Blog: Dave LeggettVW's Phaeton charge

Dave Leggett | 5 November 2003

Regular readers of this Blog will be aware of past criticisms I have directed at the Volkswagen Phaeton. Marvellous car though it undoubtedly is, I cannot believe that a Volkswagen badge can sit happily on a car such as the Phaeton and I'm not convinced that it makes good sense for the Volkswagen brand (what does it stand for these days?). Volkswagen's marketing people like to talk about the Golf as the brand's centre of gravity with brand stretch up and down along a core axis of 'product excellence' rather than overt status. Mmm.

Finding conquest customers at that end of the market for a Volkswagen will be a tough call and there won't be too many upgraders from Passat either. How can Piech's big baby make sense? Spread development effort and costs to the Bentley Continental and also make the Phaeton a loss leader for a future luxury Passat? Okay, I can just about buy that as a strategy that isn't totally off the wall, but there's still the uncomfortable question of the extent of the losses to take now. Will it be worth it in the final analysis?


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