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The U.S.-Market Volkswagen Passat Sedan Is Being Killed in 2023

It’s a nerve-wracking time to be a sedan in the U.S. right now. The market is shifting away from four-door family cars toward SUVs and crossovers. The latest casualty in this move is the Volkswagen Passat, which will be discontinued in the U.S. by 2023, according to a report from Wards Auto.

“We’ve made a decision to cancel the Passat for the U.S. The sales trend is very firmly in favor of SUV models, as indicated by the success of the [Chattanooga-built] Atlas,” Volkswagen brand chief Ralf Brandstätter told Wards.

Production of the U.S.-market Passat will end at Volkswagen’s U.S. plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 2023, coinciding with the all-electric Volkswagen ID4 SUV’s ramp-up to full capacity. (Keep in mind the American Passat is unique from the Euro-market example, which is a more premium product and closer to the luxurious Arteon VW sells here.) The ID4 is set to launch in 2021 with a starting price of $39,995 before applicable tax credits. Production of the global Passat sedan will continue in Germany and China for the European and Chinese markets.

In a class with solid competitors like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, the Passat was never a hot seller. Volkswagen sold just 14,123 Passats in all of 2019—less than the number of Camrys Toyota sells in a month. That dismal performance is likely due in part to production of the last-gen Passat winding down to make way for the new 2020 Volkswagen Passat, which is a restyled version of the same old model, using the same platform.

The midsize sedan segment will continue to be a vital one in the U.S. for the foreseeable future, but the loss of another one of its members doesn’t help the case for cars in general.

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