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Why The Volkswagen Phaeton Failed In The United States

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The term Volkswagen means “people’s car” in German. In the United States the car company is known for selling stylish, well-engineered cars that are still relatively affordable like the Volkswagen Golf, Passat, and Tiguan. But there was at least one time Volkswagen tried to elbow its way into the luxury car market. The Volkswagen Phaeton was introduced in 2002 and it quickly failed, especially in the United States. » Subscribe to CNBC: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC » Subscribe to CNBC TV: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCtelevision » Subscribe to CNBC Classic: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCclassic About CNBC: From 'Wall Street' to 'Main Street' to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: https://www.cnbc.com/ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC Follow CNBC News on Facebook: https://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: https://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: https://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC #CNBC #Volkswagen Why The Volkswagen Phaeton Failed In The United States
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Text Comments (892)
De Cnijf Kris (19 hours ago)
VW today's models cost about 5000 USD less in America compared to the same car in Europe. The Phaeton was very rare in my country.
Malre gtx (1 day ago)
Pheaton failed in Germany as well.
Ilias Noord (2 days ago)
Who knows what car that is on 0:15?
Brandon Taylor (2 days ago)
The same reason why the Touareg failed in the US.
NiteGambler (2 days ago)
Me i have been driving VW & Audi since 1980........my favorites Audi '86 coupe GT and my 04 Phaeton presently in the drivway with 140,00 km. v8.........even my wife loves this car
Hardocore (2 days ago)
the Phaeton failed everywhere
Richard Reavis (3 days ago)
Meh. I'll go with the Bentley on the used car lot behind my house. Or stick with my Civic.
giovanni cadoni (3 days ago)
It's pronounced FolksVagen, for Vuck's sake!
RockaBilly (4 days ago)
I'm glad it failed. You can't name a luxury car a "People's car". Nevertheless it was a great car but they should have released it as an audi
edduuuard (4 days ago)
Yeap, Mercedes and Lincoln, and italian cars are the most beautiful cars in the world. VW on the other side... not so much.
MrOkadaman28 (5 days ago)
It looks like an overfed Passat. That was one of its major problems - it looked bland.
Ambergris (5 days ago)
Well... How do you explain then the success of the Touareg? They just released the third generation, and it ain't cheap.
lce124 (5 days ago)
It failed everywhere didn't it?
mtlicq (5 days ago)
Bugatti Italiano, no french
1kRaFt (6 days ago)
I own a Phaeton: luxury, confort, power. Super great car (I own also a Mercedes C class 2016).
Big L (6 days ago)
no one wanted to pay 70-80k on a bigger version of the jetta/golf
wutzerface77 (7 days ago)
They got a lot of information wrong in this video, such as referring to it's W12 engine as a "V12" and VW didn't try to "elbow it's way into the luxury market" at all, this was Ferdinand's last hurrah with VW
mike sharkey (9 days ago)
I always thought it was a rebadged A8
Chatta290 (9 days ago)
It failed everywhere and for a good reason. It wasn’t a great car.
T P (9 days ago)
This is stupid if you have economy class brand how people supposed to buy 85000 usd car???
Mary Tieger (10 days ago)
I test drove the first Phaeton in the US in New York City. Flew out from San Diego met a stunt car driver and drove the hell out of it. So beautiful, it's an incredible car, *massaging seats. Hands off trunk opening, tricks with keys. I told the driver... "This won't sell in the US. The age group still equates VW with beach party"
Finesta (10 days ago)
1:58 holy orange peel.
Coco Jumbo (10 days ago)
Its about badge and perception. Is Vw Arteon failing? Looks better than bmws and audis
chad stern (11 days ago)
Not a v8 or a v12 ya bafoons two vr6s in a w configuration or the w8
Nathan Rolofson (11 days ago)
CNBC, do a video on the late 1950s failure, Ford Motor Company's Edsel.
Jason Wang (11 days ago)
it fails everywhere
左将军领徐州牧如东侯 (12 days ago)
It (辉腾)also failed in China, although most of VW’s other models dominate Chinese market many years.
Embargoman (13 days ago)
Hyundai did with the Genesis and they end up using it's own brand separate with Hyundai and now Genesis competes with Mercedes Benz and BMW, Volkswagen should stick with Audi as they know that the Pheaton is now sold as an Audi.
Pierre Pinson (13 days ago)
The German and the Japenese cars are the BEST in the WORLD!
BigTymin (13 days ago)
it failed around the world not just the US
MrMagooo (13 days ago)
Going to check cargurus for a low mileage phatoen. Thanks CNBC.
762ndTB (13 days ago)
I greatly miss Dr. Piech
m aX (13 days ago)
Why would you spend that much on a VW, just get a Audi. Even if it were a great car, exterior looks cheap like a Passat
SevenDeMagnus (14 days ago)
So sad. True, they forgot the psychology of people. If it's expensive, then you'd just buy the one that's related to quality luxury like Porsche. The heart of man is sadly more powerful than the mind and the logic but actually it's not logical too- just can't make the cake and eat it too.
secrets untitled (14 days ago)
I want one
Tim Liao (14 days ago)
Maybe the name was kind of dumb too
CrapCarsColin (14 days ago)
Because it wasn't an A8. That simple. Lol.
skulz1974 (14 days ago)
Because it was a Volkswagen garbage bin. Unreliable , period.
mtlicq (5 days ago)
wrong
Lino Andrade (14 days ago)
The phaeton looks like an over sized Jetta.. It didn't really stand out but rather blended in....
fifaaddict101 (15 days ago)
w12 not v12
Mother Goose (15 days ago)
I like all German cars & suvs. Tend to buy Mercedes and look for 1 owner cars at 100k miles & 10 + years old. I've never paid over $5,000 for one. Depreciation is your friend here + 2 factors: MB first owners are $$$ and DONT lift their hoods. and MB Dealers overcharge for repairs & Service so owners ditch their +10 year / +100k miles Benzes for cheap to buy a new one & make room in the garage ! I do my own service work its not rocket science, mainly routine maintenance & minor repair as MB are well engineered & built to last. 2000 E320 Wagon (w210) 2002 ML500 - V8 (w163)
HappyEmigrant (15 days ago)
5:12 I was hoping they will stop at S-Class seems not hahahaha. Good job Lexus
John Smith (15 days ago)
Idiotic Americans... not realizing that Lexus is actually Toyota, Acura is actually Honda, Infinity is actually NISSAN!... :)))
Anton Kiss (16 days ago)
Phaeton failed everywhere
Austin Poeppelmeyer (16 days ago)
If you're going to do a video about a car, least get the information about said car correct. The Phaeton never came with a V12. It had a W12.
Marcus LeeP (16 days ago)
Thank you..
mikkelkmerrild (16 days ago)
What is 185F
Karaninderveer Guru (16 days ago)
Best ever
rovert94 (16 days ago)
This car is a success because we are still talking about it today.
rovert94 (16 days ago)
I doubt the real goal was to lift up the Volkswagen brand, or else there would be more VWs like it. Also what would Audi do if VW took their space?
Li U MAAA (16 days ago)
I have the first touareg 5.0 litre diesel so almost 500 k kilometres no major problems, intensive usage and expeditions
Nissan Tech (17 days ago)
There was a w12 not a v12. Get your facts straight
Xiaotong Li (17 days ago)
here is the thing, Mercedes first started to sell expensive cars, then later introduced cheap cars, people love them! Not if you sell cheap first before selling high.
Bradley Babeaux (17 days ago)
Because they are junk, and their dealers are absolute crooks.
AFTR DRK (17 days ago)
The was a vw ad before I saw this video. Lol
MECHO STOTACHKATА FEN CLUB 100 (17 days ago)
👌👍
T-1000 (17 days ago)
Pharton failed globally now only selling in China, because it offers too class luxury and in other countries the brand name put people off from buying it except in China because thatw what many require there, luxury interior but from outside its a VW.
Vishnu Kunnummal (18 days ago)
The Volkswagen Phaeton— the Audi A8’s annoying, yet short-lived little brother.
John (19 days ago)
I saw a Phaeton in Jackson, TN once. What on earth it was doing there I have no idea.
EcSight Games (19 days ago)
*When you price as optimistically as VW does, what can you expect?* I’m not going to lie, the German and the British have the luxury car market pretty much to themselves, especially in terms of brand prowess, but VW doing what they always have done, introducing more cash grab cars that nobody asked for.
btc coins (19 days ago)
who the hell pay for a car that looks like passat?
aldo3g (19 days ago)
The car which is stealth wealth on full force, the one for people who likes Starbucks but put their coffee on very cheap bottles to join their coworkers and keep complaining at Starbucks on peace. #trackdaybro #MrRegular
Tudy Shay (19 days ago)
Its w12 not v12 tho..
MK2 SQ (20 days ago)
Let me save you 6min. It failed as VW brand is not position or embraced as luxury brand. People would rather over pay for a status symbol then get more from a cheaper brand.
Robert Bopko (20 days ago)
It failed everywhere.
Appleman1964 (20 days ago)
The Phaeton probably would have been more successful if the styling was better. I always felt the styling was extremely dull and didn't convey an upmarket image. Also, the Audi A8 was roughly the same price but had better styling and a more prestigious brand name. Your pronunciation of that megalomaniac's surname name was off, but that is expected for a non-German speaker.
TheAmazingMrMcFlyy (21 days ago)
I'll never forget the first time I saw this car at the auto show and both me and my dad had brought up the W12 A8 to the brand ambassador and he instantly got very defensive and started his schpiel on how the car is its own thing completely designed to compete and even outstanding the A8. That was the first time but certainly not the last where I would hear that VW shot itself in the foot with that one. Still, forever a special car in time. RIP Dr Peich
TheAmazingMrMcFlyy (21 days ago)
I remember the guy who sold us out first CC had the most beautiful Pheaton W12 that he bought back from the original owners wife after he passed and he was the manager of that dealers VW financing , so he made her so awesome deal on a trade in and pretty much got the car for under $24k , would love to have one some day. The spec of that Phaeton was more impressive than any Bentley flying spur at the time
Vegasclaw (21 days ago)
The review is pretty awesome, but I hate to be that guy that saids you mispelled the V12 in a W. Ps still love the great review 😁.
chris thapelo (21 days ago)
I like the Helios wheels
Srijan Gupta (22 days ago)
1:01 dude. It's not a V12. The Phaeton used the famous W12 engine.
radudeATL (22 days ago)
Doug DeMuro is the type of guy who is disappointed in your pronunciation of Phaeton...
Mohammad Hassan (22 days ago)
I wanted that car so bad when it came out, too bad :(
Henry Phillips (23 days ago)
I own a 1 in 172 in Europe 2008 GP1 with massaging air conditioned seats. I love it!
Alvin Wong (23 days ago)
That is why carmakers have always had to create an American luxury brand like Hyundai's Genesis, Nissan's Infiniti, Honda's Acura, Toyota's Lexus etc. Brand name and perception plays a huge part in the luxury car segment.
BorisG491 (23 days ago)
The car is popular in China because CCP officials needs to keep a low profile while still enjoy all the luxury. This car is perfect as in an untrained eye it’s just an bigger Passat.
Viren vs (23 days ago)
Yet Americans spend big bucks on the vw touareg.....
Емил Ефендулов (23 days ago)
It failed absolutely everywhere. People in Europe as brand slaves just as much as in America. Also, the few people that looked past the badge were disappointed with the lacklustre quality (the car had a few more teething problems than other new models) and non-existent residual value, which killed sales even further.
David Hill (24 days ago)
In the luxury market the badge means everything .
dorian22couk (26 days ago)
Phaeton failed in Europe too, that's why they stopped production few years ago
Broken Motor Wagen (27 days ago)
Why does every idiot try to tell us this story? The Phaeton was a beta for the upcoming Bentleys. Carmakers do this all the time.
iSiP Toronto (27 days ago)
It was literally an overpriced car.
Cameron Peralta (27 days ago)
Why buy a Phaeton when I could get an S Class or 7 series LMAO
林春野 (27 days ago)
It also failed in China, with people taking it for the Passat XL
Don farlan (27 days ago)
People are wanting new ground yo stsnd on economic collaps is caused by that need to bad for that
Rob (27 days ago)
I've only seen 1 here in Las Vegas. It was some old guy keeping it in his garage.
Pe verhelle (27 days ago)
These days more plastic and overpriced than ever... still quality tho. And you didn't mention the rust problems on these cars...
Najib Taibi (28 days ago)
VW needs to revive the beetle, a small reliable accordable and cheap to maintain. We are tired of the planed obsolecence crap we get today
Dariune (29 days ago)
Mid-income muricans figured you cant flex on your suburban neighbours with a vw
S K (29 days ago)
Why not just give your mechanic $84k and avoid buying the VW Phaeton to begin with? Same end result.
David Cai (30 days ago)
Because most US people just like cheap cars. US people don't know the quality or luxury, they are spoiled to just know cheap and low quality stuff like Toyota and Honda.
NiteGambler (30 days ago)
It failed in the USA because Americans love their big 3 and trucks.....I own 1 of 114 sold in Canada and love this car more so than my A6 Quattro wagon v6 30 valve....
nube144 (29 days ago)
Enjoy it!!!!
Sickage (30 days ago)
1:02 - it was a W12 engine, not a V12
Gerald Tomyn (30 days ago)
You couldn't have shown a completed car's interior?
Slav 3000 (30 days ago)
could say the same about the Tuareg, a big premium SUV sharing a platform with the Porsche Cayenne
Kwan Linus (1 month ago)
Americans: Nope It's a Volkswagen Volkswagen Group: Then let's call it the Audi A9 Americans: Hell yeah! This thing is great!
Krane (5 days ago)
I would have like to have given the car to the car snobs with the name removed then ask them who they think made it and how much it was worth. Thing is, nobody ever denied the car's quality.
nube144 (29 days ago)
Same in Europe
LurkerDood (1 month ago)
Why buy a luxury Volkswagen when you can just buy an Audi or Mercedes or BMW?
nube144 (29 days ago)
'cause not everyone want to do like everybody would do...that's cool!!! For good or not, is there any luxury sedan less seen (and common) than a Phaeton???🤔 Maybe a Toyota Century, that's all
Boi Troi (1 month ago)
Every time this asshat pronounces the V in Vw, I die a little.
Boi Troi (1 month ago)
It's not pronounced Volkswagen but Folkswagen you white dumb asshats 🌚
moinmoin (1 month ago)
The Phaeton was a baby of Piëchs megalomania...Bugatti Veyron, V10 and W12 Touareg and this thing to name a few...It was like McDonald's started selling $600 michelin star type luxury menus...
D Stuart (1 month ago)
Why don't these a-holes spend engineering time on building cars with "0" emissions instead of worrying if the windows are fogging up and installing dehumidifiers. God!