Volkswagen Delays Passat As Europe's Woes Hurt D-Segment Sales

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
volkswagen delays passat as europe s woes hurt d segment sales

The next generation European-market Volkswagen Passat will be delayed until at least the end of 2014, as Volkswagen follows an industry-trend in Europe of neglecting their slow-selling D-segment cars.

Europe’s economic crunch has led to a sharp contraction in new car sales, and D-segment vehicles are among the hardest hit. Ford is delaying replacing the Mondeo with the car we know as the Fusion, until late 2014, while other cars like the Honda Accord are on the chopping block for Europe.

According to Just-Auto, the next Passat will be based off the MQB modular architecture, but with sales of D-segment cars moving so slowly, VW sees little reason to introduce an all-new car in such a slow market. Where VW is really hurting is in the mid-size crossover segment, which is the main culprit behind slowing sales of large sedans. Buyers are opting for crossovers like the Nissan Qashqai, which is roughly the size of our Rogue, rather than a mid-size sedan – and Volkswagen doesn’t really have a competitor in that segment, save for the relatively unpopular (in North America) Tiguan.

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  • Optixtruf Optixtruf on Jun 11, 2013

    And yet VW is still producing the Phaeton? Must be a cash cow for them.

    • See 1 previous
    • Alanv Alanv on Jun 17, 2013

      Hi just read , my question as Toyota are better in your opinion why cant they win le mans ,in fact after more than ten years o wins in F 1.and no the Phaeton is a failure in some markets ,however in some it outsells lexus and infinity and Jaguar.. what does that mean consider it was developed around 1999 and had one small facelift ,and sold better in last few years than 10 years prior..explain that,I would agree that it is a boring shape,to that I can add most lexus look like merc wannabes and the infinity has a tokyo by night interior

  • Fusion Fusion on Jun 12, 2013

    The Tiguan is Europe's second best selling SUV after the Qashqai - how in hell is that "relatively unpopular"? After its Facelift, the Tiguan has gained hugely in popularity... (Also remember, that Qashqai sales actually count what other manufacturers would sell as two different cars - the 5 seater "Qashqai" and the 20cm longer 7-seater "Qashqai+2".)

    • DAC1991 DAC1991 on Jun 12, 2013

      I was thinking the exact same thing. VW sold 156 000 (#18) Tiguans in Europe last year, 33 % more than in 2011. In january and february 2013 the Tiguan broke into the top 5 in Germany for the first time and the Tiguan is frequently in the top 3 in Austria. Since VW facelifted the Passat, sales of the model went sky high. It was quite often in the top 10 in Europe, mainly thanks to Germany, where it was the beststelling car after the Golf en Polo. Sales of the model were never so high in both Germany and Europe, so it doesn't sound strange to me that Passat sales are falling. It hasn't been in the European top 10 this year, which is mainly due to the succes of the 3 Series I guess. My sad prediction is that in ten maybe fifteen years time, the 'premium' guys will be the only ones still offering D-segment cars. PS: sales of the Passat are down 85 % (!) YoY in the Netherlands, where I live. Last year, it was the most popular car in the segment... (now the 3 Series and Peugeot 508 are the most popular).

  • Krayzie Krayzie on Jun 12, 2013

    I wish they get rid of that Infiniti clock ripoff on the center console. I mean they could have stuck a Braun 3 hander alarm clock on there which actually looks good even tho it's the same cheap crap underneath.

  • NoGoYo NoGoYo on Jun 12, 2013

    @krayzie: I rarely see Volkswagens made before the Jetta/Golf Mk III, maybe those older Golfs and Jettas just weren't as strongly built as Japanese cars. Usually when I DO see a Mk II Jetta or Golf, it's in rather rough shape. Hell, my mom's boyfriend had a '92 Mexican-built Jetta that had degraded into a total pile, with huge rust holes in the hood, completely trashed paint, and only one working outside door handle.