The first China-only model from the new brand is set to be a mid-sized SUV that will cost from £5670
Jim Holder
14 March 2017

The Volkswagen Group’s long-anticipated budget brand will launch in China in 2019.

Speaking at the announcement of the Volkswagen Group’s 2016 financial results, Jochem Heizmann, board member responsible for China, confirmed that the first vehicles produced in partnership with Chinese car maker First Automobile Works (FAW) would launch “with a focus on the SUV segment”.

“We want to be competitive in that segment,” said Heizmann. It is believed that the first launch will be a mid-sized SUV, and that a larger SUV and notchback are likely to follow, with entry-level prices ranging from €8-11,000 (£5670-£7800).

Volkswagen stands its ground on dieselgate fixes

Volkswagen and Fiat-Chrysler partnership possible

Heizmann claimed that no name for the economy brand has yet been decided, but confirmed that “at the moment it will not be VW”.

The Volkswagen Group has previously struggled to meet its internal minimum standards for manufacturing while still meeting the financial constraints imposed by building a budget car to be profitable. A partnership with Suzuki to work on similar vehicles was dissolved in 2015.

Although the cars will initially only be sold in China, other potential markets include India, Latin America, eastern Europe, the Baltic region and Africa. There are no plans to sell the cars elsewhere in Europe at present.

Skoda and Tata Motors product range to launch in India

In a separate project, the Volkswagen Group is also working with Tata Motors on vehicles for the Indian market. Development is being led by the Skoda brand, with Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Müller confirming that a range of bodystyles would be launched on a small, A0-sized platform from 2019.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Golf

Just how good is the mighty Volkswagen Golf? The seventh generation of Europe's best selling car has been facelifted to keep its nose ahead of its rivals

Join the debate

Comments
1

15 March 2017
A new budget brand with no upmarket pretensions? A car for ordinary folk? A low cost car for everybody? They could call it 'people's car'. What's that in German?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals
  • Hyundai Kona
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Hyundai's funky-looking Kona crossover with a peppy three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises for the car to be a success in a crowded segment
  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq