By on June 11, 2013


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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27 Comments on “Volkswagen Delays Passat As Europe’s Woes Hurt D-Segment Sales...”

  • avatar

    What IS taking VW so long to produce a viable crossover competitor; the fact that it’s a HUGE hole in the product line isn’t exactly a new revelation.

    • 0 avatar

      Wait, VW DOES have a crossover competitor to the Qashqai, the Tiguan. I believe it’s one of the most popular SUVs sold in Europe. In the States, it’s a different story: Tiguan is too premium to play in the center or the small SUV market, but I understand the next-gen will pull a Passat and realign itself to what the Americans want.

  • avatar

    Smart. I’m sure they’r leveraging their engineering resources with releasing parts for another global program.

    Knowing ze Germans, they’re still dragging ass and unreachable because they’re on their never ending vacations… whatever they’re assigned to.

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      Yes and no. The Passat we are getting, which is the “superior” European one, looks like a reskin of the previous one to me (the dash appears to be the same). Which is alright, since the overall shape of the previous version wasn’t offensive to the eyes (the cheapening that happened on the current one is). The car is getting old, may be already at the end of its cycle.

      In any case, sales wise, Fridge >> Passat x far.

  • avatar

    There was a time when Europeans were quite smug about their sophisticated rejection of SUVs. Hah.

  • avatar

    I’ve got it: Let’s raise the GTI 2″ and call it something stupid, round out the design a little to appeal to middle-aged American women, and charge a couple thousand more for it. That’s sure to work.

    (I was going to say something mean, but I’m a multi-repeat VW customer and a current shareholder.)

    • 0 avatar

      I thought that was what the Tiguan was!

      What the f**k is the Tiguan, then?

      • 0 avatar

        It’s a RAV4 that you should probably take the roadside assistance on.

        • 0 avatar

          Ah, the often extolled but actually non-evident superior VW engineering and reliability.

          Not sure if any other brand has such a disconnect between perceived reliability and actual reliability. Toyotas and Hondas are usually as reliable as people make them out to be…

          • 0 avatar

            So explain why my BMW and VW have been reliable but my Acura is a nightmare ?

          • 0 avatar

            I’ve put 75,000 miles in three years on three different VWs (company cars) – all have been stone cold reliable. One diesel, two gassers, plus my wife’s 2005 TDI Golf and my 2002 New Beetle 1.8T. Also reliable.

          • 0 avatar

            That explains why my 07 Golf GTI has been a nightmare (that piece of **** 2.0T just blew a PCV last week at 81km gave me a heart attack cuz I thought the Turbo was going) but the old Civic and Integra were reliable with no issues (then again that was the 90s).

      • 0 avatar

        It’s a taller Golf that isn’t available with anything aside from a 2.0 gas engine that requires premium unleaded. Supposedly a TDI will be available in 2015. Dealers and customers have been asking for a diesel Tiguan for years. I hope Mazda gets the diesel CX-5 to market first to show them up.

  • avatar

    That’s odd, I assumed Acuras were dead solid because people still drive 20 year old Legends around.

  • avatar

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

    • 0 avatar

      You should know Phaeton sales have been rising every year, and that the Phaeton plant in Dresden is now at three shifts in order to meet demand, a large component of which comes from the East.

    • 0 avatar

      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

  • avatar

    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”.)

    • 0 avatar

      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).

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    @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.

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