By on November 23, 2020

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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17 Comments on “Volkswagen Passat Receives Date of Execution; VW Shifts Production Power Away From Lame Sedan...”


  • avatar
    Mike Beranek

    Bring back the Phaeton!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    It’s the right thing to do.

    But keeping the Arteon around is a matter of somebody’s unfounded pride getting in the way of reality.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I’ve mentioned this a few times, but I really liked the 2016-ish Passat R-Line I rented and drove to New Hampshire and back. It was the first car I had driven with a sceen and bluetooth.
    I am vehemently opposed to German cars, especially VAG, but I seriously considered getting one. The issue I didn’t like was that I felt like I was swimming in the drivers seat – like it was made for someone much larger than me. But I thought it was roomy and even the 1.8t was adequate. It did feel like it was completely unstable while driving in the rain, even just on wet pavement. Though I assumed that could be addressed with better tires.
    It’s the reason I took over the lease on the Regal GT and then on to leasing an IS300.
    I hate the facelift, I think it makes the car look a lot worse.

    That IS300, incidentally, is being picked up tonight by Vroom as I am selling it since it has just been sitting all year with no real signs of that changing anytime soon. I’m just over 1/2 way thru the lease and I couldn’t resist the offer they provided when I requested it. This is sure to be an experience I won’t forget – as I’m sure I’m about to get screwed.

    • 0 avatar
      teddyc73

      It either was or it wasn’t a 2016. It can’t be “ish”.

    • 0 avatar
      Petroleum V. Naseby

      I bought a 2020 Passat S after looking a long while for a nice mid-sized sedan to drive after 7 yeas in SUVs. Most sedans were awkward to enter and all had features I didn’t want such as keyless start, electric parking brake and especially A.S.S. (auto start stop). The Passat S lacked these and had features I really liked such as heated mirrors and HD radio, all in the base trim. It also has comfortable, supportive seating and limo like room in the back seats. It’s not as swank as my previous Passat (GLS Wagon, TDI) but still it seems a bit more upscale than other base sedans I looked at. I agree the handling isn’t near as good but I suspect part of it is the cheap Falkan OEM tires. The best part was I got the car at just under 20K out the door including tax and tags making this a great value.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

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

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Maybe the dealers told VWoA to knock it off with the cheap crap. The only 2 things good about the Passat are its space and it’s mileage.

      They really screwed it after 2018 with the ‘redesign’. At least the 2018 model offered a VR6. This version gives nada.

    • 0 avatar
      teddyc73

      Humm, wanting to make as much money as possible off a product..how strange. Is that really how businesses work?

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      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).

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    the Peoples EV
    300 mile range for under $20K

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