Passat sales have blown softly since 2011
Will be replaced by electric ID.4 crossover
The Volkswagen Passat just got what is basically the second refresh for the car that debuted way back in 2011. And while it’s not going to get a refresh, it’s not going to be replaced either. A new report from Wards Auto says that the North American Passat is done and dusted for 2023.
The model made for the US and Canada, known as the NMS Passat, diverged from the model sold in Europe and other markets. For a time the NMS car was sold in China, but that market has now also moved to the international Passat chassis. Taking its place at the Tennessee plant that is home to the NMS Passat will be, to no surprise, a crossover.
“We’ve made a decision to cancel the Passat for the U.S. The sales trend is very firmly in favour of SUV models, as indicated by the success of the (Chattanooga-built) Atlas,” VW CEO Ralf Brandstätter told Wards.
But what will be taking up the slack in Chattanooga? The production version of the Volkswagen ID.4, the electric crossover that will launch in 2022 and hit full capacity at the plant when the Passat runs out. Prior to the Chattanooga production start, the ID.4 will be imported from a VW plant in Zwickau, Germany. VW is spending US $800m in Chattanooga to expand the plant for the ID.4.
The global Passat, Brandstätter said, will still get a ninth-generation, also set to launch in 2023. Just don’t expect it here. North American sales of the Passat peaked in 2012 at well over 130,000 units, but last year saw sales drop under 15,000.