Volkswagen Passat Receives Date of Execution; VW Shifts Production Power Away From Lame Sedan

volkswagen passat receives date of execution vw shifts production power away from

It’s been five weeks since I opined VW should cancel the Arteon and the North American Passat, and replace both with the European Passat instead.

Late last week, Volkswagen complied with part of my request. They must read TTAC!

As reported by Ward’s Auto, the Passat will exit Volkswagen’s North American lineup after the 2023 model year. Currently built at the company’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the dated and unpopular large sedan will ride off into the sunset to make way for the company’s new ID.4 electric CUV.

The ID.4 launches next year, and will only reach its full production capacity in 2023 when it takes up the space in Tennessee formerly occupied by Passat. Volkswagen is spending $800 million on the plant to do the switch-up and believes the future of American transportation is SUVs, crossovers, and EVs. Chattanooga also produces the Atlas and slightly uglier Atlas Cross.

Keep in mind the North American Passat is very different to the Passat sold to the rest of the world. Initially shared by North America and China, Passat resides on the New Midsize Sedan platform which bowed model-year 2012 as a replacement for the B6 Passat. The rest of the world migrated to the B7 (a facelift of B6) in 2010, and on to the MQB-based B8 in 2015. Your author has reviewed the current NMS Passat earlier this year, and found it most unsatisfactory.

Today, China has an MQB Passat, and North America alone persists with the same 2012 NMS mobile, facelifted multiple times. Other places globally needn’t worry about Passat’s future though, as in 2023 a B9 Passat will debut and continue in large and upscale fashion.

There’s no word on the Arteon’s future at this time, but as it’s on the same platform as the B8 Passat and built in Germany, it will likely live at least a couple more years locally. In 2024 it will carry the banner as Volkswagen’s only large-ish offering that’s not a crossover, and will also be overdue for replacement. Maybe they’ll follow through with the rest of my three-step plan at that time.

[Image: Volkswagen]

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7 of 17 comments
  • FreedMike FreedMike on Nov 23, 2020

    I figured they'd keep this around for a couple of years to milk whatever they could out of it.

    • See 3 previous
    • SPPPP SPPPP on Dec 01, 2020

      The article says they are doing exactly that. It goes away after the *2023* model year. It took me two reads of the article to pick up on that. But, basically, they are keeping it around for at least 2 more model years. I would also speculate that 2.5 years gives VW a bit of time to change their minds. If the ID4 doesn't sell in the quantity that requires the US plant's output, then they might be better off continuing to ship ID4s from Europe or China, while building the current Passat in Tennessee. It has been done before with other models (and you might say that the current Passat represents that, as the rest of the world is on a newer platform).

  • Oberkanone Oberkanone on Nov 23, 2020

    the Peoples EV 300 mile range for under $20K

    • INeon INeon on Nov 24, 2020

      Years ago people used to put clothes dryer motors and 12v battery arrays into VW Beetles-- I'd run the snot out of one as a town car!

  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.
  • Inside Looking Out Why not buy Bronco and call it Defender? Who will notice?