Volkswagen officially announced the end of production for the first-generation Phaeton, which believe it or not, survived living for 14 years, despite piss-poor sales in America. It sold decently in Europe and was popular in Asia for the chauffeured lot, which is why they’re making a second generation model.
But if you remember, when the Phaeton first came out, along with it came a fancy new Transparent Factory in Dresden, Germany, where it later became the production grounds for not only the Phaeton, but the bare-bones parts for the first Bentley Continental GT and was spare production capacity for the Continental Flying Spur. That’s because both the Phaeton and the Continental GT were built on the same platform, and even used the same W12 engine.
So, because the first-generation’s Phaeton is coming to an end with production looking to be moved to Volkswagen’s other plant in Zwickau, what’s going to happen to the Transparent Factory?
According to the latest statement, Volkswagen will be converting the factory into a museum showcase for electromobility and sustainability. YAWN! Couldn’t they have done something more interesting with it?
Though because the plant is changing purpose those involved and who will continue to be involved with the next-gen Phaeton are being required to relocate closer to Zwickau.
Now, as much as Volkswagen could be the butt of many jokes, including the Phaeton itself for being an overpriced, over-engineered Passat for anyone crazy enough to buy a $70,000 Volkswagen, it was still a hugely remarkable project completed by the hands of the insane former CEO of Volkswagen AG, Ferdinand Piech. It was one that was truly reflective and representative of Germany’s obsession with exquisite and precise engineering that the European country is known for, hence the Phaeton’s insane price.
So it’s kind of sad to see the Transparent Factory get retired to other duties while the Phaeton gets phased out, because it pretty much marks the end of the era of Ferdinand Piech who is highly credited for building companies like Audi, and the rest of Volkswagen AG’s sub-brands into the companies that they are today. Those are no small feats.
It was a good run, Transparent Factory.
– By: Chris Chin