The Volkswagen Passat may be one of the most recognised name brand cars in the United States, but company executives have revealed that the car does not have a place in the company’s long-term plans, and that an all-electric vehicle may step in to fill the void left when Volkswagen moves to mothball the Passat.
Speaking to CNET’s Roadshow, Volkswagen of America’s chief operating officer Johan de Nysschen explained that the “Passat is a car that has a finite lifespan in terms of our planning.”
Speaking last Thursday at the Chicago Auto Show, de Nysschen said that it was “a reasonable assumption” that when the Passat reached the end of its lifecycle, its successor would “probably not feature an internal combustion engine.”
Volkswagen only moved 14,123 Passats in the United States last year, and with most big-name auto manufacturers looking for ways to ensure their futures are electric, phasing out the ICE Passat seems like a good idea.
The company has also said that it will likely build a production version of the ID Vizzion sedan concept vehicle which might serve as the potential future Passat replacement.
Volkswagen’s electrification strategy is expected to result in a full range of battery-powered models under the ID header, starting with the ID.3 unveiled last year in Paris.
The first all-electric Volkswagen set to reach Australian shores is the ID.4 SUV, which was confirmed in September – a savvy move to prioritise SUVs in a country more than willing to adopt an SUV or ute.
The German automotive giant also announced in November of last year that it was planning to spend nearly €60 billion ($A97.3 billion) over the next few years in a large-scale transition towards electric vehicles – a move which will see as many as 75 all-electric models rolled out alongside up to 60 hybrid models.
“We are resolutely pressing ahead with the transformation of the Volkswagen Group and focusing our investments on the future of mobility,” declared Hans Dieter Pötsch, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Volkswagen Group.
“This is part of our systematic and consequent implementation of the Group’s strategy
“We will step up the pace again in the coming years with our investments,” added Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group.
“Hybridisation, electrification and digitalisation of our fleet are becoming an increasingly important area of focus. We intend to take advantage of economies of scale and achieve maximum synergies.”
Further cementing the company’s commitment to its electrification strategy was the news in September of last year that Volkswagen had begun manufacturing a small pilot line of lithium-ion batteries for electric cars at its new production facility Salzgitter in Lower Saxony, the start of a larger plan to deliver 16GWh of EV batteries each year.