The Chinese auto market, just like India, has many peculiar characteristics. One among them is the existence of closely spec-ed models or product twins.
I remember few years ago, Chinese had the global Fiat Siena with the co-existence of a marginally altered Siena named as the Perla. And there are many cases like this. Now China would be offered a novel Jetta by Volkswagen by the month of March, which is not exactly the Jetta we have here but actually it is a cousin of Vento, a second cousin at that!
The Chinese Jetta belongs to the same PQ25 platform that also accommodates its siblings Satana (which is Vento's first Chinese cousin), Vento, Rapid, Polo and Seat Toledo. The car is a product of the Volkswagen-FAW joint venture. The production has already started in the Volkswagen’s Chengdu factory but the launch is slated for March.
The company must have tried hard to make the siblings (Satana & Jetta) look different, though there isn't much to set each other apart. Bumper, grille, headlamp edges and fog-lamp assembly are the only goodies that try to make that hopeless differentiation.
Alloys are of different pattern. But of the lot, the Satana looks a bit premium and so customers got to pay more unfortunately. That's the same strategy companies adopt in our own market as well nowadays. Scala or Sunny? Vento or Rapid?
Do you think that the Jetta is gonna have new engine options? Absolutely not. Product twins do share the prescribed platform engines. So, the same 1.4 litre and 1.6 litre petrols as the Satana, with 5-speed manual and 6-speed auto gearboxes.
What Volkswagen does is more of a number game. The company hopes to sell 2.2 million cars within 2019 until the entry of the next generation. But what ever may be, the new Jetta offered here in India look a bit upmarket I presume.
[Note: This article is written by our intern Mr. Dhiyanesh Ravichandran]