Volkswagen of America's chief says that the Chattanooga-made Passat, slated to be refreshed for the 2016 model year, will be "a big step" for the midsize sedan, according to Motor Trend.

Michael Horn, the company's U.S. head, said he has seen the car and the Passat face-lift will be "very strong."

He told the magazine that the new Jetta is "a decent step's nice, makes it more sporty, makes it more dynamic. But it's on the lower end of what we can do. But the Passat [refresh] is very strong. We go much further."

Passat sales have slid about 6.3% in the first three months of the year compared to 2013.

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