Volkswagen has ended production of the Volkswagen Passat saloon, citing stronger sales of the estate and the arrival of the Arteon fastback as factors in the decision.
The four-door Ford Mondeo rival is no longer available to order, and a spokesman confirmed that production was ended shortly before Christmas.
The B8-generation Passat has been on sale since 2014 and isn't due to be entirely replaced until 2023, when the ninth Passat iteration is slated to arrive atop an updated version of the MQB architecture and with a greater emphasis on practicality.
But several months ahead of the model's retirement, Volkswagen has taken the decision to streamline the range, leaving only the estate on sale.
Autocar understands the more capacious car has outsold the saloon by a ratio of around 2:1 since at least the Passat was facelifted in 2019.
Volkswagen has sold saloon and estate versions of the Passat since the original launched in 1973.
Data obtained by Autocar shows that in the 11 months to December last year, Volkswagen sold 3503 Passats in the UK, predominantly to fleet customers, but a detailed breakdown of variant volumes was not available.
Another factor in the saloon's early demise is the existence of the similarly positioned Volkswagen Arteon, which offers comparable levels of interior space and a similar engine line-up to the closely related Passat, albeit at a sizeable premium.
Notably, however, the Arteon Shooting Brake continues to be offered alongside the Passat Estate, with prices starting at £38,230 compared with the latter's £31,240.
The company hasn't set a date for the estate's withdrawal, but news of the saloon's retirement comes as development ramps up on the new 'Aero-B', which will essentially serve as an all-electric equivalent to the Passat.