More victims will join the US market Passat to the grave.
We learned almost exactly one week ago the Volkswagen Group's plans to discontinue the US market Passat sedan in 2023. Built in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the VW Passat is now officially living on borrowed time as that plant will become solely dedicated to building the Atlas, Atlas Cross, and ID.4. And now it appears the global Passat, built on a different platform than its US model, is on its way out as well.
Automotive News reports VW has decided to axe the European market Passat in the same year as well. The decision seems to have to been made following general discussions regarding spending cuts and questions regarding where the next-gen Euro Passat would have been built. The original plan was to move production from Germany to a new plant in Turkey, but the Syrian conflict got in the way. VW Group then decided to shift those plans to Bratislava, but that would have required a €1 billion investment.
But there is some good news and, sadly, more bad news. It seems there will indeed be a next-gen Passat wagon, called the Passat Variant, because sufficient demand still exists for this body style. Another key reason why the Euro-spec Passat is leaving the part is because of its sister ship, the Skoda Superb. Already more popular than the Passat, the Superb can not only cheaper but also offers additional practicality with its hatchback design.
The next Superb will instead be aimed at customers in Central and Eastern Europe where sedans are still popular, while the Passat wagon will attract Western European buyers. Now for the not so good news: there won't be a next-generation Arteon fastback sedan or shooting brake.
American only has the former but this means the Arteon will be one generation only. It rides VW's MQB platform, like the Euro Passat, and is considered an upgrade from the US Passat in terms of both pricing and luxury. The report didn't state when the Arteon will sail off into the sunset, but since it dates back to 2017, model year 2023 could again be a sad year for sedans.
Fortunately, we also recently learned a production version of the insanely cool all-electric ID Space Vizzion concept wagon is heading to production and will hopefully come stateside.