Big things are happening at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant in Tennessee, as workers recently celebrated the 250,000th Passat rolling off the production line.
Painted in Night Blue, the 250,000th Passat sports a black interior, and houses a 140-hp 2.0-liter TDI diesel engine under the hood. Equipped with a navigation system, sunroof, and 18-inch wheels, the Passat that passed the quarter-million mark also features the Fender premium audio system. Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant has been on a roll lately, as factory workers built the 50,000th Passat in February of last year, which at the time, was just over eight months after the plant officially opened on May 24, 2011. Fast forward to May 2012, and the 100,000th example was built. Since then, the automaker has added 200 manufacturing jobs to the plant, which currently employs 2700 people. The plant operates 20 hours a day, six days a week, to produce 180,000 vehicles a year, 30,000 units more than its original capacity.
While building a quarter-million examples of the Passat is certainly a milestone for the automaker, it still has a long way to go in terms of sales, as the midsize sedan doesn’t sell nearly as well as others in its segment. Through April, 34,978 Passats have been sold in 2013, which doesn’t compare to the top leaders of the class, the Honda Accord (121,965), Toyota Camry (132,540). However, it has been outselling the Subaru Legacy (14,615) and Mazda6 (13,884).