New Jetta Standalone Brand For Young Chinese Buyers Confirmed By VW

Earlier this month we asked Volkswagen to comment on reports from China that said the automaker was planning to make Jetta a standalone brand in the world’s largest market.

At the time, VW representatives dismissed the reports as “pure speculations.” As it turns out, those reports were quite accurate except the timing of the disclosure probably didn’t suit Volkswagen’s plans. Today, however, the German automaker officially announced the launch of the Jetta brand in China for the third quarter of this year.

Targeting young buyers from large cities where vehicle ownership levels are still very low, the Jetta marque will kick off with one sedan and two SUVs, all of which will be produced by FAW-Volkswagen in Chengdu.

VW says the new brand will allow it to exploit its market potential in China more effectively. “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,” explains Jürgen Stackmann, Member of the Volkswagen brand Board of Management responsible for Sales.

Jetta’s lineup will include the Jetta sedan currently sold in China and two SUVs

While VW’s press release doesn’t use the words “budget” or “low-cost,” it says the Jetta brand will allow the Volkswagen core brand to position itself even more clearly as “top of volume” with its vehicles. Developed together with FAW-Volkswagen, Jetta-branded cars will be specially tailored to the needs of the Chinese market and will help VW forge ahead “with the further regionalization of the market.”

No details were offered about the Jetta lineup but the photos show the sedan and one of the SUVs. While the sedan is clearly a rebadged version of the VW Jetta currently sold in China, the SUV vaguely resembles the SEAT Ateca — the SEAT brand is not sold officially in China. If the reports from earlier this month were totally accurate, the second SUV would have to be based on the SEAT Tarraco.

Volkswagen says the Jetta brand will adopt new sales approaches. It will have its own traditional dealership network but it will approach customers directly courtesy of digital showrooms, shopping malls, and mobile sales trucks. VW estimates about 200 Jetta showrooms will exist by the end of the year.

more photos...
  • no25

    so if they rebadge the VW Jetta for the Jetta brand, will it still be called Jetta? A Jetta Jetta? lol

  • designer_dick

    The SUV doesn’t ‘vaguely resemble’ the SEAT Ateca, it is the SEAT Ateca, with new front and rear ends.

    • Stephen G

      A SEAT Ateca that got hit with an ugly stick

      • Knotmyrealname

        SEAT must be so p1ssed. I bet they never thought their designs would be used in this way.

        • Giannis Antypas

          VW has sold off SEAT designs many times in the past, including the first and the second generation SEAT Ibiza and the first gen SEAT Toledo.

  • Romain AA

    “vaguely resembles”. lol, indeed.

  • sidewaysspin

    It’s SEAT for the Chinese.

  • Stephen G

    Is VW’s reputation so bad that they need to re-brand?

    • Quantrarian

      No, VW want to capture that small market, which is “Targeting young buyers from large cities where vehicle ownership levels are still very low.” In addition, VW owns over 55% market share of China.

      • Mike anonymous

        I’ve lived in china before. trying to put a new badge on the front end won’t fool anyone into buying the vehicles (especially into buying a rebadged LAST GENERATION Jetta).

        It seems less like an attempt to “target young buyers”, and more so a cash grab to help clear inventory.

        If the car was not already selling, then changing the badge is not going to help. What is/was wrong is/was not the badge, it’s the car.

        • Paulbe

          “a cash grab to help clear inventory.”

          Bingo.

        • Joe

          Except the VW Jetta was 7th best selling vehicle in China last month (out of a field of 478 model lines) and the 2nd best VW (the Lavida was the country #1), and its twin the Santana was 8th overall. Granted, a lot of sales of this model go to taxi fleets and the like, but they’re still everywhere.
          It’s an attempt to open up the lower end of the VW lineup and fight the rising tide of cheap Chinese sedans and crossovers from successful brands like Baojun, Geely, Haval etc. The Jetta is already at the bottom of the lineup so slots right out and is a highly recognised name, and a rebadged Ateca fits logically below the stretched CDM Kamiq, Karoq & Tharu. Even though it’s an obviously cheap attempt to grab sales, you can be sure it’ll work out for them.

      • Stephen G

        Oh, like Scion was to Toyota.

  • Mr. EP9

    Ew. What is that, a SEAT?

  • Brabusbus

    They already have a skoda there, so is this the class below?

    • no25

      I’d say it’s to Skoda as what Scion was to Toyota.

    • Joe

      Skoda is marketed by Shanghai-Volkswagen. This Jetta brand is for FAW-VW, which markets half the VW lineup and Audi currently. If they bin the VW version of this Jetta (which was 95% of all taxis when I was in China), it gouges its own place from the bottom of the FAW-VW lineup that currently sells very well for VW, so the brand could launch as an instant success, fight the growing cheap Chinese sedan/crossover market, and allow VW to move a little more upmarket (not that they have trouble selling while priced above the competition as they are now). Skoda has less of a budget image in China than elsewhere, so its cars sell closer to the price of the corresponding VW, but still below. The Chinese VW Jetta is the same as the European Skoda Rapid – the global Jetta is sold in China as the Sagitar.

      • Astonman

        good to know

      • Brabusbus

        Thanks for the explanation, so it can be concluded that VW is very big in China.

  • Bash

    Totally uninspiring. But hey that what it always been.

  • OdysseyTag

    Get a Dacia vibe from that front badging and grille.

    • Mike anonymous

      Whoah!, that is a good point. I didn’t notice it until you said anything.

  • Dennis Scipio

    ummmmm,,,, i have questions, was this really necessary??

  • Miknik

    I was having the feeling that VAG has to few brands, and the Seat ATECA too few rebadges. Good that both my concerns have been taken care of at once;

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