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Sign of the times? VW Arteon flagship to be replaced by 'Electric SUV' by 2024...

  • Nah, ID. Aero is a tweener of hatchback sedan and CUV

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I'm with GLI Dan. I honestly had no idea the Arteon was even sold here. Yes, functionally the Atlas is their actual flagship model. That's why it's listed - twice in fact - as the flagship vehicle for sale at vw.com:

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Surprised even people posting here were unaware the Arteon has been for sale in the US for the last three years considering how many threads have popped up here about them over the years. FWIW nothing in that snip from VW's site implies flagship...simply being listed first doesn't qualify, I'd think.

Haha, well flagship is kind of a dumb term, but the Arteon is their largest and most expensive "car" if that's the definition you want to go with for flagship, and that's three more than you've seen in the US of arguably their actual flagship vehicle - the third generation Touareg (R).

Usually flagship cars are low volume, no? I don't see a lot of Maybach S600s or S90 Recharges on the road either.
Arteon is also by far the highest quality car they sell here, which to me is the true mark of a flagship. An Atlas can technically outprice it by a couple grand at the top end, but that's because the Atlas is huge and uses more raw materials, even if they are cheaper quality.
 

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Yeah, but to be fair to Puma, the Touareg and Arteon are kind of interchangeable in looking at potential US volume, both low.

I'm sure there's several reasons why they decided to bring the Arteon instead of the Touareg, but I think they are all somewhat related to expensive and stylish MQB vs understated and inexpensive MLB. Kind of like Toyota bringing the Crown and not the new Land Cruiser.
Pretty much this, in my eyes, outside of the platform difference, the Touareg and Arteon are effective equivalents in the line up in terms of fit and finish and quality, just one is a stylish car and the other an understated SUV.
 

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I mean, I've never been in a current gen Touareg, but if it's anything like the Audi or Porsche MLB vehicles I've test-driven recently, I highly doubt the Arteon and Touareg would be equivalents with fit/finish, and material quality. Don't get me wrong, I love my Arteon, but the interior, while an upgrade over my previous Jetta, isn't as much of an upgrade as you might think given the higher price. As for the MLB cars, and even the Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and other Euro competitors I've test driven, they do have nicer materials, higher level of refinement, as well as more up-to-date and better tech implementation... don't even get me started on better dealer experience... BUT, they're not as pretty and don't offer as many features and space for the money--that, IMO is where the Arteon's value is evident. Where/how else can you get a German-built four door, that is that spacious, that practical, that pretty, and that offers that level of equipment at that price range? You can't. It's all a compromise.
The Treg would certainly be nicer still as it should for $70k+, but I meant that in a general sense, if you want a nice VW sedan that's properly done, you go straight to Arteon, and if you want a nice VW SUV that's properly done, you go straight to Touareg without really looking at the rest of VW's lineup. Someone shopping one could certainly be someone who may cross shop the other, which I guess is what I'm saying...these are the upper crust vehicles of VW's lineup that appeal to well heeled customers who aren't pretentious or badge conscious yet want something screwed together really well and just done properly. I suppose I wasn't clear in that I was referencing equivalency in product portfolio positioning and generally attracting the same pool of well heeled buyers who seek something well made.

Also in fairness you should spend some time with a facelifted Arteon, a lot of the facelift money went into the interior according to VW execs who directly referenced wanting to make it more in line with the Touareg in terms of quality and materials IIRC. The pre facelift Arteon is still very nice but was rightly criticized for certain things like no chrome bits on the window switches, etc. for the price/placement in the lineup.
 

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Why would the so-called "well heeled buyers" even stop at a VW showroom for an upscale SUV when Audi is right next door with the Q7? Particularly for $70+?
I don't know, ask someone who bought a Touareg when they were still offered here. Maybe some people just liked the VW more and knew they were still getting a very high quality vehicle.

But by and large they wouldn't and didn't, because Americans are vapid badge whores who buy things to impress people they don't know. Obviously the Touareg was a failure in the US because of your exact sentiment and because VW was clueless that that vehicle played in a lease heavy segment and provided no subsidization via inflated residuals like BMW. The reality is people would rather buy a lower trim, lesser equipped, higher badged car in this country for the same price because the badge is all anyone really cares about even if the badge comes with ugly poverty pizza cutter wheels, leatherette, no ventilated seats, etc. etc. As long as it has that badge to flex on the Karen down the street!

It's well understood Americans by and large have no taste and are badge conscious, which is why we get garbage like the Atlas while the rest of the world gets the Touareg. Everybody in this country/this forum complains about how we don't get the good stuff but when it's actually offered (Touareg, Arteon), etc., people find a reason to **** on it anyway and buy a plastic fantastic $25k Subaru instead.
 

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"because Americans are vapid badge whores who buy things to impress people they don't know. "
"It's well understood Americans by and large have no taste and are badge conscious,"
Spoken like a hater...
Or is it just casual trash talking to make you feel superior?
Did you just insult about half of the readership here?
Cuz...it seems like it.
Smile Sky Shorts Nature Natural environment



The subpar product offerings for the American market shows that we demand less, and get less. Accept reality that Americans are tasteless, auto manufacturers already have. Don't act so aghast.
 

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Not angry at all, I just don't sugarcoat things which everyone knows by now. People are free to interpret me correctly or incorrectly and project rage that isn't there but I stand by what I say. Americans simply aren't known or lauded for fine taste, rather we are known as a country of people who want nothing but the biggest anything for the lowest cost possible. VW knows this which is why they've slowly gutted their US portfolio such that now we get the developing world Taos and the big n cheap Atlas special. Even the halo car is now a cost cutting special with the Mk VIII. Quite frankly it's a surprise we get the Taos given its small size but I guess they have to have some poverty entry for when the Jetta inevitably gets put out of its misery. shrug
 

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We get only a fully loaded Golf R, and have a manual option that European markets don't get. It's expensive, niche and tiny. That doesn't sound like "biggest anything for the lowest price" to me.

The Mk8 cost cutting impacts way more people in the the European market buying the non-performance models (bulk of the sales) than it does the few thousand American buyers. Those Europeans must all have terrible taste, right? They just want cheap prices?

We have an Atlas because every mass market brand in North America needs a large 3-row SUV, because our middle-class demands that type of vehicle, can afford to buy and fuel that size vehicle, and our roads and cities have the infrastructure to support large vehicles. There is nothing classy or displaying fine taste in jamming a big European family and all of their crap into a compact wagon. They do it because that's what their environment dictates.

The discontinuation of Touareg here is not because Americans uniquely hate quality, are cheap, and are badge whores. The truth is that the product is a mediocre seller in the European market as well. Many Europeans are badge whores who don't want expensive VWs also! VW doesn't need to ship them across the ocean to sell like dog**** here as well. Especially with how much more profit is in platform mates like Cayenne, Bentayga, Urus, and the Audis.
Look, talking about how we get an amazing "fully loaded Golf R" (which, to be clear, comes complete with volume and climate control sliders that don't even light up at night due to VW cost cutting even their halo car) and then subsequently pointing out the whole 'few thousand' Americans who buy it doesn't help your position at all. Realize we get an amazing fully loaded Arteon that sells to a few thousand buyers too. Two niche case studies of nice cars that don't sell amongst a portfolio of cheapened, supersized products that do sell doesn't prove anything other than the niche higher end products aren't successful, which plays right into me saying Americans don't want expensive and nice, they want low prices. The Taos is cheap, but it'll never be a big seller here because it isn't big enough. Or arguably, it isn't cheap enough because it's within spitting distance of the larger Tiguan, pricewise. One way or another, it's either too small or too expensive as is to sell in great numbers, but one thing they've done right is take all semblance of quality out of it.

As far as the Atlas, you're arguing size, I'm primarily arguing quality (I have no issue with size if there's quality, but unfortunately the American market continues to indicate that it wants bigger sizes AND lower prices which means the quality gets cut), which when it comes to the bigger, cheaper Atlas with its paper wood veneer dash trim, just isn't there. A 2017 Touareg started at $50k, while a 2018 Atlas started at $31k or thereabouts. The quality was taken out, the size was increased, and sales increased dramatically. This formula has been replicated time and time again in VW's US portfolio over the last decade, and it's largely worked for them. Their cars got bigger and cheaper (Passat; Jetta; Tiguan; Atlas/CS introduced; developing world Taos introduced; Mk VIII isn't getting cheaper in absolute dollars but it's certainly trending downward in quality) and all they have left now in the US market worth a **** is the Arteon (and arguably the Mk VIII which is debatable given how the Mk VIII has been received due to cost cutting on the interior) which they don't market and nobody understands because in everyone's own words they could buy a much smaller base model A5 sportback with ugly wheels and nothing on it for $50k instead "because why would I buy a VW when I could buy an Audi for the same money as long as I completely ignore feature parity" which can be seen time and time again in the comments on every Arteon article or even within the Arteon forum here. You can anecdotally disagree with the reality of VW gutting its products but it is what it is. At the end of the day maybe some rogue guy in Europe flexes an A1 (just like a rogue American soul here might flex an Arteon) but that doesn't negate VW's decade long market research and strategy of gutting its portfolio in the pursuit of market share, which has worked for them.

One thing we can probably agree on is that the car in the OP is probably destined to be another US market failure if it's positioned as a high quality Arteon successor, because people here will probably do what they've always done and just go buy the lesser equipped Audi. Then there'll be 50 threads about how VW doesn't understand the market, how the pricing was wrong, how people could've bought an Audi, and the world's smallest violin will start to play for people like Puma and the three people in the Arteon forum and five people in the Touareg forum who put their money where their mouth was when they said they wanted and would buy the nice stuff.
 
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