German carmaker Volkswagen is looking to exploit its market potential in China even more effectively. And it plans to do this with a new Jetta brand. The Jetta model range, which is to be produced by FAW-Volkswagen in Chengdu, will include one sedan and two SUVs. Sales are scheduled to start in the third quarter of this year.
China is not only the world’s largest automobile market but is also at the forefront of the greatest transformation ever experienced by the automotive industry and is the new powerhouse for e-mobility, digitalisation, connectivity and autonomous driving.
In many cities with millions of people outside the metropolitan regions such as Beijing or Shanghai, vehicle ownership levels are still very low, in some cases below 100 cars per 1,000 inhabitants. At the same time, members of a growing middle class are striving for individual mobility with the first car of their own. With the new Jetta brand, Volkswagen especially intends to target these young Chinese customers.
According to Jürgen Stackmann, Member of the Volkswagen brand Board of Management responsible for Sales: “With Jetta, we are closing the gap between the established Volkswagen lead brand in the top volume segment and entry-level mobility, which accounts for about one third of the Chinese market and is served mainly by local brands. This way, we will significantly increase our market coverage.”
With the introduction of Jetta, the Volkswagen umbrella brand will be able to position itself even more clearly as ‘top of volume’ with its vehicles and to further sharpen its profile. In addition, with this offering specially tailored to the needs of the Chinese market and developed together with FAW-Volkswagen, Volkswagen is targeting further regionalisation of the market.
Stackmann says: “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.”
200 Jetta dealerships by end-2019
New approaches are also to be adopted in sales. Jetta will establish its own network of dealerships and will approach customers directly with innovative sales formats – digital showrooms, shopping malls and mobile sales trucks. By end-2019, about 200 dealers are to offer the new brand.
In China, Volkswagen delivered 3.11 million vehicles to customers last year (down 2.1 percent on the previous year). With a share of almost 50 percent in worldwide deliveries, China is therefore Volkswagen’s largest single market.