It’s no secret anymore that the customers have drastically changed their taste in cars. Sedans are no longer a thing, apparently, as the recently production stop on the Volkswagen Passat clearly indicates. The last Passat ever made at the Chattanooga plant in Tennessee rolled off the assembly line last month and, according to the German car maker, we won’t see it coming back anytime soon.
The final sedan was a Passat Limited Edition in Platinum Grey and its death isn’t surprising as Volkswagen previously stated that the 2022 model year would be the Passat’s last in America. Even so, looking back at its history, this is a rather sad moment for the iconic car in Veedub’s previous line-up.
Over the last 47 years, over 1.8 million Passat models have been sold in the US. Worldwide, that number adds up to over 30 million, which made the Passat the best midsize sedan ever put into production back in 2019. That’s because you can’t really talk about the Passat without including the worldwide markets, as this car has been a global success over the years.
The first six generations were made in Europe and then shipped to the US. The last generation, however, was built in America and made specifically for the local market, with unique features. For example, the US-made versions were noticeably larger than the ones for the European market. However, sales weren’t doing too well for a number of reasons. The most important one was the competition coming from the SUV and crossover alternatives inside every segment. For example, sales dropped constantly, from a record 117,023 units in 2012, to just 24,396 last year.
From now on, the production space left open by the Passat will be reserved for the Volkswagen ID.4 at the Chattanooga plant. This was, by comparison, a necessary move as Volkswagen apparently can’t keep up with demand for its electric SUV and needed the extra room to keep delivering on time.