From Model to Make: Volkswagen Launches JETTA Brand

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
from model to make volkswagen launches jetta brand

There’s a reason for the use of upper-case letters — the Volkswagen Jetta is still a car model sold in China, and a quite popular one at that, while JETTA is a new brand aimed at entry-level consumers in that mega market.

VW is an incredibly big deal in the world’s most car-hungry country, eating up a considerable share of China’s mainstream vehicle segments. The brand sold 3.11 million vehicles in China last year. However, its presence at the bottom end of the market isn’t quite as strong, and there remains many millions of Chinese who haven’t adopted the new way of life and picked up a car. That’s what JETTA’s for.

The automaker sees great opportunity in first-time buyers. With JETTA, the company plans to offer one sedan (looks like a Jetta — hmm … JETTA Jetta?) and two crossovers through 200 dealers by the end of the year.

Tasked with assembling the vehicles is the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture, builder of all VWs and Audis in that country.

Kep to the brand’s success are young adults. To lure these consumers into the fold, VW proposes a new sales approach. “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,” the automaker said.

The presence of JETTA, VW hopes, will also insulate VW from market forces. Chinese new vehicles sales slipped last year, punishing American companies like Ford and GM, though VW actually saw its market share grow. At 2.1 percent, the VW brand’s sales loss was less than half that of the overall market (down 4.6 percent, compared to 2017).

“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,” said Jürgen Stackmann, board of management member responsible for sales. “This way, we will significantly increase our market coverage.”

The first JETTA models should reach Chinese buyers in the third quarter of this year.

[Images: Volkswagen]

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2 of 24 comments
  • Mojeimeje Mojeimeje on Feb 26, 2019

    They even copied the Dacia logo.

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Feb 26, 2019

    Makes sense. VW has Skoda for the last gen running gear to sell East and to pfennig pinchers at home. A special brand to cater to the Chinese market is just good sense. GM even came up with Cadillac and Buick to do that...oh, wait....

  • Jim Bonham Thanks.
  • Luke42 I just bought a 3-row Tesla Model Y.If Toyota made a similar vehicle, I would have bought that instead. I'm former Prius owner, and would have bought a Prius-like EV if it were available.Toyota hasn't tried to compete with the Model Y. GM made the Bolt EUV, and Ford made the Mach-E. Tesla beat them all fair and square, but Toyota didn't even try.[Shrug]
  • RHD Toyota is trying to hedge their bets, and have something for everyone. They also may be farther behind in developing electric vehicles than they care to admit. Japanese corporations sometimes come up with cutting-edge products, such as the Sony Walkman. Large corporations (and not just Japanese corporations) tend to be like GM, though - too many voices just don't get heard, to the long-term detriment of the entity.
  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.