VW luxury car: Why China’s nouveau riche go for the Phaeton


Why China’s nouveau riche are crazy about the Phaeton

VW luxury car: Why China's nouveau riche go for the Phaeton-china

Strong demand in China is paying off for VW’s Transparent Factory in Dresden. There is no country in which more orders are received than from the Middle Kingdom.

Source: Volkswagen

The demand from the country in the middle pays off for the Dresden VW-Manufaktur: There are no more orders from any other country. A Chinese person paid with banknotes from a plastic bag.

NThe Koi carp in the artificial pond in front of the Transparent VW Manufactory in Dresden are not intended to feed Asian customers. Company spokesman Christian Haacke waves this aside: "Someone used the fish during the floods in 2002 because he wanted to protect them from the floods in his garden".

Haacke also has many anecdotes about the luxury sedan Phaeton in store. For example that of a branch in China. “One day a man came with two shopping bags full of banknotes and wanted a Phaeton. The next day he was back, again with a lot of money. He still needed a car for his son. "

Haacke reports on cars whose starting price in Germany is 70,000 euros. In China there is also a considerable tax. Nevertheless, the Phaeton got popular with the people in the People’s Republic. VW sells 70 percent of luxury cars to Asia. China ranks first in terms of customers, ahead of Germany. This is followed by South Korea, Russia and Great Britain. In 2009 the Manufactory delivered 1614 Phaeton to China, in 2011 it was already 7827.

Phaeton is a counter-model in China

In China, which is usually brand-conscious, where the nouveau riche usually like to show what they have, the Phaeton is a kind of counter-model. “Our customers don’t want to attract attention. Usually they are high government officials or managers of state-owned companies, ”reports the Beijing car dealer Kong Lifei. “Phaeton buyers are usually richer than someone who buys a Mercedes or BMW. They no longer need the image of a famous brand. ”But there are many jokes in China in which the Phaeton is mistaken for a Passat.

For example: if a man parks his Phaeton. The parking attendant calls: “Hey you, with the Passat! Be careful! Don’t hit the BMW next to you! You couldn’t afford that. ”The Phaeton driver is angry. The next day he wants to fill up with octane premium gasoline. Says the gas station attendant: “Doesn’t have to be with the Passat. Save the money. Only luxury cars need that. "

Customers like jokes about the car

The Phaeton type is slowly becoming depressed. The next day he heard two men who noticed his car: “Look! A Phaeton! Wow! ”The Phaeton man is happy. Finally someone recognizes his car. But then he hears one man say: "Was someone so stupid and actually bought a Phaeton."

“Our customers like these jokes,” says Lifei. “You like that it looks like a Passat. You don’t want others to recognize the Phaeton as a luxury car. ”The big differences are only visible to the occupants. “The inside of the Phaeton is luxurious, elegant, clever, beautiful and otherwise has a normal appearance on the outside,” the car page of the popular Sohu web portal quotes a Phaeton customer. "So I can feel that the inner beauty is reserved for me alone instead of showing off."

Dragons as inlay

The enthusiasm of the Chinese secures jobs in Saxony, says Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler, spokesman for the management of VW in Saxony. They want to take up the signals and needs of the Chinese market immediately in order to be able to react quickly to individual customer requests. The Chinese are also more into dark car colors, but indoors it can be quite extravagant.

Some customers have a kite cut into the fitting as an inlay. “Handmade in Germany – that’s what customers in China like,” Haacke is convinced and sees VW as part of Chinese industrial culture.

After all, the group has been active on the Chinese market for 30 years. Rothenpieler speaks of a success story. VW has 10 plants with around 50,000 employees in the Middle Kingdom. By 2016, 14 billion euros should be invested. According to Haacke, the fact that the Phaeton only rolls as a long version in China and South Korea has to do with sensitivities there.

Other luxury brands benefit

In both countries, well-heeled customers like to be driven through traffic by professional drivers. “Asia is a chauffeur market. Those who have to stand in a traffic jam for a long time like to be comfortable and have a little more legroom ”, the speaker tries to explain the advantages of the Phaeton to the man.

When it comes to their sales strategy, the Germans do not save with cheap words. “Made with wisdom, for people who appreciate it!” Is the slogan for the market in China. "This is how we meet traditional Chinese values ​​such as understatement, inner strength and insider knowledge," says Haacke. Without the previous presence with other VW models, of course, the Phaeton would not be on the road to success either.

Other German luxury brands also benefit from the Chinese penchant for German cars. According to the Association of the German Automobile Industry, one million “premium cars” from German manufacturers were sold in China in 2012.

In 2012, sales fell

There is plenty of room for improvement in the Dresden manufactory. At the moment, around 500 employees in their white overalls produce 48 cars a day – it could be three times as many. At least that’s what the assembly line, which is called Schuppe in Dresden and topped with Canadian sycamore, is very dignified.

When it started in 2001, the Glaserne Manufaktur had planned with 150 cars a day. But the demand initially left a lot to be desired. After all, in 2011, the best Phaeton year to date, 10,270 cars rolled off the assembly line. In 2012, sales fell to 9332 – one of the reasons why people in Dresden are still hoping for customers from the Middle Kingdom.

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