Volkswagen’s distressed mass-market brand is pressing upmarket once again with a brand-new flagship design a year after ceasing the flopped Phaeton high-end saloon in a bid to raise margins and restore its post-dieselgate image.
Volkswagen, traditionally understood for its range of useful saloons, hatchbacks and sport-utility vehicles (SUVs), on Wednesday revealed the new Arteon fastback to woo clients who like high end automobiles like BMW’s 4-Series Gran Coupe or Mercedes-Benz’s CLS coupe however at lower rates.
The four-door Arteon will go on sale in German showrooms next month beginning at 34,800 euros ($ 39,111).
The world’s biggest car manufacturer requires higher-margin designs to help fund a tactical shift to electric and self-driving vehicles as it comes with billions of euros in expenses for its emissions scandal.
The Arteon, including adaptive cruise control and boosted emergency braking and steering functions, looks like Volkswagen luxury brand Audi’s A5 Sportback with its long wheelbase, extended hood and reduced roofline.
“Vehicles like this have previously been the domain of premium automakers,” Volkswagen brand chief executive Herbert Diess informed reporters. “With the Arteon we are attempting to acquire a foothold in this business.”
It’s not the very first time the VW brand has pushed upmarket. In 2002, it introduced the executive Phaeton saloon which was axed last March after never fulfilling VW’s actual sales target of 20,000 automobiles annually.
VW intends to sell up to 40,000 Arteons a year globally, Diess stated, about the like the predecessor CC saloon which stopped production last October.
The Arteon is the newest example of a post-dieselgate product overhaul at the VW brand to restore success which has been lagging competitors such as PSA Peugeot Citroen and Toyota.
VW will provide redesigned variations of the Polo subcompact, one of its all-time bestsellers, in June and the flagship Touareg SUV in September, after it released a revamped Tiguan compact SUV in 2016.