Another sedan bit the dust in the U.S. market. Volkswagen confirmed to Wards Auto that the Chattanooga, Tennessee-built Passat will no longer be built or offered in the States as of 2023.
The German sedan was launched in 1973 as a two- or four-door sedan and also came in three- and five-door versions. Just last year, the 30-millionth Passat rolled off the assembly line, making it the second-best-selling VW in history after the smaller Golf but ahead of the iconic Beetle.
The 2020 model starts at $22,995 and is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The handsome sedan may be rated at 34 mpg, which makes it attractive to current fuel-saving trends, but VW is turning its gaze toward electrics like the ID.4 crossover. The ID.4 is the follow up to the Europe-only ID.3.
"We've made a decision to cancel the Passat for the U.S. later in the decade," said VW CEO Ralf Brandstätter in a statement. "The sales trend is very firmly in favor of SUV models, as indicated by the success of the Atlas.”
Promoted from COO to CEO in June of this year, Brandstätter’s focus is on the brand’s Transform 2025+ strategy and carbon-neutral mobility. In 2016, VW announced the strategy, which includes investing 11 billion euros (about $13B U.S.) in electromobility by 2024. Just this week, VW revealed that its Chinese components factory in Tianjin will be producing the APP 310 drive on the modular electric drive matrix, which is used in the ID.4 variants.
Volkswagen will be working on developing the next Passat for the European and Chinese markets, where it currently makes the most sense.
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