Volkswagen is delaying the launch of its revamped Phaeton luxury sedan until the company can find a way to keep production and material costs down.
The new head of the VW brand, Herbert Diess, has been tasked with lifting margins to above 6 percent by 2018, and the slow-selling Phaeton is one of the cars on which he is working to make it more profitable.
VW assembles the $100,000 luxury car in Dresden, Germany using specially trained technicians who wear white uniforms and gloves. It features hand-picked wood finish along with other luxury amenities like 18-way adjustable seats.
The Phaeton never sold well and was eventually pulled from the U.S. market because of it. The $100,000 luxury car never fit in well with Volkswagen’s lineup of practical sedans and SUVs, but VW is still pushing forward with the project thanks to former Chairman Ferdinand Piech’s wish to build the car.
Piech challenged VW engineers to build him a car that is comfortable to drive at 186 mph to take on the Mercedes S-Class.
Arrival timing for the redesigned Phaeton is unknown, though the car was originally slated to arrive sometime around 2017 or 2018, so it will likely arrive even later than that.
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