Volkswagen is being forced to eat a nice heaping pile of humble pie. After bragging about how its diesel cars were more fuel efficient than most hybrids, and the truth of its deception has come forward, the company is scrambling to play damage control with its image. As many predicted, VW is turning to electric vehicles as a way to help erase the blemish on its record.
Officially, the Volkswagen Brand Board of Management said recently that the Phaeton will be getting an all-electric version in the near future. That’s great news, because it likely means the full-size luxury sedan will return to the United States. Previously, the car sold poorly here and retreated back to Europe where at least some people are aware of its existence.
Some might be thinking that bringing the Phaeton back to the U.S. after embarrassingly low sales is a bad idea, but it’s actually brilliant. This time around Volkswagen has a compelling story to tell when it comes to the sedan, making it a kind of comeback kid that will make the mainstream media and the public in general stand up and notice it.
At the same time, consumers could see the all-electric version of the Phaeton as VW trying to do right after do so much wrong. Dieselgate doesn’t have to be the death of the company. After all, General Motors was in dire straits with the ignition switch scandal and the waves of recalls that came after that, but it’s convinced the public that the company has turned over a new leaf, now enjoying healthy sales month after month. If GM can do it, why not VW?
More changes will be coming to the Phaeton, namely a more “emotional design.” That was a big problem for the car before, because it looked far too boring to attract luxury shoppers. VW will also be loading it up with some cutting-edge driver assistance and connectivity tech.
Different reports claim that Volkswagen will offer a traditional internal combustion version of the Phaeton, and a plug-in hybrid as well. The company has indicated that the car will debut in 2017.