Volkswagen has announced it will transform its Jetta badge into a standalone, entry-level brand set to be introduced into the Chinese market in the third quarter of 2019.

The Wolfsburg-based automaker said it intended to create an attractive offering (including SUV options) in the entry-level segment, which it had previously not covered in that market.

"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, member of Volkswagen's board of management responsible for sales. 

"This way, we will significantly increase our market coverage,” he added.

According to Stackmann, the Jetta plays an important role for the company as it is one of the automaker's most popular models in China.

"This is why we are transforming a model into a brand for the first time in the history of Volkswagen and establishing a separate model and brand family,” he said.

The Jetta product range will be manufactured by the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture in Chengdu. The line-up will include one sedan and two SUVs "specially tailored" for the Chinese market. Volkswagen says these models will be based on the same principles of "quality, safety, value and a clear design language" underlying its more expensive vehicles.

Author: Marius Boonzaier