Why Sedans are Important to Volkswagen

Mike Schlee
by Mike Schlee

It’s no secret that sedans are losing favor with consumers. As Trucks and SUVs continue to rise in popularity, less and less sedan offerings remain on the market. So why is Volkswagen putting so much effort and development into a new all-electric sedan? The upcoming ID.7 is a large, tradition sedan that will be the brand’s halo vehicle.

During episode 10 of The AutoGuide show brought you by eBay Motors, we chatted with Jeffery Lear, Director of Product and Strategy for Volkswagen USA. We wanted to get more insight into the brand’s strategy behind the ID.7.

It’s What Volkswagen is Known For

He began by extolling the virtues of a sedan over a SUV. “Here at Volkswagen, it’s part of our DNA to have a fun to drive vehicle and cars represent that.” Lear said. “(They’re) lower to the ground, have better driving dynamics, and frankly with an EV, better aerodynamics that leads to a longer range.”

Tapping into Volkswagen’s history of building sedans, Lear discussed how important it is for the brand to continue this segment. “We strongly believe in sedans and strongly believe it’s part of who we are and want to make sure we keep that around.” Lear continued. “Passat and Jetta have been key pillars of our product strategy in the past and we want to bring that into the future with electric mobility.”

He later reiterate this point by stating “We absolutely believe in the segment, it’s a part of who we are.”

Sedans Still Sell

Having a history in sedans is one thing, but if no one is going to buy them, what’s the point of continuing the tradition? The simple answer is, even though sedan sales have significantly decreased over the past few decades, they still represent a decent chunk of the market.

“The other side of the coin, in the auto industry, sedans are performing not as well as they used to" Lear explained, “But the reality is, if you look at the numbers, it’s a huge segment. It’s still (projected at) 10-12% of the market through the rest of the decade.”

Another key factor for Volkswagen is the manufacturer’s vehicle portfolio. “When you factor in the segments that we play in at Volkswagen, taking (pickup) trucks out of the market, it’s an even bigger piece of the pie for us.”

With pickup trucks occupying the largest segment in the auto industry in terms of sales volume, for brands like Volkswagen that do not sell trucks in North America, sedans are of even more importance.

The ID.7 is expected to debut by the end of the year. Judging by this conversation, it doesn't sound like it will be the last Volkswagen sedan either.

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Mike Schlee
Mike Schlee

A 20+ year industry veteran, Mike rejoins the AutoGuide team as the Managing Editor. He started his career at a young age working at dealerships, car rentals, and used car advertisers. He then found his true passion, automotive writing. After contributing to multiple websites for several years, he spent the next six years working at the head office of an automotive OEM, before returning back to the field he loves. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). He's the recipient of a feature writing of the year award and multiple video of the year awards.

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