Volkswagen will retain the midsize Passat car only as a station wagon and only in Europe when the next generation appears in 2023, according to Automotive News Europe sources. This is good news for the body style, which has seen its market share shrink as customers shift toward SUVs.
The number of station wagons sold across Europe fell 26 percent to about 1 million in the first 10 months of 2020, according to data from JATO Dynamics market researchers, in line with the fall in a broader market that was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Customer loyalty in Germany, which accounts for 40 percent of all wagons sold in Europe, has helped the segment retain an overall market share of just under 10 percent in 2020, according to LMC Automotive, similar to the 2019 figure.
The 2020 figures were also helped by the launch of the new generation of Skoda Octavia, Europe’s best-selling wagon, but it could be short-lived, said LMC senior analyst Sammy Chan.
“I believe this will prove to be a temporary boost and that [wagon] market share will continue to be encroached, particularly by SUVs,” Chan said.