VW Admits Tesla Model S Killed Off Next-Gen Phaeton

Volkswagen has admitted that development of the next-generation Phaeton was cancelled because of the Tesla Model S.

Talking at the Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen brand boss Herbert Diess said that development of the new-age Phaeton was quite progressed when the marque decided to pull the plug for fear that it wasn’t going to match up to the Model S.

“We were quite far advanced with the next Phaeton but it became clear it wasn’t enough of a leap forwards. A modern large saloon has to be competitive and have an advantage over the Tesla, which is the benchmark and in many regions dominates the segment.

“Now, if we go back there, we have to take Tesla seriously, and of course that is what we are doing with our electric strategy,” added Diess, as reported by Autocar.

The automaker has apparently started to work on the new Phaeton and plans to launch it by 2020. With Tesla now in its sights, it will be dramatically different than the Phaeton we are familiar with and could even adopt a new name.


  • xDRAN0x

    I think they killed it themselves

  • TheHake

    There are many things that a Tesla can be improved on…

    • S3XY

      A first generation car that set the benchmark for the entire auto industry that has been making cars for the past 100 years. And the interior has been improved because that’s what you’re implying.

  • Bob

    “it became clear it wasn’t enough of a leap forwards.”—Uh, you could say that about literally every single new car in their lineup.

    • S3XY

      And literally every single other car that isn’t by Tesla.

  • The Phaeton was ans answer to question no one never asked.

    • BGM

      Maybe. But it was a magnificent beast.

  • John S.

    Sure, lets’ put a $100,000 luxury car in the same showroom as the Golf, with sales people in pull overs and jeans. Oh, and don’t forget the wonderful service areas, where a VW is a VW! This all worked the last time. Give me break. Get rid of the VW emblem, and sell it out of its’ own showrooms with sales people who actually can talk, intelligently, about the car. Provide a quality experience in the service department. Apparently, they learned nothing from the Japanese branding of Lexus.

    • Lloyd Anthony D Peters

      You are 100% Correct. Hyundai saw this as an issue with Genesis as well, and, well its becoming its own brand and will have its own showrooms soon too.

    • Arminius JP

      Whilst there may well have been image issues, it is very old-fshioned to suppose that showrooms are the way to sell cars is it not?

    • Cobrajet

      Toyota still makes it’s own-branded Luxury cars.

  • TrevP


  • PB

    The lack of buyers of course had nothing to do with it.

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