Volkswagen Phaeton axed, successor coming in 2019
Volkswagen insiders have revealed that production of the 13-year old Phaeton flagship is scheduled to end next March.
Volkswagen of America dropped the Phaeton from its lineup after the 2006 model year due to dismal sales, but the sedan is still sold in China, where it recently benefited from a slew of minor updates, and across Europe, where it typically costs more than a comparably-sized Audi A8. Sales are alarmingly low in both regions, and only about eight examples roll out of the glass-walled factory in Dresden, Germany, each day.
Once it builds the very last Phaeton, the Dresden factory will be shut down for about a year and completely overhauled. Sources close to Volkswagen told trade journal Automotive News that the factory will be given a new model to build once it re-opens, though they didn’t reveal what it will be.
Volkswagen won’t remain without a flagship sedan for very long. The Wolfsburg-based car maker is in the early stages of developing a brand new Phaeton that’s tentatively scheduled to go on sale globally in late 2019 as a 2020 model. Volkswagen recently hinted its next flagship — which might not be called Phaeton — will be offered exclusively with an all-electric drivetrain, and rumors indicate it will share its platform with the production version of the Audi e-tron quattro concept.
Note: Chinese-spec 2016 Phaeton pictured.