AD #1685 – A New Way to Build Cars, VW Delays the Phaeton, Hyundai Teases New Elantra

August 21st, 2015 at 11:52am

Runtime: 7:13

- Carmakers Set Production Record
- VW Delays the New Phaeton
- Toyota Seeks New Airbag Suppliers
- Mercedes Reveals AMG C-Class Coupe
- Hyundai Teases New Elantra
- Ford Trail Tests New Raptor
- A New Approach to Building Cars

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35 Comments to “AD #1685 – A New Way to Build Cars, VW Delays the Phaeton, Hyundai Teases New Elantra”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    VW should just cut their losses, and forget the Phaeton. Either that, or re-style it a little, and make it an Audi, or entry level Bentley.

  2. Pdiddy Says:

    Very good show today.

    Kit Gerhart, I could agree with you more.

    That presentation on EDAG was really neat. I love seeing some up and coming technologies and ideas.

  3. Lex Says:

    The Phaeton was the pet project of Ferdinand Piech, however hasn’t this vehicle been a real sales underachiever for VW? As Sean stated in the segment, Who want to pay $100K for a VW? I will tell you nobody! Isn’t that why VW owns Audi and Porsche!

    The other problem with VW models is the names. Who’s proud to say I drive a Passat, CC, Phaeton, Tiguan or Toureg? These names sound like diseases or medical conditions IMHO. Who came up with these names anyway? The better names are Beetle, Rabbit, Fox, Golf, Jetta, Wolfsburg, Vanagon and Eos. VW needs to copy the business practices of Toyota and use and refine established nameplates to concentrate on product not advertising. If the product is good and the name is easy to remember the vehicle will sell itself.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The VW names seem to work ok, except in the US. I like them better than names like MKS, XRS, and RDX. The Rabbit name was invented for the US, and maybe Canada. Golfs have always been called Golfs elsewhere.

  5. Lex Says:

    This process of 3D printing developed by EDAG looks fantastic for taking weight out of virtually anything. I would imagine that this type of 3D printing in plastic could significantly reduce the tooling costs in most industries besides automotive and aircraft.
    Do they create 3D “Wax” models for engine blocks and other substructure components for vehicles? Casing in Wax would allow manufacturers to create molds of the 3D Wax parts which once hardened could be heated so the wax melts away leaving a perfect mold to be used to pour hot metal or aluminum into the mold to reproduce the part for mass production.

  6. Lex Says:

    The “Life Module” portion of current and future vehicles (like the BMW i3 and Smart) could be created using the EDAG 3D printing process in ABS plastic and given a carbon fiber reinforcing outer skin to improve strength and rigidity of the vehicle. Hoods, Fenders, Trunk Lids and Roof Panels could have EDAG 3D printed substructure components wrapped in Carbon Fiber to increase strength and reduce and amount and therefore the cost of carbon fiber used in the manufacturing process.

  7. GM Veteran Says:

    Lex, I agree that the VW model names are ridiculous and hard to pronounce and remember. They are not made up however. They are names of winds that blow over various parts of the African continent (except Golf). I also agree that the names they have used in the U.S. would be a better option.

    I also agree with Kit. Turn that whole project over to Audi. Sales would more than double just because it will have four rings in the grille.

  8. MJB Says:

    Sean, in response to your opening statement, “VW delays the introduction of the new Phaeton…is the car doomed?”

    Yes. If they keep that styling, it most certainly is.

    It literally looks like a glorified Passat (the front end of which, btw, has always been a weak link to me). Heck, let’s just call a spade a spade. The whole darn thing looks boring and embarrasingly understated.

  9. Marshall Says:

    Too bad more people could not look past the Phaeton VW nameplate. The guys on Top Gear [BBC] really loved that car. Said it was built to exceptional standards. And it did great in all the magazine reviews.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    When the Phaeton was introduced, Piech, and others, thought there would people who wanted a car to compete with an S-Class, without the “look, I’m rich” image. Unfortunately for VW, most people spending that kind of money for a car want to scream “look, I’m rich.”

    The Phaeton got mostly excellent reviews, but people spending that kind of money want a 3 pointed star.

  11. MJB Says:


    Yes. It is a shame. But that was a poorly calculated risk when they (Piech) launched it under the VW brand thinking that well-to-do folk wouldn’t mind ‘stepping down’ to the VW label for their next Six-Figure garage jewel. Simply not gonna happen.

    You’ll never convince 85% of the wealthy to do something like that. If they want understated luxury they’ll buy a Maserati sedan. But what they might be less likely to do is buy a label their neighbors will talk about behind their backs.

  12. MJB Says:

    I’m looking at several on AutoTrader right now going for between $8k and $17k. You can even snag a V12 version for as low as $18k! Not bad.

  13. gary susie Says:

    The wiring in a Phaeton was a nightmare. They had a lot of problems with it and was hard to figure out.

  14. gary susie Says:

    The wiring in a Phaeton was a nightmare. They had a lot of problems with it and was hard to figure out.

  15. stiophan Says:

    The Phaeton was built because Piech wanted to show that VW could build as good a car as the A8/S-Class without the brand markup. It was an amazing second-hand buy due to jumbo like depreciation, excellent build quality and VW parts. The W12 engine is the same as in the Bentley and the V8 was built especially for the Phaeton. VW needs a truck for the US, a halo car (and the Golf GTI is not it). Perhaps in China where flashy A8s are not favoured by the Chinese government the LWB might cut it. Its a car looking for a customer.

  16. HtG Says:

    Maybe the VW badge on the Phaeton will be more desirable now in China, given the crack down on corruption and the falling stock market and RMB. Reaching for straws, I know.

    btw, OT

    I checked out the new Miata at the dealer. HtG is too big for it; the ramping driver’s seat pushes my head into the headliner. Tiny trunk, much smaller than the NA original model. Gorgeous interior, like an imaginary Ferrari Dino might look today. Ugly stick treatment for the exterior, and I saw it on the lot in sunshine.

  17. HtG Says:

    I also saw a new Maxima coming at me on the highway. Had the Munroney sticker and it was near the dealer. So…test drive?

    A Winner, with the caveat that I like odd cars.

    Also, the Mazda CX3 is perfect. What looks, in and out.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15 I haven’t seen a new Miata yet, even on the road. I’ll have to check it out, especially the interior. I still can’t get that C7 Corvette off my mind, the way it drives, not the way it looks, though I don’t dislike the way it looks.

  19. C-Tech Says:

    HtG I saw a new Maxima today too.It is much better looking than the last model. If you get a chance, check out the Easter egg in the taillamp.

  20. C-Tech Says:

    The VW Phaeton, it’s good to be the king, Great car,but steep depreciation. Will the Equus suffer the same fate in time?

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    What is the point of the Maxima? It is basically the same size, with the same powertrain as an Altima V6, for an extra $8K or so. Is the cabin decor that much better in the Maxima?

  22. HtG Says:

    I’ve got an APB out for a 35yo white male, wearing a white baseball cap and thick framed white sunglasses. The individual was last seen driving a new Nissan Maxima, in maroon. The car looked pretty good, actually.

  23. Drew Says:

    I saw the new Miata on the road.coming from the opposite direction. That brief look was favorable, but not exceptional.

    This generation has the same gross failure as the prior generation – the parking brake handle is on the wrong side of the console. The 1st and 2nd generations had it the correct way – on the driver’s side of the console.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I think the parking brake is in the middle of the console of my MINI, but I’m not sure. I never use it.

  25. Shan Says:

    The top most respected mechanics that have popular YouTube channels all preach the avoid buying German engineered cars. They have too may sensors, electrical connections and wires in vulnerable places. Lastly, very expensive OEM parts. Hence they have very poor history of reliability and poor resale value.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 I suspect that is especially true with extra complex, low volume German engineered cars like Phaeton.

  27. HtG Says:

    I wonder if the modern internet makes it harder to unload these overly complex and fragile cars onto the unsuspecting. Worked for me, even though I’ll check out some of those older units.

  28. pedro fernandez Says:

    #24 Like Scotty Kilmer, he calls them money pits.

  29. C-Tech Says:

    @ #24-27 As far as these expensive and sophisticated vehicles (from Germany/Europe, Japan, and the U.S.) there are many people who insist on owning these status vehicles and believe a used one is a bargain. It sometimes is if you buy a service contract that will cover the various repairs ($5000 seats or convertible tops, $2,000 air struts and suspensions, $9,000 hybrid electric motors). Too many people can’t afford the service contracts or repairs unfortunately, but will take the chance or fall for the reputation of these manufacturers, including Lexus. When these vehicles are working they do provide an exceptional ride or luxury features. The old saying holds true, you get what you pay for.

  30. C-Tech Says:

    The great bargain is after someone else has thrown their money into the money pit. You can buy the vehicle after or during their period of disgust and disillusionment for cheap with many repairs done or at least diagnosed.

  31. Rafi Says:

    I think I have finally found the answer to Mazda’s poor sales in the US market: Mazda has one of the worst dealer service experiences in America.

    Our family’s Mazda MPV needed service last month and so we headed to the nearest authorized Mazda dealer. However, we were told to take the vehicle next door to the Ford dealer’s service department because this particular Mazda dealer was short on techs and were using the Ford dealer’s service department right next door. The Ford dealer’s service dept. were unable to fix the main problem with the vehicle – vehicle showing a “not ready” code for the past few months and repeatedly failing the state required emissions inspection test. The vehicle had also started to overheat on a few occasions.

    We were told to take the vehicle back to place that it had failed at – a gas station, in this case. That place checked the vehicle and it failed again, as it hadn’t been properly serviced at the Ford/Mazda dealer.

    We scheduled an appointment and dropped our MPV off at another Mazda dealer’s service department the following week, on a Monday afternoon. For the next 3 days, this Mazda dealer kept calling to apologize that they had been too busy to get to the vehicle. Chris, the gentleman from the service department, explained that they had only 1 tech certified to look at the vehicle and that tech was “pretty busy with other vehicles.” So we were forced to pick up the unrepaired vehicle on that Thursday afternoon – after having left it for 4 days without the tech getting a chance to look at it, let alone fix it.

    We then dropped the minivan off at a local repair shop on Saturday of that same week. This repair shop, one of the few open on a weekend, took all afternoon to fix the vehicle. They were scheduled to close at 1 PM but stayed open until 4 to get our vehicle fixed the same day. They managed to diagnose the problem as a leaking PCV valve hose and repaired it that same afternoon, after sending for the part and getting it all done the same day! This not only fixed the overheating issue, but the car also finally passed the state emissions inspection test.

    I continue to be a fan of fuel efficient, stylish, safe and, above all, fun-to-drive Mazda vehicles. However, after this horrible experience with not one but two Mazda dealer’s service department, I will never be able to convince my family to buy another Mazda. This MPV, sadly, will be our 3rd and final Mazda.

    I will continue to admire their excellent products from afar – the great Mazda 3, 6 and, especially, the Miata. But I just won’t be able to bring myself to purchase one. I had been wondering for years as to why these excellent products didn’t sell in greater numbers, while lesser brands continued to sell far more. Now I think I have found the answer to be their mediocre dealer network. Let’s hope, for the sake of all driving enthusiasts, that Mazda fixes this major problem.

  32. HtG Says:

    Bingo, C-Tech. You did leave out either being or knowing a great mechanic that can do their own repairs.

    When I sold my toy car, it was after fixing it up. The next guy got a value, and I did enjoy the tinkering. I sold after being disgusted by peoples’ quickly degrading behavior in traffic; it’s still too disgusting on the road to give much care or be enthused. Maybe that’s why people are opting for ever more isolating cars.

  33. Rob Says:

    No doubt VW cam build a high end car but the Phaeton is about as exciting as a baked potato. I agree it should be handed over to Audi and with some new fascias might recoup some of those tooling dollars.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If I wanted a big luxury car, I’d probably take my chances with a used Lexus LS, but not any of the others. There are “dinosaur” luxury cars that should be easy to keep running, like Town Car, or the late Fleetwood Brougham with Chevy 350′s.

  35. MJB Says:


    Precisely why I picked one up (’06 LS430). Even after my ’05 got totaled in a freeway hit-and-run January this year, I went and immediately picked up my ’06 via AutoTrader. Flew down to Florida to take delivery and drove it back to Michigan.

    There simply is no better value in the luxury sedan market than that 2nd gen LS. The 460 has more repair issues than the 430.