Volkswagen to keep ‘Passat’ name for new midsize sedan

Volkswagen plans on keeping the ‘Passat’ name for its new midsize sedan that it will unveil at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show tomorrow, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans. So far, Volkswagen’s been calling the sedan the ‘New Midsize Sedan’ or ‘NMS.’

The German automaker is expected to confirm the decision to keep the ‘Passat’ name plate tonight at a party on the even of the Detroit Auto Show press days.

Why keep ‘Passat’? Well, Volkswagen believes that the name has a strong reputation and following behind it. The old Passat’s biggest problem in the United States was its price and size. While the new sedan will share many components with the European Passat, it will be larger and will carry a starting price of around $20,000.

Volkswagen will start producing the new midsize sedan later this year at its new Chattanooga, Tennessee plant. Volkswagen hopes that the new sedan will help it boost sales to 1 million vehicles in the United States by 2018 as it moves towards its goal of becoming the world’s leading automaker.

By: Omar Rana

Source: Detroit News