VW's U.S. Passat would be a bargain in Germany

Paul McVeigh is managing editor at Automotive News EuropePaul McVeigh is managing editor at Automotive News Europe
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Volkswagen will price its U.S.-built Passat at about $20,000 in the United States, which is a whopping $11,000 cheaper than the starting price of German-built Passats in Europe.

VW says it won't export to Europe the Passats it will build for American consumers at its new factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. But some German car retailers have said they will unofficially import the sedan.

At $20,000 (about 15,500 euros), the U.S. Passat is also cheaper than VW's Golf, which is smaller and starts at about 16,700 euros in Germany.

Even with the added costs of importing the Passat from the United States, buyers of an imported U.S. Passat in Germany could get a bargain.

Of course, the U.S. Passat unveiled at the Detroit auto show Monday doesn't have high-tech features and premium materials of the German-built model, but it's longer and wider.

And the success of the Logan sedan from Renault's Dacia low-cost brand has shown that buyers in Germany and other well-heeled western European markets like a bargain too.

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