Volkswagen is preparing to end U.S. production of the Passat. The automaker says it will end assembly of the sedan in Chattanooga, where it's been built for the North American market since 2011, with model year 2022. The reason? To make way for electric vehicles. The automaker says it's part of the plant’s transformation to build future EVs. Case in point, it plans to start U.S. production of the ID.4 EV at the plant next year.
“We’ve sold some version of the Passat for nearly 50 years, and the Passat launched our relationship with Chattanooga, which supports thousands of jobs,” said Scott Keogh, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “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.”
Passat Limited Edition
Volkswagen won't bid farewell to the U.S. Passat without some fanfare. It will produce a short-run Limited Edition 2022 model that pays tribute to the city of Chattanooga. Unique exterior and interior design details will celebrate the model’s history and recognize the contributions of the employees who built Passat.
VW will only build 1,973 Limited Edition models - a number that recognizes the year the first Passat was launched in Germany.
It will be available in four unique color combinations and only a certain number of each color will be available:
- Aurora Red Metallic models with Titan Black interior will number 411 units, representing the original vehicle production code.
- Racing Green Metallic models with Mauro Brown interior will be number 423, for the Chattanooga, TN area code
- Pure White models with Mauro Brown interior will number 524 units, signifying the opening date of the Chattanooga Plant on May 24, 2011.
- 615 Platinum Grey Metallic models with Titan Black interior will be produced—signifying six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales.
Outside, unique wheels and mirror caps differentiate the Limited Edition from the rest of the Passat lineup. Fifteen-spoke 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels are standard, along with black mirror caps for the power-folding mirrors with memory. Limited Edition models feature LED headlights with the Advanced Front-lighting System (AFS) and Easy Open trunk.
Inside, Limited Edition models will bear unique seat tags featuring “1 of 1973” on one side and “VW Chattanooga Since 2011” on the other. A special mat adorns the cupholders, featuring aerial maps of the city and an aerial line drawing of the Chattanooga factory. Limited Edition models come with comfort sport seats with perforated Vienna leather seating surfaces, driver seat memory, power passenger seat, heated front and rear seats, Discover Media infotainment with navigation, Fender® Premium Audio, Park Assist with front and rear Park Distance Control and Light Assist (High Beam Control for Headlights).
Pricing starts at $30,295 with a destination cost of $995. The Aurora Red Metallic exterior color option is an additional $395.
Some version of the Passat has been sold in the U.S. since 1974, under several different names. The first versions of the Passat family sedans and wagons arrived in the U.S. 1974 under the Dasher name. VW says more than 222,000 were sold before the car was replaced by the second-generation Passat, which was at the time called Quantum. The Passat name appeared for the first time in the U.S. market in 1990 and has remained ever since. The first six generations were exported from Europe. In 2011, Volkswagen started assembling the Passat for the North American market out of its assembly plant in Chattanooga. The U.S.-assembled Passat has been exported around the world—to Canada, South Korea and Middle Eastern markets—ever since.