SUV, saloon and hatchback to be built and sold in China initially
27 June 2015

The Volkswagen Group will launch its long-anticpated budget brand in 2018, VW Group chairman Martin Winterkorn has confirmed.

Autocar understands that Winterkorn confirmed the news in an interview due to be published on Sunday in German newspaper Bild. In the same interview he confirmed that a successor to the Bugatti Veyron would be built and that it would be sold with a hybrid powertrain.

Initially, the VW Group's budget brand will launch an SUV, saloon and hatchback. All three will be built in China and sold with starting prices ranging from €8-11,000 (£5670-£7800).

"We will introduce a budget car family in 2018 with an SUV, sedan and hatchback,” Winterkorn is understood to tell Bild.

The VW Group has long struggled to meet its internal minimum standards for manufacturing while still meeting the financial constraints imposed by building a budget car to be profitable. As a result, there has been no sound business case for building budget cars or investing in the infrastructure to launch a new brand until now. When it is launched, the brand will be the VW Group's 13th.

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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.

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Comments
17

20 March 2014
Hang on a minute! I own a Skoda, I thought they were the VW budget brand. Please don't rob me of the moral high ground...


29 June 2015
That's what they ought to call it, Volkswagen in German.

21 March 2014
I thought that the Chinese were obsessed with the traditional Western brands, so will they take to a new one launched specifically as a cheap offering for their market?
Why not simply sell the new models as VWs? I can't see that it would damage the VW brand any more than selling vans and trucks damages Mercedes.

21 March 2014
- is no different to any other people or country that look for value for money. Yes, there are the wealthier there who can afford higher priced vehicles but as affluence spreads across China (& India, etc) so there are those that who care less about name and more about value. I suspect that this is the Asian market that VW wants to tap. And they may well be rebranded Skodas?

21 March 2014
And there was me thinking that Skoda was the 'budget' brand, SEAT was the 'sporty' brand and Audi the 'premium' brand, with VW covering the, erm, general "people's car" brand ...

21 March 2014
Beyond a shadow of doubt that's just what the world needs!

21 March 2014
And during the 10-15 year period after 2016, this new brand will slowly become plusher, more premium feeling and will have prices not far off VW and Audi. Exactly what happened to Skoda and Seat.

21 March 2014
Really, does VW need to add another brand to it's colossal portfolio, even if it is only for the Chinese market? I could maybe see the point if the Up!, Mii and Citigo trio were flying out the showrooms, therefore indicating potential demand for an even cheaper car. But despite the complimentary reviews, I just don't see that many on the road. And we all know VW just doesn't do bargain pricing. Surely economies of scale should dictate that the Up! be rebranded for these markets.

TBC

21 March 2014
I thought everyone was now aware that Skoda is Audi's budget brand?

21 March 2014
VW are fast becoming the British Leyland of the 21st century. Too many brands they dont know what to do with them. Theres no clear distinction as to which end of the market each brand is for. The Seat Leon is a case in point, the mk1 & mk2 were a quirky sporty alternative to the Golf. The mk3 is just dull dull dull, the Golf looks more exciting.

Kill Seat off, it doesnt mean anything to anyone anymore, theyve ruined the brand. Stop trying to turn Skoda into a VW competitor. It should be competing with Dacia (who have found a massive market selling cheap basic cars across Europe which Skoda seems to have abandoned).

Thats my opinion anyway. They need to focus on what each brand means, as their current position is confusing and introducing another brand is not the answer.

currently a happy owner of a Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin :)

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Our Verdict

Volkswagen Up

The Volkswagen Up city car isn't revolutionary, it's just quantifiably better than the opposition

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week