Having first gone on sale back in 1973, guess how many have been sold.
Volkswagen finally updated the aging Passat for the US market this year with a fresh design and upgraded tech, but it still rides on the same platform as its predecessor. European customers, on the other hand, will soon be able to enjoy a refreshed version of the all-new Passat.
Production of the European model is underway at Volkswagen's plant in Emden, Germany, where the 30-millionth Passat has just rolled off the assembly lines. This makes it officially the best-selling midsize car of all time, and Volkswagen's second best-selling model after the Golf, which has sold 35 million units worldwide and recently celebrated its 45th birthday. This also puts it ahead of the iconic Beetle, which sold 21.5-million units worldwide.
Specifically, the 30-millionth Passat that rolled off the production line is a GTE Variant with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. It's finished in Pyrite Silver Metallic and will be used as a press and test vehicle for international media events in the coming months.
"The Passat is one of Volkswagen's most important and most successful cars – since its launch 46 years ago, 30 million customers have had confidence in this Volkswagen vehicle," said Ralf Brandstatter, COO of Volkswagen. "As a result, the Passat has become one of the world's greats; a car which today is as much at home in Beijing as it is in Berlin, Sydney, Johannesburg or on the streets of San Francisco. At Volkswagen, we are proud of this successful model, which is still the benchmark within its class today."
Production of the original Passat started on 14 May 1973 in Wolfsburg and marked "the beginning of a new VW era." Positioned as a mid-range model, the Passat was the successor to the VW 1600 Type 3 with air-cooled rear engines and rear-wheel drive.
"We currently produce the Passat on three continents in 10 plants for over 100 markets. That makes the Passat a true global bestseller," Dr. Andreas Tostmann, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Production for the Volkswagen brand, added.