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VW: Interview with Stefan Jacoby, CEO of Volkswagen of America

Stefan Jacoby
We found a very interesting interview with Volkswagen of America’s new CEO Stefan Jacoby.

There has been talk about the Phaeton coming back.

It is not about Phaeton. It’s not about a single model. It is more about how to position the brand Volkswagen. Volkswagen came from a very strong positioning of Drivers Wanted. Driver’s Wanted was, in the ’90s, a lifestyle in the United States. The lifestyle has further developed. We cannot just copy this again. In between we have shifted too much, from my point of view, into extremes or niches. I think we need to carefully reposition the brand in the middle of the market and we have to, of course, offer a wide model range. This might include the Phaeton as well. The Phaeton is a German-engineering euro-car. It has nothing to do with how we position Volkswagen into a premium segment. It has something to do with Phaeton belonging to the model range that is Volkswagen. I believe that if you do things right with the Phaeton, you have a good possible and potential here in this market. Actually, whenever I talk to customers of the Phaeton and dealers they think it is a fantastic product. I have to admit that it was a mistake to take the Phaeton out of this market. Again if I re-launch this car it has nothing to do with positioning Volkswagen as a premium brand. You cannot reach 800,000 premium luxury customers even in a market the size of the United States. We are a volume brand and if we want to grow, we need to strengthen our volume segments.

There have been rumors that we won’t see the Rabbit/Golf VI in our market.

Maybe your readers can help me whether they like the name Rabbit or not. For me Golf is the brand for Volkswagen. Why should this be different in the U.S. market? I think the Golf is a statement. It is the core car for Volkswagen, and with the GTI and Rabbit we have the right history in this market.

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Source: Motive Magazine