FAW-Volkswagen confident in China’s economic potential

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Carmaker to attract young customers with models featuring fashionable design, technology

FAW-Volkswagen is stepping up efforts to introduce models, technologies and a new image to secure its position as one of the best-selling carmakers in China.

At the just-concluded Guangzhou auto show, FAW-Volkswagen showcased a small SUV called Tacqua, which is scheduled to hit the market later this month.

The model will join the compact T-Roc and the mid-sized Tayron. Both are segment leaders despite their short time in the market.

The Tacqua has a more fashionable design and vibrant colors. It is also the first China-made model that bears the German brand’s new logo, an example of Volkswagen’s efforts to appeal to younger customers.

“You see very bright colors and modern design (at the booth),” said Martin Jahn, executive vice-president of FAW-Volkswagen Sales Co.

FAW-Volkswagen confident in China's economic potential

“Before we focused too much on the car. We want to focus on the car and the person, bring more emotions into the brand,” said Jahn.

Another highlight at the booth was the plug-in hybrid Magotan GTE, which made its China debut at the auto show.

Jahn said the company put GTE into its name because it connects the electrification trend with high-performance driving fun.

The model has a maximum output of 155 kW and a peak torque of 400 Nm. Its acceleration from zero to 100 km/h takes 7.7 seconds.

“It is the first GTE model of FAW-Volkswagen and it perfectly combines the dynamics with efficiency,” he said.

The new Magotan GTE is also the first FAW-Volkswagen model with connectivity functions. It features Volkswagen’s latest driving assist functions and lighting technology, covering headlights to ambient lights.

FAW-Volkswagen expects the model to be a popular choice in the mid-sized plug-in hybrid segment.

The carmaker has successfully battled the headwinds in the Chinese market, which has seen a downturn from the second half of 2018.

It sold 1.68 million cars under its Volkswagen, Audi and Jetta brands from January to October, up 0.3 percent year-on-year, although the Chinese market as a whole fell 9.7 percent in the same period.

Total sales of Volkswagen-branded vehicles hit a record high of 1.11 million without Jetta, which spun off as an independent brand in September.

“So far we are above last year, better than the market and Volkswagen’s share is growing even without Jetta. We are very satisfied,” said Jahn.

He said China’s car market will become slightly better from the second half of 2020 and FAW-Volkswagen will continue its product introductions.

There is much growth potential in China, where total vehicle sales will reach 30 million around 2025, he said.

“FAW-Volkswagen is very optimistic about China. We have seven plants here. So we are hopeful about the growth. We are ready for it,” said Jahn.

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 FAW-Volkswagen confident in China's economic potential

The Tacqua SUV, which is expected to hit the market in December, is the highlight of FAW-Volkswagen’s lineup at the Guangzhou auto show. Li Fusheng / China Daily

(China Daily 12/02/2019 page19)

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