From a gleaming new glass factory nestled alongside a city park in this showpiece of formerly communist Germany, the people's car is going upscale, according to a Detroit News
story by Daniel Howes.
Volkswagen AG, the German automaker founded 60 years ago to provide cheap cars to workaday Germans, is aiming to use its all-wheel drive Phaeton luxury sedan and first credible sport utility vehicle to show it, too, can offer European luxury to customers from Munich to Michigan.
Great idea, if it can be executed, according to the News
. Will car buyers reared with cheap Beetles in the '70s and mid-market Passats today be willing to drop $40,000 for a VW Touareg SUV or, say, $65,000 for VW's eight-cylinder answer to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class or BMW 7 Series? And even if they are, even if they
embrace VW's marketing spin that choosing a Phaeton is a mark of individuality and courage, can dealers deliver what the well heeled expect?
In the heady world the Phaeton, even the Touareg, seeks, dealers offer kid-glove service, free cappuccino and posh surroundings to luxury-car buyers weaned on Mercedes, BMW and Jaguar, according to the News