When Volkswagen’s new mid-sized sedan arrives in 2011, there is a strong possibility that it will replace, rather than join the Passat, in the German automaker’s lineup. VW Group of America CEO Stefan Jacoby has said that the company is currently studying whether or not to keep the Passat, but all evidence points to its elimination.
Volkswagen has big plans to take on Toyota in the U.S. marketplace and to do so the company has finally admitted that its current lineup of European vehicles are just too small and too expensive for mainstream American tastes. That being said, if sales of the Passat are already not that great, offering a larger and less expensive vehicle certainly won’t help the car’s business case.
Last year VW sold just 30,034 Passat models, compared to a high of 96,142 in 2002. Sales for 2009 look even worse as the automaker has only managed to move 9,163, units so far. Volkswagen hopes to sell 100,000 units of the new mid-sized sedan initially with plans for increased market presence thereafter.
Currently the Passat sells from $27,695, while this new sedan is expected to be priced much closer to the $20,000-mark. The lower price comes as a result of the fact that VW will build the car in the U.S., at its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant.