Here in the US, Volkwagen's Jetta reigns supreme as their volume family sedan. However, in the rest of the world, where hatchbacks and smaller cars reign supreme, Volkswagen's larger Passat sedan has long been dogged by rumors that it was to be discontinued.
Just last week, Germany's Bild newspaper reported that Volkswagen would be moving production of the Passat to a lower-volume plant to make room for high-volume electric car production – or halting Passat production altogether.
However, neither of those statements, it turns out, are true. Just last week, Volkswagen hosted a secret press gathering in Hamburg, Germany to preview the face-lifted Passat, which will debut in Europe next year. Distinct from the American version, the European Passat is still somewhat similar to the model sold here.
While the European Passat is built on the venerable MQB platform, the version sold here in the United States is built on Volkswagen's B platform.
Gallery: 2019 VW Passat facelift (Euro Spec)
A spokesman at that event was quoted as saying “[Volkswagen's] had some disappointing news regarding the Passat, so we’d like to set that straight. The press tells me the Passat will be discontinued due to changes in the automotive industry and Volkswagen is toying with turning Emden into an EV-only plant. Let me tell you right now, we are not going to discontinue the Passat.”
That's pretty cut and dry, if you ask us. It looks like the Passat is here to stay, at home and abroad.
Given that the Passat is merely being refreshed and not replaced with an altogether new model, we consider that quite a vote of confidence from Volkswagen. While mid-cycle refreshes are fairly common in the industry, it's a clear sign that they think that they have the Passat's recipe right, and that they think it's still competetive in the marketplace.