Used Volkswagen? Take $1,000 Off a FIAT or Chrysler (And Keep the VW!)

2012 Chrysler 200

Thanks to some arguing and name-calling in Europe, used Volkswagens just went up in value by a thousand bucks in the U.S.

How can a European tiff turn into a financial incentive in the United States? Because the auto market is truly international, and when an Italian automaker wants to prove a point against a German competitor, it looks to assets in the U.S. to drive that point home.

The throwdown in question is between Chrysler/FIAT CEO Sergio Marchionne and the entire Volkswagen empire.

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Alfa Romeo in America? Yes! Maybe. Someday.

Alfa Romeo 4C

Alfa Romeo 4C rendering

When FIAT took over Chrysler, there were great possibilities for more Italian models to grace showroom floors here. So far, all we’ve seen is the tiny, but fun, FIAT 500 and the super-exclusive Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione.

Promises of more Alfa models have teased those of us in the U.S. for a while now, but all we seem to get are announcements declaring another delay in getting the brand over here.

Could those delays be because Volkswagen wants to buy Alfa? Or is FIAT CEO Sergio Marchionne just fine-tuning the American Alfa offering?

Reports are all over the board.

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A New Volkswagen Phaeton Still Wouldn’t Make Sense

Phaeton or Passat?

Price a Bentley in America at just under a hundred grand and they won’t be able to make enough of ’em.

Price a Volkswagen at almost a hundred grand and no one will touch it, even if the only difference between the two cars is the logo on the grille. That’s the power of branding and a little thing called “perceived value.” Buyers love to feel like they got a deal, and they hate to feel like they got ripped off.

That’s why Volkswagen’s luxurious Phaeton remains a mystery. When it was for sale in the U.S., there was no value proposition. Prices started at close to $70,000 and quickly escalated. No one wanted a $100,000 car that looked like a Passat. It didn’t matter that the car was as luxurious and powerful as a Bentley. No amount of hand-crafted materials or double-stitched premium leather could overcome a poor price-to-brand value equation. Not surprisingly, the car didn’t sell here, and the Phaeton experiment was killed.

But VW wants to try again. With the exact same formula.

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