Volkswagen Phaeton may return to U.S.

The Phaeton limo may have been a major flop for Volkswagen but officials are keen to the launch of a successor. The car was priced similarly to BMWs and Audis but it wore a humble VW badge, and there was nothing particularly exciting or innovative about the car either. It had mundane styling, poor dynamics and a much heavier chassis than its Audi A8 cousin, and in the U.S. it only managed 2,814 sales since its launch back in 2003.

No wonder the car was pulled from the market last year. It appears, however, the Phaeton may make a return to the world’s largest car market. Speaking at an Automotive News conference, VW’s U.S. Chief Stefan Jacoby admitted it was a mistake to end Phaeton sales in North America. Jacoby said he still thinks the VW brand is strong enough to include models in both the volume segment and at the luxury end, hinting that the Phaeton could in fact return.

VW won’t be making the same mistakes with the successor as it did with the current model. The new model will be based on Audi’s cost-saving modular platform design strategy and is tipped to be smaller than the current car – positioned somewhere between the A6 and A8 from Audi. The next Phaeton is expected to arrive on the market in 2010, a year after the new A8.

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