The Volkswagen Passat is a goner in the U.S., becoming the latest casualty of the SUV boom sweeping the nation.
Volkswagen will discontinue the vehicle for sale in America following a limited-edition 2022 model-year run of the sedan, the automaker announced in a news release and spokesman Will Gock confirmed in an email.
The move comes more than 30 years after the Passat nameplate made its debut in the U.S. The automaker in 1974 introduced an American vehicle based on the German Passat called the Dasher and then renamed it the Quantum in 1982. It got the name Passat and its own platform in 1990.
The Passat has suffered several setbacks in recent years. The diesel version of the car was one of the vehicles that cheated on emissions standards in VW’s big scandal, leading to it being scrapped as part of a negotiated trade-in program.
It has also struggled to keep up with larger, more popular VW models in recent years.
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Across the auto industry, passenger car sales have fallen sharply amid a surge in sales of SUVs and pickups. Cars now make up anywhere from 1 in 4 to 1 in 5 new-vehicle sales depending on the month, having fallen from about half a decade ago, according to analysts.
Other automakers have discontinued numerous passenger cars, as well, including the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris.
Volkswagen has responded to the trend by expanding its lineup of SUVs, including the three-row Atlas, the nimbler Atlas Cross Sport and the beefed-up midsize crossover Tiguan.
The Passat’s demise also follows the debut of the Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV, which the automaker has described as the first in a series of EVs under the ID. brand.
The Passat has been assembled at the automaker’s U.S. plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
“With the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport in high demand, and the North American production launch of the all-electric ID.4 SUV next year, our future in Chattanooga looks brighter than ever,” Volkswagen Group of America CEO Scott Keogh said in a statement.
VW said it will make nearly 2,000 units of the 2022 Passat Limited Edition for the U.S.
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