Volkswagen Phaeton and Scirocco Could Return to the US Market
In a recent interview given in to Bloomberg in Washington , Jonathan Browning, head of Volkswagen’s US operations, said that “We will reconsider bringing the Phaeton back to the U.S. in the next product cycle.”
The €67,400 ($92,360) Phaeton was withdrawn from the American market in 2006, after a lackluster sales performance. On the other hand, the Scirocco had an almost cult following in the 1970s and 80s, appearing a numerous television shows and movies of the time. The two models are not expected to be top sellers, but Volkswagen needs them to boost its Stateside image.
“VW wants to capture U.S. buyers by rolling out more emotional cars and the Scirocco certainly fits that category. In terms of volume sales, the Scirocco and Phaeton are only decorative accents, they won’t be crucial for VW’s goal to greatly increase deliveries,” said Frank Schwope, a NordLB analyst in Hanover who recommends buying VW stock.
The current Phaeton, a car named after the son of the Greek god Helios, was unveiled for the first time at Auto China 2010 in Beijing. The model looks wider and more menacing, while also sporting a redesigned rear end.
Also, new technical features have been added, including Dynamic Light Assist (camera-based dynamic main beam regulation) and a navigation system that, if desired, can integrate online data from Google into the map display.
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The previous generation Scirocco coupe was sold on these shores, but production ceased in 1992. In Europe, VW resurrected the model in 2008 but it wasn?t offered here, due to the likely cannibalization of sales from the GTI.
The sudden push to bring back the Scirocco is due to VW?s goal to triple sales in America to one million units by 2018. To do this, it is rolling out specific new models designed and priced for the U.S. market, like the new 2011 Jetta and 2012 Passat. However, it is also looking at bringing over some more emotional performance models as well as a way to help build brand recognition and brand loyalists.