Volkswagen Phaeton production at the Transparent Factory in Dresden, GermanyEnlarge Photo
Volkswagen looks set to finally end production of its Phaeton, which bowed out of the United States midway through the last decade. The luxurious full-size sedan was launched as far back as 2002 and over the years received a series of updates to keep it looking contemporary. Over ambitious pricing meant the Phaeton was never going to be a big seller but a lack of a successor in all the years has seen sales slow to a trickle.
In Germany, the Phaeton starts at a staggering 89,650 euros (approximately $98,000). Not surprisingly, just 4,000 examples were built last year at the car’s dedicated plant in Dresden, Germany. The figure is likely to be even lower this year.
VW has now confirmed to Bloomberg that Phaeton production will end next March. The car’s plant, known as the Transparent Factory because of its many glass walls, won’t be closed as previously speculated but converted to allow production of other VW cars, most likely electric models. The renovation process will take about a year and in the meantime workers will be moved to VW’s neighboring plants.
VW will eventually launch a second-generation Phaeton, though it won’t be arriving until around 2020. The German automaker confirmed recently that the car will be offered exclusively with an electric powertrain, a move aimed at helping project an image of clean cars for the brand following the recent diesel emissions cheating scandal.