Available since the first generation debuted in 1973, Volkswagen has officially ended production of the sedan version of the Passat for Europe.
On course to bow out in North America later this year, the model there being different from the European B8, the departure of the sedan not only stems from the rise in popularity of SUVs, but also of the coupe-styled Arteon.
According to Britain’s Autocar, the Passat, which received a facelift in 2019 but has been on sale since 2014, will prevail as an estate only model, therefore confirming a report that broke towards the end of 2020.
As indicated last year, the end of the sedan will not translate into the axing of the Passat nomenclature entirely as it will be retained for an all-new model due out in 2023.
Like sister brand’s Skoda Superb, the Passat will be offered, for the first time since the B2, as a hatchback in addition to the estate that has outsold the sedan, according to Autocar, by a ratio of 2:1.
According to the findings of European sales and research giant, Jato Dynamics, 99 459 of the 116 354 Passats moved across the Old Continent in 2020 where estates, a considerable decline from the 124 650 examples sold the previous year. Figures for 2021 have not yet been released.
Already spied undergoing testing by Autocar, the sedan’s position will be filled by the internally named Aero-B, an all-electric model build around the dedicated MEB platform used by the ID.3, ID.4, ID.5 and ID.6.
The Passat’s moving to a hatchback bodystyle is however unlikely to result in it returning to South Africa, where sales ended before the application of the mentioned facelift.