Volkswagen will make its return to the Techno Classica this year. The world’s largest classic car fair will be an opportunity for Volkswagen Classic to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Passat using the slogan “Immer wieder neu” (“Always reinventing itself”). The year 1973 saw the launch of the Passat, a brand new model family equipped with a water-cooled engine. It was the start of a global success story that continues to this day. To mark this milestone, five specially selected Passat exhibits will be on show in Essen.


After a three-year break,Volkswagen will be at this year’s Techno Classica from 12 up to 16 April, presenting its historic models as a brand “with a heart”. The appearance in Essen is all about the Passat. An every-day hero and a design classic, the car will be marking half a century of success.

In 1973, the Passat represented the start of a major Volkswagen product campaign and signalled the dawn of a new era for automotive technology. It was the Italian car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro who was responsible for the design of the new family – although his original design, referred to as the EA 272, was scrapped at the last minute for cost reasons. But Giugiaro went on to develop a more rational model on the basis of the Audi 80 B1, featuring a shapely hatchback and a modified front section. The original Passat remains a design icon to this day. Giugiaro’s creations also include the Scirocco I and Golf I, which were both launched the following year. The Volkswagen Passat made its debut in 1973 as a two- and four-door hatchback sedan. The estate version followed in January 1974.

“Immer wieder neu”: always reinventing itself – this is the motto Volkswagen Classic have chosen to mark the anniversary. The Passat is and has always been a car for a lifetime. Right from the start, customers appreciated its all-round qualities, and the car has continued to improve and develop across eight generations. Time and again over the decades, the Passat has showcased bold new design ideas, whilst passing on its tried and tested strengths from one generation to the next – as it will continue to do in the future.

The Volkswagen Classic stand will feature five vehicles that represent the historic origins of the Passat:


Passat B1 LS from 1973
New drive, new design: series production of the new Passat got underway on 14 May 1973. The family hatchback sedan was launched with a small boot lid without a load-through hatch; the version with a larger rear lid that extended up to the roof and encompassed the rear window went into series production in January 1975.

Volkswagen Classic will be showing a very special model in Essen: the oldest car in the family. The Passat B1 LS from 1973 forms part of the collection of Volkswagen’s AutoMuseum Foundation. It has the vehicle identification number 2, making it the oldest Passat in the world.


Passat B1 L Estate from 1974
Spaciousness is its strength: in January 1974, Wolfsburg added the Passat Estate to its range. Practical and perfectly formed, it was a roaring success right from the start. As it passed through various model generations, the Passat Estate family car cultivated a place in the hearts of its owners. 

The 1974 Passat B1 L Estate in Atlas White from the Volkswagen Classic vehicle pool has already shown at numerous driving events that you can have plenty of vintage driving fun with 40 kW (55 PS)!


Passat B2 CL Formula E from 1983
Modern technologies and efficiency: The Passat B2 was introduced in October 1980. This second generation was markedly larger than its modestly sized predecessor the B1, making it barely recognisable. To begin with, the Passat II was offered as a hatchback sedan and as a five-door estate. In combination with the 55 kW (75 PS) 1.6-litre engine, the Passat B2 was initially also offered as a Formula E version. Volkswagen’s Formula E anticipated innovations such as the start/stop system.

The Passat B2 CL Formula E in Diamond Silver Metallic is part of the Volkswagen Classic vehicle collection and will also be celebrating an anniversary in Essen: it received its type approval on 5 April 1983, meaning the car turns 40 this year.


Passat B3 Estate GT G60 Syncro from 1991
Dynamics and sportiness: the Passat has proved its sporty credentials in multiple model versions, always exuding confidence but remaining understated. The third Passat generation was launched in 1988 and featured a completely new design, package, technology and interior. It was available as either a notchback saloon or an estate. The GT specification package represented the sporty version of the Passat, whilst the Passat G60 with a 1.8-litre engine, 118 kW (160 PS) and Syncro four-wheel drive was the coveted top model from 1989 onwards.

The Passat B3 Estate GT G60 Syncro from 1991 from the Volkswagen Classic vehicle pool is a proven fan favourite that gets pulses racing!


Volkswagen AutoMuseum Foundation: Passat B2 Electronic from 1983
This year’s show will see the AutoMuseum Foundation represented on the Volkswagen stand. Here too, a very special vehicle will be on display to mark the anniversary: the Passat B2 Electronic, a one-off model from 1983. 

The concept car represented a lifestyle version of the Passat with four-wheel drive, a turbocharger and extensive microelectronics such as a navigation system, infotainment and a number of electrical controls. It was a vision of the future that would surely have won many fans.


In good company in Hall 3

Volkswagen Classic has not been represented at the Techno Classica since 2019, For the first time, several brands from the Volkswagen Group will come together on one stand to reflect the motto “Leidenschaft verbindet” (“passion connects”). Volkswagen Classic, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Oldtimers, Audi Tradition, Škoda, the Autostadt, the AutoMuseum Foundation and Volkswagen Classic Parts can all be found in Hall 3.

The Techno Classica will be held from 12 to 16 April at the trade fair centre in Essen, Germany. The show features more than 1,250 exhibitors from over 30 countries in an area of 120,000 square metres spread across ten halls, the Grugahalle and four open air areas. Also in attendance will be more than 200 classic car clubs, as well as many parts dealers. The organisers expect to welcome around 200,000 visitors. As if that wasn’t enough, there will also be around 2,700 historic vehicles for sale.


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Volkswagen dealers from all parts of the world are coming to Hamburg at the moment. Their destination is the “Brand Experience” where they are gaining fresh insights into the way that the brand plans to position itself in coming years and bring the term “Love Brand” to life. The focal points of the program extend well beyond the brand’s strategic position and its new design language and also include a detailed look at the brand’s future line of models. The 13,000 dealers attending the event are learning about 14 vehicles that are being planned for the next four years, including the second generation of the ID.3, the ID.7 and the showcar ID. 2all. They also have a chance to take a sneak peek at the still secret Tiguan and the future Passat.


“Car dealerships play a key role in vehicle sales today and will continue to play this role tomorrow. This is why we really want to have our dealers join our journey into the future, generate enthusiasm for our brand and jointly tackle future challenges”, explained Imelda Labbé, member of the Brand Board of Management of Volkswagen for Marketing, Sales and After Sales.

The core aspect of the Brand Experience is an emotional show. During the presentations, Labbé is being joined by Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schäfer, Kai Grünitz (the member of the Brand Board of Management of Volkswagen responsible for Technical Development) and Andreas Mindt (the Head of Volkswagen Design). The speakers are introducing the visiting dealers to the brand’s future strategy and exciting them about the strong products and innovative digital services that the brand is planning. Thomas Schäfer, the CEO of the Volkswagen brand, said: “We are making Volkswagen a true Love Brand once again. Our dealers will play a key role in this process – because they are the individuals who have direct contact with our customers.”

During their visit to Hamburg, the dealers are also gaining insights into the company’s strategy: The brand plans to produce only e-vehicles in Europe starting in 2033 and will introduce ten new e-models by 2026. Other regions of the world will be electrified as well.

After the show, the dealership representatives have an opportunity to talk with the brand’s management team and technical experts. They can ask questions and actively share their ideas about the shape of the future. Labbé said of the event: “The aim is to jointly discuss the shifting future perspectives of the dealerships. After all, we can tackle the transformation of the traditional car business only with the help of our dealers.”

The dealers have been excited about the event from the very first days of the conference. They have traveled from such places as China, South America and India. Two focal points of the event have generated a tremendous amount of positive feedback in particular: the use of digitalization in future vehicles and the refinement of marketing communications. “The dealers are our link to our customers. This is why their feedback is so tremendously important to us,” Labbé said.


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The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand further strengthened the company’s profitability in fiscal year 2022. Thanks to effective sales management and rigorous cost optimization, the company generated a robust financial result. Despite the challenging economic situation and the unsettled geopolitical environment, operating profit before special items increased to EUR 2.6 billion and the operating return to 3.6 percent (fiscal year 2021: EUR 2.2 billion/3.2 percent). Supply constraints and the resulting lower delivery volumes had a significant negative impact on earnings, especially in the second half of the year. The North and South America regions made a large contribution to earnings in 2022, with market share to be robustly expanded going forward. Volkswagen also intends to further accelerate the transformation to e-mobility. The brand anticipates an all-electric share of around 80 percent in Europe by 2030. To this end, ten new electric models are to be launched by as early as 2026, including an all-electric Volkswagen for under EUR 25,000, which makes its world debut today as the ID. 2all study.


At the presentation of the 2022 financial statements, Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schäfer said: “In the past year, we successfully steered Volkswagen through difficult operational waters while at the same time doing our homework at strategic level. The company is well positioned for the decade of transformation and we are implementing our strategy swiftly and consistently.”


Continued sharp focus on cost efficiency

Despite declining deliveries, the brand generated annual sales of EUR 74 billion (prior year: EUR 68 billion) thanks to an optimized model and pricing policy. Additionally, the brand strengthened its financial base, improving “clean” net cash flow in 2022 to EUR 1,9 billion (EUR 0,3 billion). The optimization of fixed costs and distribution expenses was among the factors contributing to the good financial result.


Volkswagen CFO Patrik Andreas Mayer emphasized: “The past fiscal year was marked by enormous geopolitical uncertainties, the sharp rise in commodity and energy prices, disrupted supply chains as well as the negative impact of the pandemic in China. Our measures to reduce costs and increase profit had an impact, leading to a robust result given this challenging environment.”


Strong earnings contribution from North and South America regions

The strengthening of profitability in the global regions also continues to prove effective. Mayer: “The ongoing positive trend in North and South America bolstered the brand’s annual results.” Volkswagen sees major growth potential in these and other regions. This is thanks to a product portfolio specially tailored to the markets, coupled with local production. The market share in North America and the USA is to be doubled to at least 5 percent by 2030. To this end, Volkswagen plans to invest around EUR 5 billion in e-mobility and digitalization by 2027. A further EUR 1 billion will be invested in South America by 2026 to additionally boost the company’s market share and kick-start the transformation to e-mobility. Initial market tests with ID. models in South America are already underway.


Volkswagen accelerates e-offensive

In 2022, the company increased global sales of all-electric vehicles by 23.6 percent year on year to around 330,000 units. Volkswagen is now further accelerating the transition to e-mobility: By 2030, up to eight out of ten cars sold in Europe are to be battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The BEV share is to grow likewise in North America, with a target of 55 percent by 2030. In addition, Volkswagen will launch ten new BEV models by 2026. Four new electric models are coming soon: The second-generation ID.3 and the sporty ID.3 GTX, the long-wheelbase ID. Buzz and the flagship ID.7. With the ID. 2all study in the compact car segment, Volkswagen today provides a hands-on preview of the first electric VW for everyone. The starting price is to be under EUR 25,000. Electric vehicles will then be available in almost every volume segment, and the Volkswagen brand will offer the broadest e-portfolio compared with the competition, from the entry-level BEV to the ID.7 electric sedan.

Volkswagen plants creating greater capacity for e-cars

At the same time, the transformation in production at Volkswagen is progressing apace. To be fully converted to electric vehicles this summer, the Emden plant in Germany will produce the ID.7 in addition to the ID.4. Starting this fall, the new-generation ID.3 will also roll off the assembly line at Wolfsburg. The company is investing around EUR 460 million in the transformation of its main plant by early 2025. Its Zwickau and Dresden plants have meanwhile been fully converted, and production of the ID.4 already started last year in Chattanooga, USA.

High order backlog and launch of efficient internal combustion models in 2023

Alongside the new electric models, other attractive products with highly efficient internal combustion engines will be launched in 2023 in line with customer demand in the individual regions: the new versions of the Atlas in North America, the Virtus in Brazil, the Tiguan and the Passat. The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand delivered 4.6 million vehicles worldwide in 2022 (-6.8 percent). Given the difficult supply situation, unit sales fell slightly in the past fiscal year to 2.2 million vehicles (prior year: 2.3 million). The difference between deliveries and unit sales is mainly due to the fact that carmaking joint ventures in China are not included in the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand.

Demand remains strong both for e-cars and for internal combustion models. Across all powertrains, the order backlog for Europe alone currently exceeds 660,000 vehicles, including almost 100,000 all-electric ID.s. The priority is now on quickly producing the vehicles ordered and delivering them to customers.


Volkswagen projects a further significant increase in deliveries of all-electric vehicles in the current fiscal year. CFO Patrik Andreas Mayer: “We are cautiously optimistic that the supply situation will stabilize in the course of the year and are working resolutely on our cost position.” However, Mayer continued, it is anticipated that the current year will see a continuation of the highly challenging environment with regard to supply, commodity and energy prices as well as the geopolitical situation. Due to economic uncertainties and increasing cost pressure, the Volkswagen brand has revised its guidance for 2023 and now expects an operating return before special items of over 4 percent.

Volkswagen’s product pipeline is well filled, as emphasized by Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schäfer: “Customers can look forward to a full lineup of VWs.” Even though 2023 looks set to remain challenging, Schäfer said, “we will not be deterred, but continue to systematically implement our plans for the VW brand and the Volume brand group.”


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The Volkswagen brand is continuing the success story of its compact cars in the age of electric mobility and is providing a first glimpse of an all-electric Volkswagen costing less than 25,000 euros with the ID. 2all concept car. Initial facts: front-wheel drive, range of up to 450 km, innovative technological features such as Travel Assist, IQ.LIGHT or Electric Vehicle Route Planner and a new Volkswagen design language. The production version will be based on the MEB Entry platform and is one of ten new electric models that Volkswagen will launch by 2026.


Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars: “We are transforming the company rapidly and fundamentally – with the clear objective of making Volkswagen a genuine Love Brand. The ID. 2all shows where we want to take the brand. We want to be close to the customer and offer top technology in combination with fantastic design. We are implementing the transformation at pace to bring electric mobility to the masses.”

Volkswagen will present the production version of the ID. 2all for the European market in 2025. The goal is a starting price of less than 25,000 euros.

Imelda Labbé, Member of the Brand Board of Management responsible for Sales, Marketing and Aftersales: “We are transferring the typical Volkswagen virtues to the new world of mobility: top quality and workmanship, outstanding software and digital services with genuine added value. The focus here is always on the needs and requirements of our customers.”


Development of the ID. 2all is based on the latest evolutionary stage of the modular electric drive (MEB) platform. Kai Grünitz, Member of the Brand Board of Management responsible for Technical Development: “The ID. 2all will be the first MEB vehicle with front-wheel drive. We are exploiting the great flexibility offered by our modular electric drive (MEB) platform and will set new standards in terms of technology and everyday usability with the MEB Entry platform.”

With the enhanced MEB Entry platform, the ID. 2all is equipped with particularly efficient drive, battery and charging technology. It has a powerful electric drive motor with an output of 166 kW/226 PS and will have a calculated WLTP range of up to 450 kilometres.

Volkswagen is also again placing greater focus on design. Andreas Mindt, Head of Design at Volkswagen Passenger Cars: “The ID. 2all gives a preview of the new design language of Volkswagen, which is based on the three pillars stability, likeability and excitement.”


Exterior design: friendly face, very dynamic and new C-pillar signature

One element of this new design language is the C-pillar design developed for the first Golf. The ID. 2all is the first Volkswagen with a new interpretation of this signature. Other design features of the concept car include a body with a clear and powerful stance on the wheels, a friendly face, a good portion of dynamics and timeless elegance.


Interior design: spacious, high-quality appearance, self-explanatory operation

The interior also has a clear design and is characterised by a high-quality appearance, a self-explanatory infotainment system with classic volume control and a separate air conditioning block. The storage volume is a generous 490–1,330 litres, a value exceeding that of higher vehicle classes.


Accelerated electric offensive: ten new electric models by 2026

The production version of the ID. 2all is one of ten new electric models that will be launched by Volkswagen by 2026. This year alone will see the introduction of the new ID.3, the ID. Buzz with long wheelbase and the ID.7. This will be followed by a compact electric SUV in 2026 and, in spite of all the challenges, Volkswagen is also working on an electric car at a price of less than 20,000 euros. This will give the car manufacturer the widest range of electric vehicles compared with its competitors, and the company is aiming to achieve an electric car share of 80% in Europe. Volkswagen Passenger Cars has previously based its calculations on a share of 70%.


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Volkswagen is taking the legendary GTI Meeting at Lake Wörthersee into the future: From 2024, it will take place in the heart of the brand, in Wolfsburg. Near the Volkswagen plant, the "GTI Coming Home" event will welcome enthusiasts and fans of sporty Volkswagen models.


“Our GTI fans are of great importance to Volkswagen and that's why the exchange with them is very dear to us," says Imelda Labbé, Member of the Board of Management for Sales, Marketing and After Sales at Volkswagen Passenger Cars. "For this reason, after the GTI Meeting at Lake Wörthersee was unfortunately cancelled, we decided pretty quickly to offer the GTI fan community in Wolfsburg a new home for the event. When planning the event, we also want to take into account the ideas of the fans, because it should above all be a meeting for them. Accordingly, we will certainly be able to offer some highlights and surprises in the coming year."


GTI – these three letters have stood for sportiness, emotions and dynamics for almost half a century. The fan community all over the world continues to grow up to the present day, and the fans of the cult brand meet regularly in clubs and exchange information with each other in dedicated communities. Since 1982, the largest GTI Meet has traditionally taken place at Lake Wörthersee in Austria – but the local municipality Maria Wörth recently took the decision that it no longer wanted to host the annual event in future.


Volkswagen has decided to continue this tradition in Wolfsburg from next year: In addition to vehicle presentations, stage shows and club meets, there will be many other interesting events and surprises for GTI enthusiasts. The areas and infrastructure in Wolfsburg offer ideal prerequisites for welcoming a large number of visitors with their vehicles. Under the motto "Coming Home", Volkswagen will make the Wolfsburg location the new home of the GTI fan community.


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