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Volkswagen to launch Jetta sub-brand in China?

by Ronan Glon

It would focus on affordable cars for young buyers.

The Volkswagen Jetta will spawn its own sub-brand in China, according to recent reports. The firm will make affordable (but not bargain-basement) cars aimed at younger buyers. In other words, it will occupy the space SEAT at Skoda both play in on the European market.

Volkswagen tried to establish the SEAT firm in China but the offensive didn't go well. Website Sina learned expanding SEAT's presence on the Chinese market was one of the options executives considered, but they decided not to because it has no brand image. On the other hand, the name Jetta is well-known in China, and the car's popularity bodes well for the rest of the range.

Sina added the Jetta brand will make its debut in 2019 with three products: a sedan (like the Jetta sold in North America), and two SUVs. They will all wear a new, Jetta-specific logo. Some will essentially be re-badged SEAT products, according to the publication, like Ateca crossover. Jetta-branded cars will be positioned below Volkswagen-branded models.

SEAT is out due to its image issues, but isn't that where Skoda plays?

Skoda is present in China, and it does relatively well, but it's represented by a joint-venture named SAIC Volkswagen. The company also manufactures and sells Volkswagen models, like the Phideon, the Lavida, the Gran Santana, and the Polo, among other models. Jetta would join a separate joint-venture called FAW Volkswagen that makes Volkswagen models (including the Golf and the Jetta) plus several Audi cars. Jetta, the brand, would let FAW expand downwards without overlapping with SAIC.

Volkswagen hasn't commented on the reports, so we're taking them with a grain of salt. If they're accurate, we could learn more about Jetta as a sub-brand in April during the 2019 Shanghai auto show. And, even if the report is true, don't expect to see Jetta-badged vehicles sold in the United States or in Europe.

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