Volkswagen Is Killing The Passat Sedan In Europe, Too: Report
30 November 2020 - motor1
The Arteon is also on its way out. The silver lining is the Passat wagon will survive.
Volkswagen had planned to move production of the European-spec Passat from Emden, Germany to a new VW Group plant in Turkey for the midsize model’s next generation. The conflicts in Syria forced the automotive conglomerate to change its plans, ultimately deciding to shift production to Bratislava following a €1 billion investment in the plant.
The switch will happen in 2023 when production of the Passat’s sister model, the Skoda Superb, will be relocated from the Czech plant in Kvasiny. However, a new report from Automotive News Europe claims VW has decided to discontinue the Passat sedan in Europe, following a similar decision taken for the US-spec model built in Chattanooga. The Passat (NMS) is technologically inferior to the MQB-based European model, and much like its cousin from the Old Continent, it’s expected to bow out in 2023.
The silver lining? The Passat won’t be axed altogether in Europe as ANE reports the wagon (Variant) will live to see another generation. The thinking is VAG wants to reduce the risk of cannibalization as the Skoda Superb is known to eat into the Passat sedan’s sales due to its greater practicality thanks to a larger footprint and a hatchback layout. It also used to be cheaper, but the gap between the two has been reduced in recent years.
The report goes on to mention the next-generation Superb will target customers from countries in central and eastern Europe where sedans are still popular while the long-roof Passat will lure in buyers from western Europe. It goes without saying the Passat’s biggest enemy is not its Czech counterpart, but the proliferation of SUVs.
Company sources familiar with the VW Group’s agenda told ANE the company will shift even more focus to SUVs and its ever-growing EV lineup. Another victim will be the Passat’s sleeker derivative – the Arteon. Both the standard liftback and the Shooting Brake (it’s actually a wagon) won’t live to see another generation.
To end on a positive note for the anti-SUV crowd, VW previously confirmed plans to start production of a new four-door Aero electric vehicle at the Emden factory from 2023. It’s widely believed to take the shape of a wagon, molded after the 2019 ID Space Vizzion concept.