Volkswagen’s VW-FAW joint-venture has officially made the motor show debut of their new Jetta sub-brand at Auto Shanghai 2019.
This is the first sub-brand created by a Volkswagen joint-venture in China. Named after one of their more popular nameplates, the new brand will be targeted towards young, new buyers in emerging cities outside of the metropolis.
Global manufacturers release special long-wheelbase versions of their popular models and sub-brands that are only for China. You have this freedom when your market has a potential of 24 million vehicles, which is over a quarter of the cars sold in the world annually.
VW-FAW has set Chengdu as its production base for the new brand and is planning to open about 200 showrooms by the end of 2019. It plans to support the business with non-traditional methods such as digital showrooms, lifestyle-oriented activations, and mobile sales trucks. It will also have a dedicated marketing team to handle the brand.
The brand has introduced its first three models: the VA3 compact sedan, it is based on the Chin market Jetta which is based on VW group’s PQ25 platform which also underpins the Audi A1, Volkswagen Santana, SEAT Toledo, and Skoda Rapid.
The other two models are compact crossovers based on VW’s MQB platform. The VS5 and VS7, based on the SEAT Ateca and Tarraco; five and seven-seaters, respectively.
With a lineup heavily based on SEAT (Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo) models, one can’t help but surmise that the Jetta name was used instead of the SEAT name which might sound like ‘death’ or ‘to die’ when transliterated to Chinese. Not a very nice association with a car brand.
The cars will be built under Volkswagen’s strict manufacturing standards and validated in VW-FAW’s Changchun proving ground. The new brand is expected to commence deliveries by the end of Q3 this year.