Volkswagen launches a new China-only model, the Phideon sedan, which will compete directly with sister brand Audi and is aimed at Chinese looking for less flashy cars with similar features as a nationwide corruption crackdown continues. Hayley Platt reports.
Volkswagen unveils its latest offering in China. A luxury sedan named Phideon - aimed at drivers wanting a saloon car with all the bells and whistles. The China-only model will be in direct competition with its sister brand Audi. (SOUNDBITE) (English) VICE PRESIDENT OF SAIC-VOLKSWAGEN SALES COMPANY Ltd., HOLGER B. SANTEL, SAYING: "One of our main tasks was to create a perfect and beautiful exterior design that makes each line full of champ, which creates an unprecedented driving desire from the bottom of the heart." The less flashy Phideon should fit right in amid a nationwide crackdown on conspicuous consumption. A pet project of China's President Xi Jinping. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "China is such an important market that really requires a real focus and dedication such to the extent that they've actually chosen to tailor their vehicle purely to the Chinese market." Volkswagen have been here before. The slightly larger Phaeton model was discontinued last year after it failed to meet sales targets. VW - still licking its wounds after the diesel emissions scandal - has some stiff competition. Ford's flagship sedan Taurus was a great success when it launched last November - outstripping the entire sales of its luxury Lincoln brand. And with the Phideon's starting price at around $53,000- the Taurus is around $15,000 less.