Published on May 12th, 2023 | by Subhash Nair


After A Decade, The Volkswagen Passat Is No Longer On Sale Malaysia

About ten years ago, Volkswagen passenger car sales in Malaysia peaked with about 2.4% of the market share. The brand went from selling around 7,000 vehicles a year to selling 13,003 units in 2012 – a pretty rare 77% increase in sales. This made them the no.1 European brand in terms of sales and the 6th best selling brand overall behind Perodua, Proton, Toyota, Honda and Nissan. this was thanks in no small part to the introduction of the Volkswagen Passat B7. Earlier this year, we learnt that the Passat had been dropped from the Malaysian market altogether.

The Passat was introduced to Malaysia before I began working at but to my knowledge, it was introduced in Malaysia as a CBU model initially but then later got a CKD version. Specifications were similar but not the same – some versions were equipped with sunroofs, some had slightly different infotainment systems, etc. What was common was the 1.8 TSI and 7-speed DSG combination. This was special in Malaysia as all D-segment sedans priced below RM200,000 at the time came with naturally-aspirated engines and conventional automatic gearboxes.

Volkswagen Passat front 3 quarters

The Volkswagen Passat B7 was a huge sales hit in Malaysia and convinced an entire generation of mature car buyers to let go of their Accords and Camrys in favour of something a little more spirited and continental. I should know – two members of my family did exactly that. My dad let go of his Camry for a Passat while an uncle bought one when his Accord got stolen.


While the Volkswagen success story in 2012 was largely due to the Passat’s excellent value in the D-segment, it was not the only factor leading to the brand’s sudden spike in popularity. Volkswagen Malaysia had also introduced a similar high-performing twin-charged Jetta at the time to compete in the C-segment. In the B-segment was the Polo. All of these models were at one point locally-assembled and relatively successful in the market.

However it was not to last. Volkswagen’s sales declined in 2013 from 13,000 units sold to about 9,500 units by 2013. By 2014, sales had dropped below the 9,000 mark and then in 2015, the year I joined, they were selling fewer than 7,000 vehicles again. Eventually the Jetta was dropped, as was the Polo, Polo Sedan (later Vento) and finally the Passat B8. Even the attempt to market a locally-assembled Golf TSI was short lived lasting from mid-2022 to March 2023.

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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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