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Volkswagen spins Jetta into a Chinese car brand



Volkswagen takes its popular Jetta brand and makes it a brand new and proprietary company that will make cars to China, announced Tuesday's German automaker.

Jetta automaker will launch as a joint venture with state-of-the-art Chinese car giant First Auto Works, and will offer three models at the beginning: the existing Jetta sedan and two SUVs. Volkswagen did not say whether the models will be electric, but it is likely that some will, based on the Chinese government's demand that car companies make and sell a certain percentage of "zero emissions" or "new energy" vehicles.

"This is a very smart strategic move by VW. Jetta's nameplate has a long history in China as a reliable car," said Alysha Webb, a Los Angeles journalist and consultant, who wrote about China's automotive industry for almost two decades. tells The Verge . "Taking an existing model and adapting it to the China market has a long history among foreign car manufacturers in China; VW has taken it a step further. "

" In China, Jetta plays an extremely valuable role for us as a Volkswagen model. It has led to mass mobility, just as Beetle once did in Europe, says Jürgen Stackmann, who sits on Volkswagen's board and is in charge of sales, says a statement.

Volkswagen does not offer details of timing for the new models, or whether they will be sold outside China. But it said the new Jetta joint venture will sell its cars using "innovative sales formats" such as digital showrooms, mobile sales cars. The new brand will also set up its own dealer company.

Companies in China have experimented with changing the car buying experience. NIO, an EV startup, has built a small network of lounge-style places called "NIO houses", where customers can hang out, work or take classes on topics such as making espresso.

Car manufacturers such as Volkswagen have been in China for many years, but the country's recent pressures to promote EV have made someone reinforce their efforts. The country is already the largest market for electric vehicles in the world, and the government has adjusted its rules to ensure that it holds onto that leadership.

For example, China's government used to make it impossible for foreign automakers to produce cars in the country without entering into a cooperation agreement that one Volkswagen has forged with FAW. But last year, China began to loosen these restrictions, paving the way for Tesla to become the first foreign automaker to build a manufacturing facility there. Tesla recently broke ground on its third Gigafactory, and expects to start production by the end of 2019 early.

Traditional car manufacturers are also under pressure from technology companies that move on to transport every year. In response, lots of money throws new ideas, collaborates with competitors, or even breaks apart. Volkswagen recently announced a "global alliance" with Ford, which will see the two companies sharing trucks and vans. Tuesday The Wall Street Journal reported that Volkswagen is also preparing to invest $ 1.7 billion in the Argo, the self-propelled start-up that Ford uses to drive its autonomous test cars.


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