VW trimming cars, adding EVs


Volkswagen is trimming several cars in the U.S., including much of the Golf lineup, while a subcompact crossover, a two-row version of the Atlas and at least three battery-electric vehicles are added to the ranks.

The brand may be late to join the industry’s move away from small cars toward light trucks, but its pace is accelerating. Once heavily laden with sedans, crossovers now regularly account for over half of the brand’s monthly sales in the U.S., and with more crossovers on the way, Volkswagen looks to gain market share there, despite a crowded field.

Still, some questions remain, including whether the German mass-market brand will get its own pickup and how much longer the Passat will be around.

Beetle: The iconic vehicle ended its long production run this year. Don’t be surprised if the name is resurrected on an EV based on the automaker’s modular MEB platform. The timing of such a move is unclear.

Golf: The Golf family of compact cars is being redesigned in Germany for 2020, but the Golf GTI and Golf R that will sell in the U.S. won’t be here until 2021. Also, the Golf Sportwagen and Alltrack won’t return.

Jetta: VW redesigned the compact sedan onto its MQB platform in 2018. It is due for a freshening in 2022.

Passat: The midsize sedan skipped a redesign onto the MQB platform this year in favor of a freshening as a cost-saving move, given the slow pace of sedan sales. It’s unclear whether the Passat will survive into a new generation.

Arteon: The new midsize, five-seat sedan was late to arrive in U.S. dealerships in early 2019 and will be due for a freshening in 2021.

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