By on August 20, 2011

SUVs are hot in China, and VW’s SUVlet, the Tiguan has turned into a hot seller. In the last few months, it steadily worked itself up the SUV charts and was in the second position in July, behind the Honda CR-V, and before the Nissan Qashqai. In China, the Tiguan is made by Volkswagen’s southern joint venture with Shanghai Volkswagen. What to do when Volkswagen’s Northern joint venture with FAW develops offroadish desires?

China Car Times heard around the hot water dispenser (they like to drink hot water in China, yuck, I know) that First Automobile Works has signaled its wishes that Volkswagen should go off-road with them. Volkswagen can hardly give them the Tiguan as well. That would be taking socialism too far.  So what’s Volkswagen to do?

Best-selling SUVs, China, July 2011
Rank Model Brand Units
1 CR-V Honda 12,706
2 Tiguan VW 11,457
3 Qashqai Nissan 10,542
4 Highlander Toyota 8,817
5 Haval H series Great Wall 8,394
6 Tiggo Chery 8,295
7 ix35 Hyundai 8,139
8 RAV4 Toyota 7,189
9 5008/Nomad II Zotye 6,971
10 Sportage R Kia 5,462
Source: CAAM

According to (British born) Ash Sutcliffe of China Car Times, “FAW are working with VW to produce their own self designed VW SUV on top of the Tiguan platform.”

Now Ash, Volkswagen would NEVER do that and cheat their Shanghainese partners. Let me show you how this works at Volkswagen: Everybody knows that the Audi Q3 is coming to China next year, right? The car, unveiled at the Shanghai Motorshow with yours truly snapping away and Ash without camera, will be made by Audi’s  JV partner – FAW.

The Tiguan and the Q3 are based on the current Golf platform. (NOT MQB as erroneously stated on occasion.) Being an Audi, the Q3 will be built by FAW. FAW also makes the Golf. The Tiguan and Q3 are based on – the Golf. Now if that rumor is true, Volkswagen would never ever help FAW to build an SUV on top of the Tiguan platform. That would break the contract and good form.

They’ll help them build an SUV on the Golf platform! What’s wrong with that? It could even look a bit like the Q3. I mean, all these SUVlets look alike anyway, right? Especially in China. Everybody keeps face, everybody happy. Now, where’s the next KTV?

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8 Comments on “Secret Recipe Revealed: How FAW Gets A Tiguan Without SAIC Losing Face...”

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Given typical practice, I’m amazed that VW doesn’t just wait for the redesign of the current Tiguan and then give the old tooling to their Chinese partners. It’s worked well with the Jetta.

  • avatar

    “they like to drink hot water in China, yuck, I know”

    Funny, I have the same feeling about America and Diet Coke.

    • 0 avatar

      If it’s previously boiled water, then there might be a good reason for that. If it’s just warmed water, however, then it’s likely just another one of those weird idiosyncrasies that you find within most cultures (e.g., diet coke, beets on hamburgers, french fries and mayo. french fries and ketchup, chips-dressing-and-gravy, vinegar on fries, and so on).

      • 0 avatar

        It’s always previously boiled, much like when you make tea and you boil the water first then let it cool to the right brewing temperature. Just minus the tea leaves.
        Hence the popularity of hot water dispensers in Asia.
        But yes, the main reason it got so popular is because for health reasons it wasn’t a great idea to drink unboiled water unless you enjoy getting parasites. Now that the country is wealthy enough that there’s good water infrastructure maybe drinking hot water will slowly fall out of favor but you never know.

  • avatar

    I have friend who used to like drinking just water and sugar.

  • avatar

    I thought that drinking warm water has some thing to do with ancient belief that it’s better for your health. Drinking cold water will upset your body’s balance (yin/yang) and such.

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