Engineering work is under way on a cost-effective platform to use in a budget saloon and SUV for China

Volkswagen’s long-running budget car project has taken a new turn, Autocar can reveal.

The latest project is to engineer a new, inexpensive components set that will underpin both a saloon and an SUV, with the two models "sharing as many common parts as possible".

There are no more details because the engineering work is still under way, but if the project makes production the cars will only be sold in China. Previous work at VW on a budget car for China seems to have been put on ice. Said to be a contentious issue inside the company, the ealier budget project initially failed to meet rigorous cost targets.

It also fell foul of executives who felt that such a basic vehicle would not be worthy of the VW badge. Outside of the Chinese market, VW will not be competing on price, say sources, because the brand is centered on being the premium choice among mass-car makers.

Read more New York motor show news

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

Join the debate


2 April 2015
If a "budget" model range would undermine the VW brand's "semi-premium" positioning in other markets, then wouldn't this also be the case in China? If so, why doesn't VAG use the Skoda brand instead for such models? It would seem sensible for VAG to settle on one logical global brand hierarchy and associated brand values, and stick to it. How about this: Skoda = budget, sensible, functional. Seat = youthful, active, alternative. VW = semi-premium, classless, conservative. Audi = premium, luxury, elegant. Just a thought...

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