Volkswagen Steps On The Brakes Of The Passat

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

With only a 1.9 percent of lost sales in the black hole called Europe, Volkswagen remains relatively unaffected by the European contagion, especially compared to PSA (- 12.9 percent), Renault (-19.1 percent), Opel (- 15.8 percent), Ford (- 13.2 percent) and Fiat (- 16.1 percent). But Volkswagen can’t walk on water either. Volkswagen is throttling down the production of its bread & butter car, the Passat in reaction to lackluster demand.

Volkswagen’s Emden plant will give its workers four long weekends by closing on three Fridays this month and one in March, says Automobilwoche [sub]. Emden workers already received an extra holiday week during Christmas to adapt supply to demand.

Along with the Golf, the Audi A4 and Audi A6, the Passat is one oft he most popular models in the stable of the Volkswagen Group.

No rest for the weary workers of the new Golf MK7: Demand is so high that the unions had to approve overtime.

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  • Asdf Asdf on Jan 30, 2013

    Well, the Passat was launched in 2005 and is now 8 years old! No wonder it's not selling like it used to.

    • See 1 previous
    • Asdf Asdf on Jan 31, 2013

      @Brian P I'm assuming you mean the 2010 *facelift*? That's not a new generation Passat, no matter what VW marketers would have you believe.

  • GST GST on Jan 30, 2013

    Hard to explain. Friends of our had Jetta and Passat and continual problems. Will never own VW again. (they neglect their vehicles, but current RAV 4 seems to be doing ok.) My daughter has a 2004 Jetta 1.8l engine with stick. 135000 miles, only 1 problem, water pump. Worse car my wife and I had was Toyota Camry wagon with a V6 and automatic. Second time engine imploded, sold it to a mechanic who then bought used engine for it. Worst dealership experiences we ever had by far. We are now an Audi family with 2006 A4, 2001 Audi TT roadster (140000 mi>) and 2011 Q5. ( 4 cyl.) No real issues, very good customer service so far.

  • Brian P Brian P on Jan 30, 2013

    I have a 2006 Jetta TDI with 414,000 km on it, and it has been the best vehicle I've ever owned. It's getting to the point where I will have to spend some money on a few things, but I really can't fault it at this point. I can tell you one thing, though ... I will not be spending that money on a new Corolla. But, I don't like the current Jetta (or Passat) either. So, I'll fix mine and keep on going. In my view, VW in North America has two main headwinds with regards to their reputation ... negligent owners who don't follow proper maintenance procedures, and the dealer network who are often guilty of the same (and their problem-denying, warranty-denying, blame-game-playing overseers, VWoA). There is no car built that is completely without faults of some sort. When this happens, VW's policy is, and has always been, deny, deny, deny. Mine has not seen the inside of a dealer's shop since the last service before the end of the warranty period.

  • Spyked Spyked on Jan 30, 2013

    I don't see how this is really news. So car sales in Europe are down. Predicted to stay that way. VW is still WINNING in every way imaginable. A slight reduction in production is SMART - why flood dealers with Passats and then have to incentivize them?

    • MeaCulpa MeaCulpa on Jan 30, 2013

      Dealer flooding is quite rare in Europe, even showroom cars/stock is built to the dealers order, so "channel stuffing" was never a realistic option. Incentives to keep production lines open does happen at times as does some other incentives but not really of the "forcing cars down dealers throats verity".