German car maker group Volkswagen AG will end all sales and production of the Passat sedan in the United States starting next year, the company said on Monday.
Analysts see this move by the company as a part of its efforts to shift away from making cars to focus on manufacturing the larger sport utility vehicles.
US assembly of the Passat sedan in Tennessee would be ended by the company and the model year 2022 will be the last for the brand, Volkswagen said. Since 1947, various versions of the Passat have been sold by the company in the United States, Initially the cars were sold under the Dasher and Quantum names with the name Passat first being used by the company in the US market in 1990.
More than 700,000 Passat vehicles at its Chattanooga factory have been built by VW since 2011. The company said that it has also sold a version of the car in the Chinese market and it was assembled by SAIC in Shanghai.
Since 1947 when the brand was launched in the United States, the company has sold more than 1.76 million Passat, Dasher and Quantum models in the market.
In recent years, a shift of consumer demand towards larger vehicle such as trucks and SUVs in the US has prompted many domestic and foreign auto makers in the United States to dramatically cut down on production of smaller cars and focus more on rolling out more of the larger utility vehicles.
For example, the announcement of largely exiting the US sedan market was made by Ford Motor Co in 2018 as the top American car maker said that it would no longer make or sell the Fiesta, Focus, Taurus and Fusion sedans, the last of which was discontinued last year.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)