The electric SUV will take the Passat's place at the company's Tennessee-based assembly plant, but it's the end of an era with the sedan's death.
The day has come, Volkswagen Passat faithful. Production of the German sedan ended for the US last month, the automaker said in a Tuesday announcement. It marks the end of the midsize sedan in the country after over four decades on sale under various nameplates. They include the Dasher and Quantum.
The final car to leave the line at VW's Chattanooga, Tennessee, was a Passat Limited Edition, finished in gray. This car was a massive pivot away from importing the sedan from Europe for VW. The outgoing Passat was a vehicle developed specifically for North American tastes, and began production in 2011. Notably, the brand positioned it as more family and budget friendly than the Passat it replaced, which was more upmarket. At the time, the Passat was meant to help Volkswagen sell over 800,000 cars a year in North America as part of massive expansion plans. The company never hit those targets, especially as the market shifted away from passenger cars and focused on utility vehicles.
Speaking of utility vehicles, the Passat's production line won't go idle for long in Tennessee. The automaker invested $800 million in the facility to build the ID 4 electric SUV locally. The company will also build the SUV's battery packs in Chattanooga.
So, it's goodbye to the Passat for now, but as VW moves into the EV era, we could see some sort of spiritual successor to the sedan. The brand showed off the ID Vizzion concept in 2019, which seemed to preview a Passat for the electric age.