Volkswagen has recently announced that they will be launching a new entry-level car brand in China later this year, targeting the younger Chinese buyers and competing with products built by domestic Chinese automakers. Curiously, the new brand will be called Jetta – after one of Volkswagen's most successful and longest running sedans to date.
Despite China experiencing a boom in autombile sales, areas outside of the larger metropolitan districts still have a low level of car ownership says Volkswagen. More so, these areas are where Chinese domestic market automakers are dominant especially to young and first time car buyers due to their more affordable prices. The new brand is set to cater to these areas in hopes of bringing in more market share for Volkswagen.
So why the name Jetta for a new brand? Volkswagen says it is because the model has experienced enourmous success in China, making it one of their best selling models. The automaker adds that similar to what the Beetle did for Europe before, the Jetta did for China.
“In China, the Jetta plays an extremely valuable role for us as a Volkswagen model. It has brought mobility for the masses, just like the Beetle once did in Europe. Developed by Volkswagen and built in China, the Jetta China has placed China on four wheels. To this day, it is one of Volkswagen’s most popular models in China – a real icon. This is why we are transforming a model into a brand for the first time in the history of Volkswagen and establishing a separate model and brand family,” said Jürgen Stackmann, Member of the Volkswagen brand Board of Management responsible for Sales.
Jetta will be offering three new models in China – a sedan and two SUVs – all of which will be produced in China in partnership with First Automobile Works (FAW). For the time being, the brand has not announced the names and details of these upcoming models, but they do appear to have a unique look unlike current models in Volkswagen's lineup. Volkswagen hopes to have over 200 Jetta dealerships up and running in China by the end of the year.
With Jetta becoming the new entry-level brand, Volkswagen hopes to be able to go further upmarket with their line up of vehicles in China.