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Volkswagen Phaeton

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    merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I'm all for the Phaeton. It's going to be by far the cheapest way to get into a 12-cylinder car. Everyone should experience a 12-cylinder car sometime during their automotive lives. The more I think about it the Phaeton should be a hit, if not overwhelmingly so. The dealers are the key here. I'm just waiting on VW to trim out the W8 Passat correclty. The car has so much potential.

    M
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    wishnhigh1wishnhigh1 Member Posts: 363
    The Phaeton will be a hit, especially if VW does a fair share of its marketing magic.

    As far as the Passat W8, they still need something inbetween. They have the 190 horspower 4 motion model for 30,000 and the 270 horspower W8 model for 38,000. They need at least a 210 horspower model. Bring out the Audi 3.0!

    I think VW has the right idea though. It worked for the Americans back in their glory days: Having 3+ engine and drivetrain options in the same car. It allows people to buy more of what they want and less of what they dont want, and not have to pay for the stuff they dont want.
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    markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    Until I read JP's "Elegantly Wasted, Tragically Hip" post. Boy you hit the nail on the head.

    Although I have been still unlucky at actually driving the new Passat W8 and of course have never seen a Phaeton in the flesh, everything I read about these cars -- and the special dealers that will represent them -- makes me think that they are bargains. VWGUILD is correct -- check the prices of the competition (or at least the intended competition). These new upmarket, uppriced VW's are offering value. That 2003 Passat W8 with sport and 6spd manual will still be in the $38K range -- that's less than a V6 Audi A4 quattro with sport. I know they are not the same -- but they are not THAT far apart.

    As my friend says "there's no replacement for displacement. . ."

    I think VW will sell as many of these new upmarket cars as they can screw together.

    But I've been wrong before.

    Anyway -- thanks JP.
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    dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    Who cares about residuals! If you can afford a car buy it! If you can't afford a car don't buy it. Why lease (rent)?

    Another thing to consider about resale values is that they are calculated off of sticker price. Sure your average Chevy may loose half it's value in a couple of years, but if you figure in the price that was actually paid (because of rebates, dickering with the dealer etc.) the depretiation is not nearly as bad. The reverse holds true for high demand vehicles. They hold their value so well because people paid more than sticker, so the car can be worth several thousand less after a year but still be worth sticker price.

    So demand for a vehicle plays a large part in depreciation, it is not all about the quality of the car. A Toyota Corolla has excellent resale value. An Infiniti Q-45 has horrible resale value. One is a mundane badge, the other is a luxury badge.
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    hoodornamenthoodornament Member Posts: 114
    What is all of this garbage about people not buying VW because of prestige? If you have money, are successful, do you need you car to "tell" people that you have prestige? It sounds like an awful lot of self-image problems going on here. Go ahead and tell me that the Audi, whatever is a better car for reason x, y, and z, and I will accept that. For those that need the BMW to tell the world "I have arrived", get a life !!!!
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    wishnhigh1wishnhigh1 Member Posts: 363
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    vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    Edmunds' just posted their review of it, and said it's missing several key features to compete as a near-luxury car.

    But also keep in mind that VW is only building like 5000 W8s a year. I am sure they will sell them all, that's hardly anything.
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    kmei72kmei72 Member Posts: 4
    I wouldn't doubt that Phaeton and W8 are both great cars that offer great values. But don't you think VW dealers will need to improve their services for the high-end car buyers? Will Phaeton owners have to compete the service time slot with Jetta drivers? Will their VW dealers make them to wait for 10 days for service appointments?
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    bscbluebscblue Member Posts: 103
    I know at least in my neck of the woods, the Porsche, Audi, and Volkswagen service place is the SAME PLACE. But Porsche cars are done in two seperate bays at the end of the line. I don't doubt thats any different from any other dealership these days.

    Youaredumb, I understand this is a forum for automobiles. If you don't like Phaeton, at least from what you have heard, please illustrate why thoroughly. Why is it that the Phaeton will be bad choice for people shopping for cars like this?
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    patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    You just make my job lots more difficult.

    We've been invaded by a many-times-banned troll - I've removed all of his posts and some of your responses. I will continue to remove his posts, so please don't respond.

    Thanks!

    Pat
    Sedans Host
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    bscbluebscblue Member Posts: 103
    So now certain posts make little to no sense! Oh, the humanity! Is there no justice for us?!?!
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    dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    You got it! The people who REALLY have money care the least about the badges because they are secure enough about their status.

    I would take it one step further and say that many wealthy car buyers actually avoid the snobish badges because they do not want to call attention to themselves. People like this would welcome a sleeper car like the W-8 or the Phaeton.

    Remember many rich people did not get that way by overspending just for the sake of prestige. They make wise decisions in business, and that carries over to their personal lives.

    For the people that feel a luxury car from VW group should have the Audi name on it. How do you feel about almost every part on an Audi having the VW name on it?
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    bscbluebscblue Member Posts: 103
    Touche! Well put, Dudley. And it's true; there are way too many people who are very wealthy but don't go straight to the Benz or Bentley dealership to prove it.
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    andys120andys120 Member Posts: 23,400
    well-heeled buyers would hesitate to pay the big bucks for a VW. I've seen plenty of commentary in
    CAR (British) questioning Piech's strategy.

    It's kind of ironic that the company that invented the "Lexus concept" before Toyota did is now risking throwing it away.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

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    bscbluebscblue Member Posts: 103
    Give the people a little credit. I think VW knows what it's doing. I don't necessarily think they are trying to capture the image hungry, label snob of yesteryear. I think they know that the majority of car buyers are actually a bit intelligent and would choose a well-made automobile with gobs of luxury, performance, value and style over middling rivals who have come to rest on their laurels rather than truly innovate.
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    pkraddpkradd Member Posts: 358
    I would suspect that at least 50% are people who really can't afford them but want the prestige. Many years ago I had a friend who went way out of his income bracket to buy a Benz. He also went way out of his way by his gas at a generic, cheap gas station.
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    bhill2bhill2 Member Posts: 2,474
    One of my favorite commercials was one for a VW, probably the 411, that came out in, I think, the '60s. The setup was that they were interviewing a silver-haired, well-dressed, obviously successful German executive who drove a VW. They were asking him questions about what he liked about the car (in English), he was answering in German and the translation appeared as a subtitle. Finally the interviewer said "But sir, you can afford to own any automobile on the market." He aswered, in perfect, slightly accented English "Yes, and I can also afford not to." These, I think, are the Phaeton's potential customers; those who can afford not to.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv. (RIP 2001 Jaguar XK8 cnv and 1985 MB 380SE [the best of the lot])

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    markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    I have not leased these cars for prestige -- if that is what I wanted I would probably have leased a Bimmer. I have always thought of the VW and Audi family as high value German cars, even though they, to this day, lack the cache (and cost less cash) than Bimmers and Mercs. At the risk of starting an argument, I think very few people would acquire a really expensive car for show. And, to the issue of affordability, I think it is one of priority -- if the creditor will take the risk on allowing you to acquire the vehicle, you can by definition afford it.

    I like to travel to Europe -- a lot -- so I live in a less expensive house and drive a less expensive car than I can "afford." I had an Audi A8 in 1997, having it meant I could only go to Europe three times a year -- but I could afford it. I have since had three A6's, most recently an A6 4.2, the year I got this car, I went to Europe on vacation 6 times. I can't afford an A8 or a million dollar house because I can afford to go to Europe.

    Let's not go down the affordability path -- from certain points of view, the Phaeton, I am convinced will be perceived as a very inexpensive car. My "compass" is set to "afford" cars that top out around $50K -- but my bank will let me go for much more.

    I think the Phaeton's future is not certain, but I'll wager that it will be very affordable for far more people than there will be cars available.
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    merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I'm willing to bet this car will be a hit. If VOA gets their dealers together this car will be a hit over here too. The car is gorgeous:


    http://www.germancarfans.com/photos.cfm?PhotoID=3020523.002


    M

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    jamrock4jamrock4 Member Posts: 53
    There is a reason why companies such as Toyota, Honda, and Nissan created Lexus, Acura, and Infiniti. Once the price of a car gets into the range of luxury car vehicles Americans in general prefer to purchase a vehicle with a luxury brand name even though another car without the prestigous brand name may represent a significantly greater value.

    I do not believe VW will have much success with the Phaeton. Sure they will sell a few but customers with that sort of cash would prefer to to own an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes.

    Does that mean that people who would never consider purchasing a high end VW are snobs. No... It just means that established luxury brand dealers are able to deliver a level of service that VW simply cannot match. Also when you decide to spend big bucks on a car, resale value is very important.
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    patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    The Town Hall is about to take on a new look in an effort to make content more easily searchable and accessible.

    Have you seen the Letter from the Town Hall Manager on the Town Hall Welcome page? If not, you might want to follow that link to have a look.

    And hang on to your seats. Change is never easy - for any of us - but resolving the Search problems we've had will be worth the pain.

    Pat
    Sedans Host


    (I'm allowed to spam. You're not. Ha ha ha - just kidding!!!)
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    merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    That's exactly right, thats why everything hinges on VW's U.S. dealers. VW AG has done their part with a spectacular product. If for nothing else a nice 2 year old W12 Phaeton will make one hell of a used car buy.

    M
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    bully28bully28 Member Posts: 3
    as much as bscblue wants to look down his nose at those car buyers who buy a lexus when it's a toyota overseas (that's not quite the case, btw), the fact is jamrock4 has it exactly right.

    people are paying more for cars becaue they want a particular experience, whether it be driving, the leather, the heads they turn (i'm quite tired of being told on this forum that audi owners somehow suffer from insecurity more than any other auto owner), or the dealer experience.

    the point is this: vw does not have that brand marquis established in this country to justify the cost of the car. yes, it's a truly gorgeous engine (i'll reserve comment on the body--i think the back looks like a corolla), and car enthusiasts will beat a path to it's door to sing it's praises (and call those of us "dumb" enough to buy an acura snobs).

    the argument really is whether vw will be a success selling this product, whether it will cannibalize the audi line, and if the phaeton will go anywhere beyond the die-hard vw fan or die-hard engine block fan.

    my guess is, right or wrong, that in this country, it will have an uphill battle. and jamrock4 put it best: us dumb folk aren't gonna shell out that kind of money for that kind of experience when it tells me before i even get in the car that the car company is not known for top of the line ANYTHING, be it dealers, service, reliability, engines, or just plain leather.

    if it were the same car with the four rings of audi on the back of the toyota corolla, as dumb as i and the rest of us swayed by brand perception are, it would be a different story.

    dumb move, vw.
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    The Phaeton, the W8, and the Touareg are all being
    produced for the existing Volkswagen Enthusiast that is maturing both chronologically & financially...The customers are Different, Original, Honest, Friendly, and Approachable and
    so are we at Volkswagen...That is the VW Promise.

    Without these products VW Customers have been
    forced to leave the Brand for BMW, MBZ for a more
    powerful and luxurious car or an SUV.

    If some other folks want to jump on as well; that is great, but we are here to provide Value...if
    someone needs to see a star on the hood; go down
    the street...
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    hoodornamenthoodornament Member Posts: 114
    I beginning to think that VW should just dump the Audi brand altogether and incorporate the best of Audi functions/etc into higher end VWs. Atleast where I live, I see wayyy more BMWs and Benz's on the road anyway, who cares if VW steals Audi sales ?
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    andys120andys120 Member Posts: 23,400
    the equity of the Audi brand. It's one of the fastest growing nameplates but they're going to screw up a good thing if they take Hoodornament's advice.

    Audi has taken lots of sales from BMW and Mercedes in Europe and could do so in America much more so than "upmarket" VWs.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

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    hoodornamenthoodornament Member Posts: 114
    This is mainly in response to those Audi consumers that are complaining they are being competed against with higher end VW cars. I for one am much more interested in the "Value equation", I want as much performance, luxury, and appeal as I can get for the least amount of money. This is what I believe VW represents. VW SHOULD NOT sacrifice this strategy for the benefit of the Audi Hood Ornament (largely similar cars for a premium price). So if the two brands can co-exist w/o stifling VWs value offerings (eg - dont worry about Audi sales), then sure let them both exist.
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    andys120andys120 Member Posts: 23,400
    VW already owns a number of premium brand names and a premium dealer network. Branding this uber-sedan a VW and selling it thru VW dealers is a piss poor use of their resources.

    Engineers may not understand this but as a marketing guy I'll tell you brand equity is an extremely valuable resource. VAG is largely wasting the equity it owns in brands like Bugatti,
    Auto Union and Horch and now with the Phaeton is jeopardizing the equity they own in Audi.

    It's possible that the Passat W8 could hurt Audi even more than the Phaeton. An A8 competitor is one thing but an A6 competitor strikes at the heart of the brand.

    The historical antecedent is the introduction of the Chevy Impala in 1958 which by giving the pedestrian Chevy brand a powerful, luxed out, "aspirational" car diminished the equity of the Pontiac, Olds, Buick and even Cadillac brands causing the eventual collapse of the Sloan Paradigm on which GM was built.

    They've been trying to recover ever since.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

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    wie_gehtswie_gehts Member Posts: 30
    One thing you should not forget is that while the US is certainly a very important market for German manufacturers, it is still a minor market for them. The number of BMWs, Mercedes and Audis sold in Germany alone is significantly higher than in the US (yes, lesser models, still, it is no comparison). Overall, the American consumer is MUCH MUCH more focused on brand names, this is why, as pointed out very well, the Japanese needed to create their luxury divisions, and this is why plenty of people pay a lot of extra cash for a Camry with a Lexus nameplate. This is not just true for automobiles, it is true for the whole American consume world, nothing sells w/o a brand name, and then, usually that brand is highly highly overpriced, and if you don't buy anything for at least 50% off at the next mall sale, you know you are getting ripped off, this applies to everything from T-Shirts to Sunglasses (ever seen the super brand name sunglasses in the mall that sell for $200 while on Ebay or any Online Store you can buy the same pair for $39).
    Now, in Europe, people are more focused on overall quality than a brand name. You can read tests where a Ford Mondeo would beat say an Audi, and noone would come and say: How can you even compare the two, the Audi is a luxury car! That simply isn't true. I think people buy a car because it's good, and not because they need to show off the three-pointed star on the hood. That is why they could never sell a re-badged Camry or a even worse, a re-badged Chevy/GMC truck (as Cadillac for twice the price).
    While I am not sure if the Phaeton will be a success in the brand-concious US, it is very likely that it will be a success in Europe, which is the target market. The Phaeton was not developed for the US market, unlike the Touareg or the Mercedes M-class or BMW X-series (or any other SUV), they are specifically targeted for the American market.
    Overall, if the VW holds what is promises, that is, give S-Class quality for a low price, then I am in for it. And the people who need a brand name to show off are usually the people who can't afford it anyway, so who cares about them. Millionaires usually don't get rich by showing off and spening money stupidly, they get rich by making wise financial decisions.
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    andys120andys120 Member Posts: 23,400
    in fact I've predicted elsewhere in TH that the Phaeton will be a modest success in Europe but a marginal failure in the US.

    I'm still more worried about the Passat W8's effect on Audi A6 sales than I am about how the
    Phaeton affects A8 sales.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    What difference does it make?
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    tulanekid24tulanekid24 Member Posts: 25
    Hi all,

    I am in Germany for the summer and I went to the VW dealership down the street to get a look at the New Phaeton. The car is AWESEOME. It has absolutely everything one could imagine, even air conditioned leather seats! I wish I could have test driven it. It was released here at the beginning of May.

    Anyway, the car I saw had a W12 engine and was loaded with every option. Price was 108,000 Euros or about 102k US dollars.

    The sales guy was nice and he told me an intersting tid bit about the car -- The German Chancellor, Schroeder, drives a New Phaeton. He was givin the first one by VW AG. LOL.
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    andys120andys120 Member Posts: 23,400
    It makes a difference to me. I like and admire the products of VAG, particularly Audi. As an A4 driver I have thought about moving up to an A6 but now I wonder if I shouldn't consider a Passat W8.

    In the long run VAG gets the money either way but if it gets too confusing I just might consider other alternatives.

    The great thing about the Sloan hierarchy was that it kept people focused on the next step up the ladder. That made a lot of money for the General.

    Does that make any sense to you?

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

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    aggie76aggie76 Member Posts: 266
    I am very interested and hope VW is successful in bring the Phaeton to the US market. Having lived in Germany for over 10 years previously I agree totally with wie_gehts in his comments. S-class quality/ride at cheaper price - I'm in too!

    I've struggled over last several months with new car decision and was all ready to go with the A6 3.0 quattro.

    But, I just had two days of test drives to evaluate the W8 at length and what an impressive car. It's only not a threat to Audi for those folks that really want another 5 cu ft of trunk space, dual-zone temps, 12-way seats, all 1-touch windows, full-size spare, folding rear seats, 1st aid kit and warning triangle, and the 2" of rear leg room along with a few other items. Otherwise it's a great value and impressive engine for sure. The big impact item for me is the trunk and rear seat space.

    Bring on the Phaeton, I can't wait to see & drive it in person!
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    Once again, it is important to bear in mind that
    these three products...W8, Touareg, and Phaeton...
    are Primarily designed for the long standing VW
    customer that is now older and wealthier than when they first started driving and loving Volkswagens. These very precious folks have been
    forced to leave the Brand to find a more luxurious and/or powerful car or and SUV. Focus groups & Marketing surveys have determined that
    less than 4% of Audi Customers have been cross-
    shopping for the past few years(98/99 to today).

    Also important to remember is that although these products are new to you, they are not new to VW
    Staff...All of these cars, and a few more were
    on display for the 2001 Dealer Meeting in Berlin.

    The points of differentiation are still obvious
    to me, particularly in terms of styling, and *aggie76* clearly points out the others...
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    merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Just finished reading the July issue of Automobile Magazine. They think for the most part it's a fine car, but they don't see the point of it in the U.S. I don't see the point either from a business point of view, but for car lovers it's a dream car at what they estimate 62K for a the W12 version.
    At that price point the only reason the car would fail would be VW's lousy U.S. dealer setup. I truly think an ideal VW dealer with a 62K 12-cylinder car will cause a many E500, S-Class, 7-Series, LS430, XJ8, and A8 buyer to seriously pause. I think Automobile may be way off on the price, it'll probably be closer to 75K for the W12. In short VW AG has done their job now it's up to VoA to do theirs.

    M
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    justinjustin Member Posts: 1,918
    i really do believe that the Phaeton will do very well here in the U.S. IF, and that is IF, VW makes the decision to market the car towards the smart people with money. the people that don't follow the crowd. i mean, seriously, the car is just as good as the S and 7 and ls430, and it looks about 100 times better, inside and out. if VWoA reminds potential buyers for that class of car to not be so predictable and hand their money over to BMW and M-B, the Phaeton will be HUGE here.

    all these techies and lawyers in my neck of the woods (DC burbs) with all of this money, and they only have the 7, S-class, and LS430 to really consider. VW will sell each and every Phaeton they can get over here.

    i just hope that VW dealers get their dealers to offer good service, all of the time. it is not that they don't know how, it is that parts take too long, and they don't have enough space. VW sales have EXPLODED, but the service bays have not.

    go Phaeton!!

    ps. not sure the W8 Passat will go anywhere....
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    merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I hope you're right. I'd love to see what the "establishment" will do about a 12-cylinder car priced to kill their V8s.

    M
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    I know I have discussed this over at the Vortex,
    but...

    Only select Dealers will be handling the Phaeton,
    Touareg, The MicroBus...Those Dealers that meet
    Brand Standards; those that don't will be left behind...
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    jamrock4jamrock4 Member Posts: 53
    VW already has a well established upscale brand name known as Audi. Why not take advantage of the brand especially if you seriously plan to complete with the BMW 7 series and the MB S class.

    To illustrate my point Toyota, Honda, and Nissan have made big bucks by each creating an upscale brand to sell dressed up versions of their midsize sedan for big bucks. Mazda tried to sell an upscale sedan the millenia under the Mazda brand name and it was a dismal failure.

    Here is a thought. Forget about trying to sell the Phaeton as up upscale VW sedan. VW should ditch the AUDI A8 which has been a boring sedan that has generated few sales in America and replace it with the VW Phaeton. But instead of calling it the VW Phaeton how about calling it the AUDI A12 and selling it at a base price of $75,000 dollars.

    Lets get real. None of my friends who own a BMW 7 series or Mercedes S class would be caught dead in a VW. However they would all give SERIOUS consideration to an AUDI A12 (twelve cylinder) vehicle that costs less than a V8 from BMW or MB.

    To make things more interesting if the Audi A12 has a 12 cylinder engine that is capable of shutting down 4 cylinders for those times when you are driving less aggressively then the gas mileage might be comparable to a V8.

    The preceding is not science fiction, the tecnology exists today to make it happen. Not sure if VW is able to create a sophisticated 12 cylinder as I described that is economically feasible, however if they offered an Audi A12 for less than the price of a MB or BMW V8 the Volkswagen Corporation would be poised to make a signicant dent in the high end luxury sedan market.
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    jamrock4jamrock4 Member Posts: 53
    If you decide to run with my idea about the AUDI A12 please contact me so we can discuss my consulting fee...
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    hoodornamenthoodornament Member Posts: 114
    you say :

    "Lets get real. None of my friends who own a BMW 7 series or Mercedes S class would be caught dead in a VW."

    What does that say about your friends ?? You can answer that ...

    There are more than a couple of people in this world, even though they have money, would prefer to get value for their money. Putting Audi on it would force them to jack up the price more, how ridiculous !
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    timtrantimtran Member Posts: 29
    I am not short of cash, yet I would not want to be caught dead in a MB, BMW, Lexus or even Audi, even when the latter is made by VW. It is a matter of principle, because I abhore status symbols and do not want to be associated with those who care about the name plates or the hood ornaments. Piech was not stupid. He allowed the mass to enjoy the niceties of a well made, well appointed car without looking or sounding pretentious. That is what VW is about, the people's car. I certainly will buy the Phaeton just because it is a People's car.
    Le moi est haissable, who said that?
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    big_guybig_guy Member Posts: 372
    Just a note, the Mazda premium line (Amanti if I'm not mistaken) was not a "miserable failure" as you put it. Mazda ran into financial troubles and decided to scrap plans to build a luxury class line of automobiles and try to correct the problems they had with cash flow . . . (Ford helped out when they purchased a portion of Mazda) . . . but back to the topic at hand.

    VW, as has been pointed out, has a luxury division in Audi. However, there are people out there (like timtran and myself) that wouldn't want to buy an upscale luxury vehicle like a MB, BMW, Lexus etc., because of the associated "snob" factor that comes with those vehicles. That having been said, I don't know if the Phaeton will be a hit or a miss here in the states but it will be interesting to see what the result is. One thing I can say is that the Phaeton should separate those that can afford high priced cars into two catagories: Those that want to DRIVE a luxury vehicle, and those that want to be SEEN driving a luxury vehicle.

    Just my $.02
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    stephenkyustephenkyu Member Posts: 1
    I am quite well off myself, but I would never want to be caught driving a Mercedes or BMW. There is no car that I can't afford, yet I drive a Volvo.

    You might say, why buy a luxury car, if you don't want the upscale brand. The answer is simple, safety. Only the more expensive cars offer the safety features that I feel are necessary. Most of them can't be found in cheaper cars.

    If Volkswagon made a $100,000 car that safer than anything else there on the road, I would most definately buy it. You only live once, and everyone gets into one major car accident on average.
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    caw103caw103 Member Posts: 63
    "Lets get real. None of my friends who own a BMW 7 series or Mercedes S class would be caught dead in a VW."
    "I am quite well off myself, but I would never want to be caught driving a Mercedes or BMW."

    Both positions are valid but the number of consumers holding the first position far outnumber those believing the second. I think VW is targeting a certain niche and will succeed, but if VW expects to generate sales figures equivalent to say a Mercedes S than they pretty much have to compete for "status seekers."

    "One thing I can say is that the Phaeton should separate those that can afford high priced cars into two catagories: Those that want to DRIVE a luxury vehicle, and those that want to be SEEN driving a luxury vehicle."

    There will be plenty who want both.:)
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    wishnhigh1wishnhigh1 Member Posts: 363
    "Both positions are valid but the number of consumers holding the first position far outnumber those believing the second. I think VW is targeting a certain niche and will succeed, but if VW expects to generate sales figures equivalent to say a Mercedes S than they pretty much have to compete for "status seekers.""

    I think you underestimate those who do not seek status. Until now, there has been not one full luxury car that has not sought out a prestigous name. Toyota gave us lexus, Nissan gave us Infiniti...etc.

    The "status seekers" will always show their face in the entry luxury class...like the BMW 3 series and the Mercedes C class. As you move up the price ladder, you will most likely find that less and less people buy the S class and 7 series for status.

    VW is catering to a market that has huge potential, but has never been addressed before. The number of people that can afford a $75,000 luxury car in this country is absolutely huge, however luxury car sales do not reflect this at all. VW will be marketing this car to those who can afford and those who want the powerful and luxurious car, but would hate to be seen in something that would tell the world that they are rich.

    I know my fair share of these people too. There is nothing they despise more than money seeking, or fair weather friends, and flaunting wealth on the order of the Tri-Star is only attracting that.
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    caw103caw103 Member Posts: 63
    "I think you underestimate those who do not seek status. Until now, there has been not one full luxury car that has not sought out a prestigous name. Toyota gave us lexus, Nissan gave us Infiniti...etc."

    No I don't think I underestimate the number, BUT I'm not saying they are so few and rare as to be ignored. Like I wrote earlier, I believe VW will succeed with the Phaeton with this group simply not in comparable numbers to Mercedes for a long time if ever.

    "The "status seekers" will always show their face in the entry luxury class...like the BMW 3 series and the Mercedes C class. As you move up the price ladder, you will most likely find that less and less people buy the S class and 7 series for status."

    Agreed for the most part although I see my fair share of guys stretching to get to S and 7. They may not be buying s and 7 series for status alone, but it is certainly important to many of them. This is reflected throughout consumer behavior from home purchases to those delightful Viking gourmet ranges. There is far more conservatism as you go up the price ladder. Yes I know not everyone who can afford it automatically targets the largest home in the poshest district or an S or 7.

    All I'm trying to say with zero value judgement is that I understand where the previous "anti-snobbery" posters are coming from but VW would be foolish if they ignored this sentiment:

    "Lets get real. None of my friends who own a BMW 7 series or Mercedes S class would be caught dead in a VW."
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    merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Well I'm convinced! After just now seeing the Fay-ton on Auto, Motor und Sport TV, I wan't one! The W12 version is off the chain, and it's going to cause a momentary shock to all other in in it's price class. Now if VW can just get their dealers ready for this car in the U.S.

    M
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    wishnhigh1wishnhigh1 Member Posts: 363
    "All I'm trying to say with zero value judgement is that I understand where the previous "anti-snobbery" posters are coming from but VW would be foolish if they ignored this sentiment:

    "Lets get real. None of my friends who own a BMW 7 series or Mercedes S class would be caught dead in a VW."
    "

    They arent that foolish. That is why they have the Audi A8! The A8 doesnt sell well right now, but that is because it is the oldest model in the lineup, and is due for a replacement very soon. A stunningly beautiful and impressive replacement, I might add.

    I am saying that VW is going after a certain type of buyer...a buyer that is capable of spending the money, but would never buy a flashy luxury nameplate. For those who wont buy a $80,000 car without a premium badge on it, that is what the Audi is for.

    You see, I think it would be foolish to badge this car as an Audi, because it does nothing to the current Audi market, but will take advantage of a very capable market that hasnt been touched yet.

    And hopefully, if successful, we will start seeing Toyota Altezzas and Nissan G35s(Skylines), Nissan Glorias, etc...
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