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hübsche Fabrik
December 24, 2005 7:55 AM   Subscribe

From the outside it's hard to guess this is a car factory. But then again, even from the inside the parquet floors and lack of shelves may have thrown you off. Welcome to VW's Incredible Glass Factory.
posted by furtive (16 comments total)

 
Admittedly, it is more of an assembly plant, as the frames come in already painted, but this is much nicer than the typical giant hollow box on a concrete floor for which factories are known to be.

It's also true that this is mostly a luxury plant designed to tout a luxury line towards a luxury clientele, but I still think it makes for a very nice factory.
posted by furtive at 7:59 AM on December 24, 2005


The Phaeton, which is produced in that plant, is being dropped from the VW lineup in the US, because of poor sales.
posted by SteveInMaine at 8:10 AM on December 24, 2005


Yeah, the Phaeton should have been marketed under the Audi brand. A big mistake for the so called people's car company.
posted by furtive at 8:14 AM on December 24, 2005


Jesus. It's like Ikea started making cars...
posted by Thoth at 8:38 AM on December 24, 2005


Finally, the future we were always promised but nobody ever got around to building!
posted by maxsparber at 8:46 AM on December 24, 2005


Yeah, the Phaeton should have been marketed under the Audi brand. A big mistake for the so called people's car company.

Where would it have fit in Audi's line, though? Is it even comparable with an A8?

Toyota has done fine with their Solaria, as has dodge(!) with their stratus. I mean, come on if dodge can market a 'luxury' car then so can anyone. The problem with the Phaeton is that it's just ugly.
posted by delmoi at 8:52 AM on December 24, 2005


Er, I meant the Royota Avalon. Obviously the Solara is sort of nice too.
posted by delmoi at 8:53 AM on December 24, 2005


Toyota has done fine with their Solaria

The Toyota Sundials?
posted by sbutler at 9:11 AM on December 24, 2005


hmm, delmoi, the avalon is a really nice car, but it's price starts under $30k - right within the range that toyota has dominated for the past 20 years. The Phaeton started at $70k for the v8 and over $100k for the W12 - totally different markets.

I think the phaeton is a beautiful car, and an excellently engineered car, but it looks too similar to last generation lower end VW's (passat), and the fact that it is essentially an audi A8 with different body work and less aluminum (heavier) meant that people who were looking at a fast, comfortable 4 door car with AWD in that segment were likely to choose the Audi.

I think that Nissan and Toyota knew (for whatever reason) that marketing luxury cars to an american audience would be difficult - (not sure if there was a history there) - and that's exactly why they developed the Lexus and Infiniti brands in america for their luxury lines. They still sell most of those cars as toyotas in europe, however.
posted by jba at 9:45 AM on December 24, 2005


Glassy
posted by parallax7d at 10:37 AM on December 24, 2005


I maintain that the Phaeton could have been transformed with some decent, attractive wheels. It baffles me that they allowed it to go to market with such pedestrian-looking alloys.
posted by Tubes at 10:55 AM on December 24, 2005


Wow, what waste.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:33 AM on December 24, 2005


Hey Tubes: Check this out. I agree.
posted by jba at 8:37 PM on December 24, 2005


Blame Ferdinand Pietch, former chairman of VW -- the Phaeton was his baby, along with the Bugatti Veyron (sp?). Both were quixotic engineering efforts given VW's established branding. The 251 mph, 1000 hp Veyron cost something like $500 million to engineer and won't make back that cost during the planned production run (at $1.2 million a copy). Meanwhile, VW's bread-and-butter passenger car lineup has stagnated.
posted by killdevil at 9:11 PM on December 24, 2005


jba: Now that's what I'm talking about. Makes such a difference.

killdevil: I've read that the Veyron was never intended to profit; it was meant only to re-establish the Bugatti marque. They plan to reap the rewards with sales of forthcoming earthly models.
posted by Tubes at 12:19 AM on December 25, 2005


The problem with the Phaeton is not its wheels, the problem is that that it costs $70-$100K, and it's a Volkswagen.

In other words, when I pull up to the country club in my $100k car, it better not be wearing the same badge as the car my caddy rode in on.
posted by notyou at 7:47 AM on December 25, 2005


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