World market: most popular VW? It’s not the golf


Favorite VW? It’s not the golf

World market: most popular VW? It's not the golf-world

1 of 10

The New Midsize Coupe was presented at Auto China in Beijing and is due to hit the Chinese market as a four-door coupe version of the Jetta at the end of the year.

Source: Volkswagen

World market: most popular VW? It's not the golf-market

2 of 10

The career of the VW Jetta began in 1979 as a notchback sister model of the Golf introduced in 1974. It was noticeable that it was this …

Source: Volkswagen

World market: most popular VW? It's not the golf-popular

3 of 10

… compact sedan even existed as a two-door model.

Source: Volkswagen

World market: most popular VW? It's not the golf-world

4 of 10

Compact notchback cars are particularly popular in China, with the Chinese market taking in almost 1.4 million VW models in 2013, either called Jetta or on a Jetta platformm based, such as the New Bora. It is a further developed Jetta of the fifth generation and is produced by the VW joint venture FAW-VW.

Source: Volkswagen

World market: most popular VW? It's not the golf-golf

5 out of 10

The identical counterpart to the New Bora is the New Lavida, which comes from the second VW joint venture Shanghai Volkswagen (SVW).

Source: Volkswagen

World market: most popular VW? It's not the golf-world

6 of 10

The only car in China that bears the name Jetta (more precisely: New Jetta) is based on a Polo platform. Reason: The New Jetta replaces the Jetta, which only expired in 2013, is the secondn generation that has existed since 1984. Its customers don’t have that much money; a New Jetta on today’s platform would be too expensive for them.

Source: Volkswagen

World market: most popular VW? It's not the golf-market

7 of 10

While the New Jetta comes from FAW-VW, SVW produces the structurally identical New Santana. It replaces the original Santana, which had been built since 1981 and which supported VW’s rise in China for many yearsn has. The Santana was the notchback version of the Passat, just like the Jetta belonged to the Golf.

Source: Volkswagen

World market: most popular VW? It's not the golf-market

8 of 10

FAW-VW, in turn, is allowed to build the only car based on the current, sixth generation of Jetta. It’s called Sagitar in China. To compensate, SVW becomes the new one …

Source: Volkswagen

World market: most popular VW? It's not the golf-most

9 of 10

… Manufacture a Jetta Coupe that leaves the current Jetta platform and is based on the new modular transverse matrix, on which many other models such as the current Golf are also createdmarry.

Source: Volkswagen

World market: most popular VW? It's not the golf-popular

10 of 10

A week before the trade fair in Beijing, Michael Horn, VW’s US boss, unveiled the revised version of the sixth generation of Jetta. The US is the second most important market for the Jetta.

Source: dpa

1.75 million buyers can’t be wrong: last year they bought a special Volkswagen model that exists well below the threshold of awareness in Germany: the Jetta.

M.Artin Winterkorn sat in the first row and waited, a little annoyed. Visible to many visitors, the VW boss stretched out his left arm and tapped his watch with his right index finger. The presentation was supposed to start five minutes after nine, at nine o’clock. And when it finally started, everything seemed a little stiff, even if it was the most beautiful car that VW had to show at Auto China in Beijing.

Volkswagen calls this car NMC, New Midsize Coupe, officially it is considered a study, even if it is pretty clear what will become of it soon: a Jetta Coupe, albeit a four-door one.

This would crown a model series that exists well below the threshold of perception in Germany, but sells significantly more cars worldwide than the Golf. "The term ‘Jetta Coupe’ remains your speculation," says VW Head of Development Heinz-Jakob Neuber, "we will announce the name with the Shanghai Volkswagen joint venture when the production car is presented."

The fatal wallflower image

This sentence illustrates the splendor and misery of the VW Jetta in equal measure. On the Chinese market, Neusser refers to the attractive VW model, although four-door coupes are also sold well in Germany, see Mercedes CLA. Although the board does not rule out anything when asked, there are “currently no plans” to offer the production model of the New Midsize Coupe to German customers as well.

This is because the Jetta generally only ekes out a niche existence in its home country. Launched in 1979 as the notchback sister model of the Golf, the Jetta has never shed its wallflower image in Germany.

It is rather uncertain whether Volkswagen already had globalization in mind back then. But it turned out that the Jetta idea was exactly the right one: Today the company could hardly exist without this car. "925,000 deliveries to customers worldwide in 2013 speak for themselves," says Neuber. And it is only telling half the story.

Anyone looking at the group figures will discover several models that are based either on the Jetta in terms of construction or design. Neuss adds up everything that is sold under the Jetta name or is based on its current, sixth generation.

The current Jetta is also called Sagitar

In addition to the VW Jetta, which is built in Mexico for the USA and Europe, there is also the almost identical Sagitar from China. In addition, several thousand current Jettas are being assembled in Russia and India, in Mexico there is the Jetta Clasico on an older platform, and in China just under 90,000 Jetta of the second generation, which was introduced in 1984, rolled off the assembly line in 2013. They were replaced by the New Jetta in the course of last year, which, however, is technically based on the VW Polo for reasons of cost.

With these exactly 925,100 cars, the Jetta family outperforms the VW Golf, which was only delivered 837,000 times worldwide in 2013.

But there are even more cars in the Jetta family because almost every VW model is offered twice in China. This is because Volkswagen entered into two joint ventures in the huge empire: in 1984 with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) and in 1991 with First Automobile Works (FAW) from Changchun in the north-east of the country.

Shanghai Volkswagen (SVW) and FAW-VW are crazy enemies, one hears at the fair. Your offices behind the scenes of the exhibition stand are as far apart as possible. It is even a topic of discussion, whose car will be shown first at the press conference.

New Bora and New Lavida: all Jetta

The Chinese customers perceive the companies as competitors because the VW logo appears in the external image, but the different Chinese lettering is interpreted as decisive. That is why Shanghai and Changchun are jealously guarded that one partner does not get more or more attractive models from VW than the other.

For the Jetta this means that FAW-VW produces the New Jetta (which was included in Neusser’s bill) and SVW the structurally identical New Santana (which must be counted separately). Based on the fifth generation Jetta, SVW produces the New Lavida, FAW-VW counters with the identical New Bora. A total of 833,000 cars come together that can justifiably be attributed to the Jetta idea.

1,758,100 buyers cannot be wrong and generate massive demand for a type of car that has lost popularity in Germany. The Golf not only dealt the fatal blow to the Beetle as the most popular VW. Because the Wolfsburg short-tail design found so many imitators, it also helped to displace compact notchback sedans.

Suggestions for other Jetta models

"In our heavy traffic, short-tailed cars, station wagons and SUVs are very popular because they offer our customers more space with the same traffic area," says VW board member Neusser. And at the same time announces further Jetta derivatives. After all, the new four-door coupe is already on the new VW MQB platform, the notchback Jetta will follow in a few years, and MQB offers more flexibility. "You can be sure that I and my development team will make appropriate suggestions for new models at the next world trade fairs."

Just probably not for the German market. While the Chinese bought almost 1.4 million Jetta models in 2013 and the Americans still bought a good 160,000, the number of Jettas for Germany is 2,400.

"world"-Reporter Stefan Anker regularly tweets spontaneous car news and observations from everyday driving and testing and is pleased if you are here click and follow him. Or check out his Facebook page past.

The trip to Auto China was supported by Volkswagen. You can find our standards of transparency and journalistic independence at

Related articles

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment