FRANKFURT: Volkswagen on Tuesday said it will launch an entry-level JETTA brand in China in the third quarter this year, as a way to capture first-time buyers in the world's largest car market which has started to sputter.
Car sales in China fell for a seventh straight month in January, the country's top auto industry association said earlier this month.
A third of the Chinese car market is in a segment which is positioned below the main volume segment, where the Volkswagen brand is market leader, VW said.
To capture market share in the entry-level segment, where 80 percent of customers are first-time car buyers, VW is creating the JETTA brand, the carmaker said.
Chinese joint venture partner FAW Volkswagen will use JETTA to offer a limousine and two sports utility vehicle which can be bought through JETTA dealerships and mobile sales trucks in shopping malls. By the year end there will be around 200 dealers offering cars under the JETTA brand, VW said.
(Reporting by Edward Taylor; editing by David Evans)