own a BMW, Mercerdes, Lexus, etc. own the car because it has "snob" appeal. There are some people out there (myself included) that stay away from those vehicles for that very reason. I don't want a car that yells out, "Hey, I'm rich and better than you because I drive a Mercedes!". Just my $.02
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    mlayton694mlayton694 Member Posts: 45
    Their are a good-many people who drive Audis that don't care about value (how much you get for your money), they care more about being exclusive due to various insecurities/self-image problems in their lives

    BTW -
    There a BMW/Hyundai/Chevrolet dealer in Tinton Falls, NJ. Yes, thats right, Elantras and 5Series within a rock's throw of one another (albeit separate showrooms) There is also an Audi dealership that teams with Kia in Old Bridge. Again, separate showrooms, but same lot !!!!
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    v12powerv12power Member Posts: 174
    I think your point is very valid. I also think that people spending $60-70k on any car are going to have serious expectations of the dealer / service programs. In this area I think VW is currently seriously lacking. I see an unrealistic side to your point as well. Do you really think that people will shell out that kind of money just to be spiteful? I don't think that people with the money to buy a $70k car actually care about the snob factor.

    About this snob issue. I have had several top of the line cars. Most of the folks I run into that own these types of cars buy them because they actually like cars. Thats my excuse anyway. I am a Porsche club member. I have an '86 944T, not exactly a huge monetary investment. I find myself able to move through the pits at our track events and never run into a snob, even if they have 10 times the money into their car. I think there is a bit of a myth out there that the more fortunate look down upon the less fortunate. Some certainly do, but most wealthy people started out poor. There is a higher regard than you may think. I have three Mercedes, a BMW and a Porsche, I do not consider myself any better than you because of what I drive. Besides after buying all these things I'm not so rich anymore!

    I personally like the VW on its own merits. I'd even buy a Caddilac if they could put together a world class car. I try to buy the best I can afford, regardless of brand or snob appeal. I think the luxo car market moves this way as well. Witness Lexus' tremendous success. So if VW plays this right they could have a hit, and a whole new market to play to.

    I do think this is a strange approach considering Audis comeback. But like I said before, these guys are not amatures, this is a big risk, and as with all risks, it is a calculated one.
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    big_guybig_guy Member Posts: 372
    Your point is well taken . . . however, just because a car costs a lot of money doesn't necessarily make it the best car. Take Lexus for an example. Most of the Lexus vehicles are mechanically identical (with some exceptions) to their lower prices Toyota siblings, but you pay an additional $5k to $20k to add a gold badge "L" on your grille (the example that blows me away is the Toyota Land Cruiser at ~$55k but to get a car that is the vehicles twin, the Lexus LX470, you need to shell out an additional $20k to get the "luxury/snob" treatments on the inside of the vehicle and the "L" on the grille. Then take a look at the Lexus driver looking at the Toyota owner and thinking to himself, "I'm better than that guy because I have a "luxury" Lexus and he only has a Toyota". Where-as the Toyota driver is thinking to himself, "boy, what an idiot, he could have had the same vehicle for $20k less."

    Personally, I don't see myself ever paying $70k for any car. Heck my first house was only $75k.
    Maybe it is because the "luxury" features don't impress me. I don't mind a luxurious couch in my home, or a great mattress to sleep on but do I really need power leather seats that have 3 massage settings, and a "real" wood dashboard and wood trim inserts in a vehicle I drive 30 miles a day? I am more concerned with function than with form.

    Just my $.02
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    v12powerv12power Member Posts: 174
    In defense of the Lexus premium, they do offer far superior service / support on the cars, in addition to the select extra luxo bits. I totally agree on the L/C LX470, why buy the Lex? I really hpoe people don't do it for the golden L, though you are probably right.

    Do not say "never" on these spendy beasts. I used to say that simply because I figured I would never have the money, circumstances and situations change. You would also be amazed how rewarding, sans snobbism, the drive can be.
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    zscott1zscott1 Member Posts: 19
    "Their are a good-many people who drive Audis that don't care about value (how much you get for your money), they care more about being exclusive due to various insecurities/self-image problems in their lives"

    I can't believe I am insecure and have self-image problems.

    I thought I like Audi becuase it is a great car. Off to the Shrink...
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    magnetophonemagnetophone Member Posts: 605
    A good-many people? Not any more than anyone who drives any other car.

    There are incorrect stereotypes about every car.. men who drive trucks have endowment issues, people who drive Volvos are granolas and are overly cautious urban liberals, people who drive BMW's are [non-permissible content removed].

    Audis are great cars. Kudos to you!
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    vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    I always thought it was the men in Corvettes and sports cars that had endowment issues? :)
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    magnetophonemagnetophone Member Posts: 605
    Well, that too. But I seriously think it's trucks too. These days it's always the trucks that drive really fast down roads and honk or say nasty things to bicycle riders like me...
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    stormdavystormdavy Member Posts: 80
    Phaethon, son of Helios who attempted to drive the chariot of the sun with the result of setting the earth on fire. 1a: one who drives a chariot or coach esp. at a reckless or dangerous speed (see also Passat drivers). b: one that would or may set the world on fire. etc., etc. Also a genus of tropical sea birds...
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    1702817028 Member Posts: 45
    I love the design. I'm really big on visual design, but the good thing with that is that I don't actually have to buy the car to appreciate it fully. ;)

    I think it looks better than the fussy new 7-series. Much, much better than the square-looking LS430. A8 is a very handsome car, but also looks conservative (I guess they have to be, being the car of choice for the German government). The S-class, hmm, they're pretty much even...

    As for the various market scenarios. Mercedes could be said to be moving down-market with the new hatchback-ish coupe. They are also spinning off the "top of market" brand Maybach because they feel that the Mercedes brand is losing some of its exclusivity. I would say that VW is trying to occupy the same market niche as MB, but with lower prices. Who would buy them? Maybe at first those who don't want the image associated with Mercedes, and then as time goes by it might become a mainstream luxury brand like Lexus, but with its own direction.
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    teoteo Member Posts: 2,508
    Article from Autoextremist.com


    http://www.autoextremist.com/page2.shtml#Rant2

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    toyotas1toyotas1 Member Posts: 134
    SHOULD be the next A8. Maybe this is all a ploy? Drive up speculation and interest in the car, then make it an Audi, and let Audi get all the publicity! If they price it (the V-12) where the new 7 sits ($70k), the car would be a smash hit. That's the ONLY way this will work. Sell it as the new A8, $70-80k, THEN raise the price!! This VW stuff......
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    merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Well this car is the next A8, the Phayton is just VW's version of it. The A8 will differ in styling and construction.

    M
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    toyotas1toyotas1 Member Posts: 134
    I'll build a V-12 supercar for my t-shirt and jeans division. I'll get all the publicity in the world!! I'll even name it something really foreign, to give it the allure of "The Allante"!........ I'll put in all the best features, the most power, the best engineers, even a glass factory!! And I'll sell it next to $12k cars!! Yeah!! Then it will look really special!! Then...... I'll knock it off! I'll give Audi a COPY of MY work (wen I'm DAMN good and ready!), as long as they make sure that I (!) get ALL the publicity, because Audi doesn't need any of MY publicity or MY large prestigious cars....... then I'll put a V-6 in it......
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    1702817028 Member Posts: 45
    I think you'll find this Newsweek article interesting, it deals with this topic:


    Dude, where's my Benz?

    http://www.msnbc.com/news/721828.asp

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    1702817028 Member Posts: 45
    I think you'll find this Newsweek article interesting, it deals with this topic:


    Dude, where's my Benz?

    http://www.msnbc.com/news/721828.asp

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    arcoatesarcoates Member Posts: 221
    Both the rant and the msnbc article are very interesting. And I agree with both of them. I don't mind that BMW sells the 3-series because it has always been around, it's what established the marque in this country (2002/3 series). But Jaguar is doing it to cash in, not for heritage sake or anything like that. It dilutes the brand, and I don't like it. Part of buying these cars is the name, there's no denying that. But also part of is that you are getting a vehicle that is from a long line of high quality vehicles, not $30,000 tarted up Ford Mondeos. An X-Type is not an XJ, never will be and I resent the fact that people who have X-Types think they are getting a Jaguar. They aren't. A jag is a lot more than connely leather and wood. And that's all the X-Type has.

    As with the Phaeton, I actually like the name. It sounds upscale. But in the days of letters and numbers, should they really be using a name? No other car in this category has a name: S, 7, A8, LS, and Q. But more importantly than the name is that it is suicide for the company. You don't see Chevrolet building a luxury car on the same platform as the STS and pricing is at the same level. To have two brands who sell the same car at the same price is stupid. No one will buy the Phaeton because the A8 is well established and it will throw all of VW into a slump. Someone needs to give Pieche a shake~ A.R.
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    that the 2002 A8 costs $79,825.00 and is a different car...All Aluminum body, different powerplant, etc....
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    toyotas1toyotas1 Member Posts: 134
    the A8 is NOT well established. The only distinction the car has is it's primarily aluminum! The next A8 NEEDS real publicity, real tangible gains in interior luxury, and a real advantage over the ESTABLISHED competition (LS430, S-class, 7). That the A8 and Pheaton (the name WILL change in the next year or so, at least for US units) will be largely the same car and price is.....how should I say this......stupid! It kills the momentum Audi is GAINING over the last 5 years or so, and all the recognition and publicity is going to the OTHER upstart luxury carmaker, VW? Audi management must be on mutiny alert.......
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    wishnhigh1wishnhigh1 Member Posts: 363
    It is well established. Just not here. Audi has very respectable worldwide sales, and they have been shown to be the car of choice by many german leaders and other european royalty. If they are as bad as you think they are, dont you think the european upper crust would prefer a Mercedes or BMW? They have already shown their superior luxury and style and driving manners, you are just too ignorant to see it.
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    merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Basically.

    M
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    teoteo Member Posts: 2,508
    Hmmmmmmm....


    Read this 2002 Audi S8 Rant:


    http://www.thecarplace.com/notes11.htm#01s8

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    jpvwaudijpvwaudi Member Posts: 139
    your price is way off on the A8. I just sold one the other day. MSRP 73845, A8L with everything except Alcantara. I sold it for 70500 plus tax. The guy paid cash......ouch
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    I stand corrected, I was referring to the S8...

    Cash is good...:)
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    jpvwaudijpvwaudi Member Posts: 139
    No problem. We don't have a big market for either the A or S8. My GM is as happy to see an A8 hit the lot as he is a Eurovan; I know you here me on that one.....

    P.S. Have they been hitting you guys with a 150 dealer surcharge on your recent invoices?
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    toyotas1toyotas1 Member Posts: 134
    mellow out dude! I'm not saying the A8 is a bad car, just in need of some publicity, marketing, and a redesign, that's all. If the car sells well in Europe, what does that mean to me? If the Pheaton is a hit here, and the next A8 pulls a Q45, what does that mean to Audi USA? Audi has gained marketattention with the A4, A6, and TT. Now what?
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    arcoatesarcoates Member Posts: 221
    Audi is used in the same breath as BMW and MB these days, I think we can agree that it is well established. It is not at the top like BMW and MB and dare I say Lexus is these days, but the cars are recognized and aspired to.

    Now, if this was Pieche's plan all along, then why did he go to all the trouble to bring the Audi name back from extinction? He could've let the marque die 10 years ago and jsut market VW to all people. The guy is a cracker and should be replaced. He is going to drive the company into the ground, and one of the largest causualties may be Bentley and I DO NOT want to see that marque die~ A.R.
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    Actually, we do quite well with the new 201HP
    EuroVans...Particulary the *Weekender*...

    I don't have an Ad Fee here...The SF Bay Area
    Assoc. just went from $75.00 to $150.00...
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    ejerodejerod Member Posts: 86
    I've owned my 01 S500 with AMG Sport package since November 2000. I love it but I have to give Lexus their due respect. I also own a 99 Lexus GS300. I've had no major problems with the Lexus other than a blown tail light bulb and a faulty "check engine sensor." Nothing else has gone wrong with the Lexus in 4 years. The Benz on the other hand, in less than 15 months, has been in for a new Comand system, the sunroof closing sensor had to be replaced, the tail light assembly had to be replaced, the fuel sensor had to be replaced twice, and now the air pump for air matic shocks is being replaced. Somehow moisture made it's way into the air pump and caused a short that melted the air pump altogether. The technicians don't even know where to begin since they haven't a clue as to how the moisture made it in there in the first place. Now I know that all things man made will eventually wear out. But when I shell out 92 k for what's supposed to be the best automobile in the world I expect it to be nearly trouble free at least until the warranty is nearly expired. I'm very unsatisfied with Mercedes Benz, the problem I have now is what should I buy next ? Once you've owned an S-Class the only thing one can step up to is a Bentley, and that's simply austentacious. It hasn't the electronic wizardry of the S-Class and it only comes with a 3 year warranty. I hate the styling ot the new Lexus LS430 but now that I've had the legendary " Mercedes Benz" experience, I'm going to have to find something else that is a bit more reliable . I don't care for the new BMW 7 series. Maybe when the long wheelbase version is available. The Audi is way too conservative for me, and the LS430 looks like something my grandpa would drive. Maybe Lexus doesn't have the elite status of Mercedes, but if MB doesn't do anything about quality control, Lexus will become the marque to own and Mercedes will go the way of Studabaker and others.
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    teoteo Member Posts: 2,508
    How about the Audi A8?
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    hiflyerhiflyer Member Posts: 79
    Although I believe you alluded to the current A8 as being too conservative for you, next model year it is due for a major redesign. If I recall correctly, the new A8 will take on a far more stylish look. Something to think about.
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    1702817028 Member Posts: 45
    Sounds like that S-class is something you could envoke the lemon law for. I don't think you should judge the whole brand by one car though, I bet Lexus let slip a lemon now and then as well. It wouldn't be a problem for any manufacturer though if they were really conscientous and just bought back the lemon cars unprompted when it started causing having real problems. It is unfair of them to expect the buyers, who have less money than the company, to carry the financial burden of a faulty product. If a brand new toaster breaks, and you take it back to the store, do they say, "ya know, we'll see if we can fix it, leave it here with us for a month"? No!
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    valleyguyvalleyguy Member Posts: 11
    What are these guys thinking? $85k for a Benz, Lexus, or a VW. Who's going to pick the VW?
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    Comparable MBZ prices out at over $100K...Average
    price for Phaeton should be closer to $70K...
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    more action here today than in weeks...

    Mark...The difference is that Service under Warranty is graded...That is why the numbers do matter...As a Dealer the Customer that has a problem is more important than the Customer that has come in for Maintenance...figuratively, not literally...And, here comes the numbers problem, Warranty work is scored; so a conflict would arise as to who gets priority...

    After reading and rereading Car & Driver, I am having a tough time believing that they got any introduction to the car or what the features and benefits are or how to use them...Steering, ride comfort, etc. these negatives show ignorance of the product rather than problems with the car itself...And a "POTENTATE" Pkg. for the Lexus 430...PULEESE....
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    bscbluebscblue Member Posts: 103
    This thread is actually putting into more tangible form what I have known and said for some time. We as Americans, by and large, are vain and snobbish when it comes to material things. We think that everything that has the "proper name" must be worth more and better in perceived quality than something that doesn't necessarily have the same cache. And in some cases, like with clothes and lawn care products, I would have to agree. But in the particular realm of automobiles, I have to differ wholeheartedly. I have read many of the posts in this thread and a lot of them say, "I would never spend $70,80,90K (or whatever atsronomical figure they can think of) for a VW."

    Well, why not? You don't think VW is making a car that is worth the kind of money they are asking for it? Do you think you would spend that kind of money and get the reliability of a '93 VW Fox or early 80s model VW? No, I don't think so.

    The comment that you wouldn't spend XYZ on VW should certainly extend to other car makers as well. Lots of the "luxury" cars you buy here in America start off as another plebian brand in another country, without mystifying names to cloud their original origins. And by this I am mainly refering to the Japanese marques, although we know other makers, i.e. Jaguar and Audi, among others, that use the platforms and pieces of its lesser corporate siblings. There is no Lexus, Infiniti, or Acura in Japan, per se. The same cars you pay $40,50,60,70K for here are STILL TOYOTAS, NISSANS, and HONDAS in their home market. People there don't mind spending the extra money to get better quality, better materials, and more gadgets. While we, on the other hand, require a luxury name to justify spending money on a very well-made, techonologically advanced automobile. We have to be sure we look the most regal and the Joneses are jealous and then, and only then, can our egos be properly stroked. GOD HIMSELF COME DOWN FROM ON HIGH AND STRIKE US DEAD LEST WE SPEND $60,000 ON A TOYOTA LS430 OR NISSAN Q45.

    And since people want to talk of brands and images and prestige factors, remember this: Mercedes' and BMWs are used as taxis all over Europe, parts of South America, and Indonesia (more Bimmers there). Mercedes-Benz also makes tractor trailers that are used to haul such common and base things like toothbrushes, toilet paper and live chickens. These things don't seem to offend people who own an MB car in Europe or elsewhere. They don't feel "the brand is being polluted but consorting with *gulp* riff raff." Volvo, Rover, and many others are in the same boat, so to speak. So, anyone going to stop buying these cars?

    Volkswagen has, since the mid-90s, come full circle in the areas of quality control, style, and reliability in its cars. In case you haven't noticed, people and the automobile press rave for the Passat, the Jetta, the Golf and the other models. And in case you haven't been in any of these models, they certainly impart even a more luxurious and solid feel than many of their competitors in their respective segments. Driving a Passat, to me and to others who have been in one, is like driving in an Audi or E-Class or Infiniti. The car is THAT well-made.

    Volkswagen AG has stated that they are not trying to directly compete with their own luxury division Audi by making the Phaeton or any future upscale models. They are complementing their lineup. Most VW owners wanted to move on to a different vehicle after the Passat but didn't necessarily make the supposed logical move to an Audi vehicle. It is still not widely known that VW owns Audi. But they have pointed to the fact that Audi will take the luxury sport mantle ahead of VW which will take on a more upscale, luxury air. You want utter speed and handling? Go to Audi. You want more tame, but no less invigorating luxury? Go to Volkswagen.

    So, on that note, everyone who is saying you can't spend over $0.35 on a VW, please, get over yourselves. Put away your ridiculous pride and overwrought vanity and look at the Phaeton as a excellent car that can hold its own with all the other so-called "luxury" divisons. From what I have seen on this board, arrogance should have been one of the 7 deadlies.
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