Volkswagen Passat Receives Date of Execution; VW Shifts Production Power Away From Lame Sedan
It’s been five weeks since I opined VW should cancel the Arteon and the North American Passat, and replace both with the European Passat instead.
Late last week, Volkswagen complied with part of my request. They must read TTAC!
As reported by Ward’s Auto, the Passat will exit Volkswagen’s North American lineup after the 2023 model year. Currently built at the company’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the dated and unpopular large sedan will ride off into the sunset to make way for the company’s new ID.4 electric CUV.
The ID.4 launches next year, and will only reach its full production capacity in 2023 when it takes up the space in Tennessee formerly occupied by Passat. Volkswagen is spending $800 million on the plant to do the switch-up and believes the future of American transportation is SUVs, crossovers, and EVs. Chattanooga also produces the Atlas and slightly uglier Atlas Cross.
Keep in mind the North American Passat is very different to the Passat sold to the rest of the world. Initially shared by North America and China, Passat resides on the New Midsize Sedan platform which bowed model-year 2012 as a replacement for the B6 Passat. The rest of the world migrated to the B7 (a facelift of B6) in 2010, and on to the MQB-based B8 in 2015. Your author has reviewed the current NMS Passat earlier this year, and found it most unsatisfactory.
Today, China has an MQB Passat, and North America alone persists with the same 2012 NMS mobile, facelifted multiple times. Other places globally needn’t worry about Passat’s future though, as in 2023 a B9 Passat will debut and continue in large and upscale fashion.
There’s no word on the Arteon’s future at this time, but as it’s on the same platform as the B8 Passat and built in Germany, it will likely live at least a couple more years locally. In 2024 it will carry the banner as Volkswagen’s only large-ish offering that’s not a crossover, and will also be overdue for replacement. Maybe they’ll follow through with the rest of my three-step plan at that time.