Following through on its plans to electrify everything Volkswagen just announced it killed the Passat in the US. The Chattanooga, Tennessee-built Passat won’t be built by 2023. With how other companies have shortened their plans for electrification the Passat may not last until then.
The all-electric ID.4, Atlas, and Atlas Cross will replace Passat production at Chattanooga
What will be replacing it in Tennessee? The all-electric ID.4, Atlas, and Atlas Cross. The Passat has seen its sales dwindle over the years never reaching 15,000 sold in either 2018 or 2019. Refreshed in 2020, sales looked to have been helped.
But with electrification on every manufacturer’s top To-Do list, VW opted to run the latest iteration up to 2023. VW CEO Ralf Brandstätter told Motor1 that US consumers are “firmly in favor of SUV models.” There is another Passat being developed to replace the current model. Unfortunately, it won’t be coming to the US.
That next Passat will use the MQB platform which means it will be larger than the current model. A longer wheelbase is part of that platform so expect there to be more legroom too. The new Passat will move manufacturing to Slovakia.
The passing of the Passat wasn’t all that unexpected. The Tennessee plant was slated to receive almost $1 billion in expansion and upgrades. It wasn’t expected those expenditures were for more Passat production.
With the loss of the Passat it is a nameplate that began in 1990
With the loss of the Passat it is a nameplate that began in 1990. But before that it started life here in 1974 as the Dasher. Between the Dasher and Passat names it was the Quantum. That naming started in 1984. So the origins of the Passat go back to the days of the original Beetle which was then still being produced.
As the Quantum it was based on the Audi 80-called the 4000 in the US. But it didn’t sell well due to its price. For a few dollars more you could opt for the Audi 4000 which had a more premium perception. And being the same underneath it was a more upscale sedan than the Quantum.
This was VW’s largest sedan and was originally imported from Europe
This was always VW’s largest sedan offering and was originally imported from Europe. But in 2011 VW decided to build a sedan in the US specifically for the American market. It was larger than the European version of the Passat. It was priced more in line with midsize sedans from Toyota, Honda, and Ford.
The current US Passat is also sold in Canada, Mexico, South Korea, and some Middle East countries. It is also assembled in China by SAIC. Though a 140 hp turbo-diesel was originally available in this latest generation, it was dropped in 2015 as part of the VW dieselgate scandal. The only engine currently available in the Passat is the 2.0-liter 174 hp four-cylinder.
So long Passat-you’re yet another sedan biting the dust as SUVs and electrification take over auto manufacturing.