Volkswagen’s new JETTA brand is aimed at young Chinese customers in cities where car ownership is still relatively low, with sales set to start in the third quarter of this year.
The model range – which will feature a saloon and two SUVs – is to be produced by FAW-Volkswagen in Chengdu and will in particular, be targeting first-time car buyers in the entry-level segment.
In many cities with millions of people outside the metropolitan regions such as Beijing or Shanghai, vehicle ownership levels are as low as 1 car per 10 inhabitants and yet, VW has identified members of a growing middle class who are striving for individual mobility through the purchase of their first car.
VW says The JETTA brand is based on the key elements of the Volkswagen DNA: quality, safety, value and a clear design language, thus enabling the Volkswagen umbrella brand to position itself more clearly as an upmarket option.
Jürgen Stackmann, Member of the Volkswagen brand Board of Management responsible for Sales, says: “With JETTA, we are closing the gap between the established VW 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.
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.”
JETTA will establish its own network of dealerships and will approach customers directly with sales formats including – digital showrooms, shopping malls and mobile sales trucks. By year end, the target is for about 200 dealers to offer the new brand.
In China, VW’s largest single market, the brand sold 3.11 million vehicles last year (down 2.1 percent on the previous year) including the 30 millionth Volkswagen delivered to a Chinese customer.
There are currently no plans to sell the JETTA range in other markets.