Volkswagen Passat Reaches the End of the Road in the U.S.

By Kurt Stolz on 19 July 2021
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A worker inspects a VW Passat body at the Chattanooga plant

Once upon a time, boys and girls, there was the Chevrolet Impala, the Buick Electra, the Ford Taurus, and even the Lincoln Continental. But car buyers began to reject sedans in favor of crossovers and gone were these models with the stroke of a pen, along with Acura RLX, the Cadillac CT6, the Jaguar XE, and, now, the Volkswagen Passat.

Volkswagen said Monday that 2022 will be the final year for the Passat in the United States.

Production of the Passat for the European market will continue, a VW spokesman told Frequent Business Traveler.

The Passat, which began life in the United States as the Volkswagen Dasher in 1990, was sold over the years as both a sedan and wagon.  In 2011, the Wolfsburg-based automaker began to manufacture a U.S. version of the Passat – one that sits on an extended version of the European car’s platform, which makes it 3.9” (10 cm) longer, 0.5”  (1.3 cm) wider, therefore offering more cabin space – in its then-new factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The U.S. Passat was produced with petrol and diesel engine options until the TDI option was discontinued in 2015 amidst the Dieselgate scandal that engulfed the industry.

Meanwhile, the Chattanooga plant will continue to make SUVs such as the midsize Atlas and it will be the base for manufacturing new electric vehicles starting in 2022, following an $800 million investment there.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)