Economy

Volkswagen Introduces Cheaper, American Version Of Passat

The first car to roll out of Volkswagen's new Chattanooga plant will be a cheaper version of the German car manufacturer's Passat. The New York Times reports that the redesigned 2012 Passat was introduced at the Detroit auto show to dutiful applause.

Edmund's Inside Line has the some of the specs:

The 2012 Passat for the U.S. is a different vehicle from the European Passat unveiled last fall at the Paris auto show.

The U.S. car features four-wheel independent suspension, with a multilink rear end. For the time being, VW plans to offer only a front-wheel-drive version; 4Motion all-wheel drive may be added later as an option.

The Detroit Free Press reports that manufacturing the car in U.S. will create 12,000 new jobs and represents VW's renewed seriousness about the U.S. market:

Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with IHS Automotive, said Volkswagen recognizes how important the U.S. market and consumer is to those plans.

“To produce this vehicle in Tennessee is really significant,” Lindland said. “They are starting to understand the subjective nature of the U.S. marketplace. And how we define quality and reliability may be different than in other parts of the world.”

The car will cost $20,000.

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