Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced it will end assembly of the Passat sedan in Chattanooga with model year 2022 as part of the plant’s transition to build electric vehicles.
A short-run Limited Edition with Chattanooga-inspired details will be in the lineup to honor the Passat’s role in resurging VW in the U.S.
“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.”
There will be 1,973 models produced, resembling the year the first Passat launched. The 2022 Passat Limited Edition will have unique exterior and interior design details to show the model’s history. The vehicle price will start at $30,295 MSRP with a destination cost of $995.
For years, Passat had been the leader in fleet sales at VW. The first Volkswagen Passat family sedans and wagons for U.S. customers launched in 1974 under the Dasher name. A Volkswagen assembly plant in Chattanooga started building the Passat for the North American market in 2011.
In 2019, Automotive Fleet interviewed Martin Kiel, national fleet sales manager for Volkswagen of America at the time, in which Kiel referred to the manufacturer's product shift toward SUVs. "... (S)ince the all-new Tiguan came into the market in model-year 2018, as a much larger, more competitively configured vehicle, its sales have really accelerated. It’s close on the heels of the Passat," Kiel said. "I feel that with the shift in fleet buying preferences, we’re eventually going to see the Tiguan take the lead. But demand in the fleet passenger sedan segment still remains strong."