AutosFAW's Jetta brand quietly enters russian market, Volkswagen denies involvement

FAW's Jetta brand quietly enters russian market, Volkswagen denies involvement

Jetta VS5
Jetta VS5
Images source: © Press materials | Volkswagen AG

6:14 PM EDT, July 9, 2024

The Jetta brand, owned by the Chinese joint venture FAW and Volkswagen, has reportedly entered Russia, according to "Rossijskaya Gazeta." However, the headquarters in Wolfsburg firmly denies these claims.

The new importer, FAW-Eastern Europe, boasts a network of 86 dealers spanning 50 cities in Russia, reports, referencing "AutoBusinessReview." As noted in April, the Volkswagen Group acknowledged that vehicles from joint venture companies could penetrate the Russian market through "unauthorized channels." More details on this process are provided below.

Unauthorized channels imply that the official importer is not involved. Cars have reached Russia from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, China, and Finland. While the scale of this phenomenon is difficult to quantify, it is known to be substantial.

Earlier reports stated that in January, Nie Qiang, deputy general manager of FAW-Volkswagen for commercial affairs, announced that "with the formal consent of both shareholders, Jetta has been authorized to export new cars."

Jetta VS7
Jetta VS7© Press materials | Volkswagen AG

FAW Group informed that they do not have concerns regarding sanctions. The Chinese side owns the rights. "We are speaking about a completely independent brand whose products cannot be compared with the cars of the German partner."

A contact with the Volkswagen brand representative was made to confirm this information. The headquarters in Wolfsburg stated:

The Jetta brand was created in 2019 to sell affordable Volkswagen models in China. As a foreign entity, VW could not manufacture in China, hence the collaboration with FAW.

An example model, the Jetta VA3, resembles the Volkswagen Polo but features a partially galvanized body. It is specifically designed for Chinese customers: it lacks heated seats in any configuration, and the rear bench backrest does not fold. Another issue with "gray" Jettas is the untranslated multimedia systems. The vehicle is equipped with an engine from the German EA111 family.

According to a news service from Chelyabinsk, Russia, the official introduction of the brand in Russia is merely a formality. Due to sanctions, dealers are expected to adopt a low-key approach and try to distance themselves from the Volkswagen name. Customers will learn about the brand primarily through word of mouth.

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