Volkswagen of Americas 2018 Jetta will be replaced for the 2019 model year

Volkswagen of America's 2018 Jetta will be replaced for the 2019 model year

Future models plans for all of the Volkswagen Group's passenger car brands are being covered in a new series of articles. First off, it's a look at Volkswagen itself with a round up of what's available now and what's ahead for VW cars. This will be followed by a feature concerning pick-ups and MPVs, and then by another which concentrates on electrified models, crossovers and SUVs.

Record deliveries in 2017?

Addressing workers at the firm's headquarters on 29 November, the CEO of Volkswagen AG, Matthias Mueller, said he saw a strong final two months to the year. This, he noted, should guarantee a record number of passenger vehicles will be delivered in 2017.

Worldwide registrations for all of the Volkswagen Group's divisions rose by a combined 8.2 per cent in October to 940,800 vehicles. As at the end of the first ten months, the year-on-year gain was 3.2 per cent, to a total of 8.75 million. Last year, global sales numbered 10.3 million units.

This year, all regions and brands have performed strongly, with Volkswagen itself doing especially well in China and the USA, although Europe was also better than many had predicted as the brand slowly puts the TDI emissions cheating scandal behind it.

Low-income markets vehicle range

There were reports in the German media in October 2012 which stated that Volkswagen had begun looking into launching a low-cost brand in many markets. The vehicles would be aimed at Brazil, Russia, India and China but may also be sold in Europe. In February 2013, the then head of Volkswagen Group, Martin Winterkorn, told Der Speigel magazine that the project was underway, with the first car due to be launched in China in 2015. This date had changed to 2018, Winterkorn stated in an interview in June 2015.

In April 2015, another German news magazine had claimed that the Volkswagen Group was in discussions with Great Wall Motor and that low cost cars were one of the alleged items of discussion.

The project is now centred on three models: an SUV, a sedan, and a hatchback. These will be for China, though the project may be expanded to other markets. Winterkorn did not state which of the Volkswagen Group's joint ventures (FAW Volkswagen or SVW) would build the cars. The aim is to sell the cars at prices equivalent to between 8,000 and 11,000 euro.

Some sources now believe that this project has been merged into one which Skoda is leading for low cost cars.

A segment

At just 3.54m long, the up! is the VW brand's smallest model. The car is now in its final years of production, having had its global debut in three-door form at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2011. A five-door car was rolled out across European markets from the second quarter of 2012 (RHD cars from the second half of the year) - its debut was at the Geneva motor show in March 2012.

Production of this four-seat hatchback rival for the Renault Twingo began in October 2011 at the rate of 100,000/year. Another combined 100,000 was originally forecast for a Skoda variant, the Citigo, as well as the SEAT Mii. All three cars come down the same line at Volkswagen Group's Bratislava plant in the Slovak capital.

Some VW insiders call the cars' architecture New Small Family, while others name it MHB.

VW had at one time also intended to build a variant of the up! at its Chakan plant near Pune in India. A Maruti Suzuki-VW small car was then said to be planned as the effective VW brand entrant in this segment of the Indian market. VW and Suzuki's failed alliance meant that the project was eventually cancelled.

In July 2012, reports out of Brazil stated that Volkswagen do Brasil was planning to expand its Taubaté complex in the state of São Paulo to add production of the up! A just-auto.com news report in June 2013 stated that VW would start selling a locally-made up! in Brazil from 2014. This proved to be correct, and the up! entered production in December 2013, with the car in dealerships two months later. Brazil's up! sits slightly higher than the built-in-Bratislava model, the tailgate is steel and glass instead of glass, and the rear windows wind down in five-door cars.

A mid-life facelift was revealed at the Geneva motor show in March 2016. These cars went on sale three months later.

The up! GTI had its world premiere at the annual GTI Meet at Lake Wörthersee in May 2017. This prototype was powered by an 85kW (115PS) turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine which was also claimed to produce 200Nm of torque. VW said at the time that the up! GTI would be on sale from early 2018. The production model has the same power output as the prototype but torque is 230Nm. The production car has just been announced.

The next up! is again expected to be built at the Volkswagen Group's Bratislava plant and also in Brazil. Production should commence in 2019. There are some sources who have claimed that the next generation up! for European markets will be delayed or even cancelled. Given how well the current model sells, this seems odd. The Volkswagen Group sold some 170,000 units of the up! in CY2016, plus 41,250 Skoda Citigos and 18,700 units of the SEAT Mii, so all in all, close to 230,000 cars.

The Fox is another A segment model. It has been built in three-door form by Volkswagen's Brazilian operations since October 2003. A five-door version followed in April 2004, and the CrossFox a year later. A wagon derivative, built only in Argentina, went on sale there and in Brazil in April 2006.

Exports to Mexico ('VW Lupo') started in March 2004 but ceased at the end of that market's 2010 model year. Versions for Europe had their debut at the Leipzig show in April 2005. Unlike the Fox sold in the Americas, there was a 1.4-litre diesel option for Europe and a three-door body only. The up! was the replacement for the Fox in European markets. The Fox replacement is expected to be launched in Brazil during 2018.

B segment

The VW240 series Polo, which is the fourth generation model, is still built in China, Argentina and South Africa, though the latter model is unique. Volkswagen South Africa's Polo Vivo, launched there in March 2010, is a low-priced rival for the Ford Figo and Renault Sandero. Both five-door hatchback and four-door sedan variants are available.

VW do Brasil ended Polo build at its Anchieta plant in December 2015.

Volkswagen announced in September 2016 that it would be assembling the Polo Vivo at a plant in the Kenyan city of Thika, near Nairobi, from the end of the year. This commenced on schedule in December 2016. This was only the third VW plant to assemble VWs in Africa, the others being in Nigeria and South Africa. Initial capacity is 1,000 a year, though this could be expanded to 5,000. This plant is owned by DT Dobie, VW's partner. It is the same facility which assembles Peugeots.

Production of this generation Polo - first built in Europe back in 2001 - should be wound up worldwide by 2019.

VW250, the Polo which replaced the model just mentioned in 2010, remains in production. The Vento, a long wheelbase sedan, went on sale in India, where it is built, in September 2010.

A Russian-made variant, badged 'Polo Saloon', debuted at the Moscow motor show in August with production following soon after at the Volkswagen Group's Kaluga plant.

Volkswagen South Africa added the Polo sedan to its model range in June 2011. VW India also exports the car to certain markets in the Middle East. Another LHD market, Mexico, was added during the first quarter of 2014.

The Indian's market's Skoda Rapid is more or less the twin of the Vento/Polo Saloon. But the European markets Rapid is a different car.

India's Vento was facelifted in September 2014 and unusually, again in May 2015.

The next Vento (project code: VW271) is expected to use the Volkswagen Group's MQB A0 architecture. This car should be more or less the same model as Brazil's new VW Virtus.

The sixth generation Polo was revealed to the media in June (2017). Its public debut took place three months later at the Frankfurt IAA. The first cars were delivered to dealers in LHD European countries from October, and RHD ones from November. VW do Brasil also commenced sending Polos to its dealers from October, the car having gone into local production at the same time as the made-in-Spain model. The VW Virtus is the sedan version of the Polo.

The new model uses the same MQB A0 (Zero) architecture as the similarly sized SEAT Ibiza. The five-door hatchback is 4,053mm long, 1751mm wide and 1446mm high. That makes it 81mm longer, 63mm wider and 7mm lower than its predecessor. The boot's capacity is expanded by 71 litres and is quoted as being able to hold 351 litres.

Reportedly so as to keep R&D and manufacturing costs down, Volkswagen told the media at the launch that the Polo would not be offered with all-wheel drive or in three-door form. Its platform is, however, compatible with AWD.

For the moment, the new Polo is manufactured only in Spain and Brazil but production in other countries should be added from 2018.

Another B segment model, the current shape Gol, was launched in Brazil as a five-door hatchback in August 2008. A four-door sedan version, the Voyage, followed three months later. In some markets this is called Gol sedan. A three-door Gol was launched at the Sao Paulo motor show in October 2012. This replaced the Gol G4.

These small cars formed the first two bodystyles for the replacements for the long-running Gol/Gol G4/Parati, Saveiro and Pointer series. The Saveiro (two-door pick-up) was launched in Brazil in August 2009.

There was another facelift for the Gol range in February 2016. Mexico's 2017 model year Gol and Gol Sedan had this update. Volkswagen do Brasil is expected to introduce the next Gol family model range in late 2018. These cars will likely share their MQB A0 architecture with the Polo and Virtus.

The Lavida (launched as the New Lavida) is a small sedan that is built and sold in China by the SAIC Volkswagen joint venture. The New Lavida had its debut at the Beijing motor show in April 2012. It went on sale in China in August 2012. The Gran Lavida, a wagon, premiered at the Shanghai motor show in April 2013. It went on sale in China two months later.

The Lavida Sport and Gran Lavida Sport derivatives were launched at the Guangzhou motor show in November 2013. These have an aero body kit and unique wheels.

FAW Volkswagen, the German giant's other Chinese joint venture, has its own equivalent of the Lavida, the Bora.

The Lavida range has been built at SVW's Anting plant since the arrival of this, the second generation model, in 2012. The Lavida has also been manufactured at SVW's Changsha plant since May 2015. This production complex opened with an initial annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles.

A Bora crossover wagon variant in the style of the Volvo V40 Cross Country went on sale in China during November 2016. This is the Volkswagen C-Trek. A further derivative, the C-Trek Boundless, was revealed at Auto Shanghai in April 2017.

The next Lavida and future Bora as well as the next C-Trek are due for release in 2019. Each should switch from the NCS platform to the newer MQB A0.

As noted above, the Virtus is the replacement for the Polo sedan. It had its world premiere at an event in Brazil in November. Production takes place at VW do Brasil's Anchieta plant, which is about 20km south of Sao Paulo. Deliveries will commence in January. Plans for related versions of the same model to be manufactured and sold elsewhere are yet to be confirmed. Expect the life cycle to be seven-eight years.

The Ameo, another small sedan, is built locally for the Indian market to comply with the sub-4 metres long tax class. It is based upon the Polo but has a short rear overhang. The Ameo's world premiere was at February 2016's Auto Expo in New Delhi with deliveries commencing four months later. A facelift in 2020 should keep the car selling until 2023. The second generation Ameo will likely ditch its PQ25 platform for the far more modern MQB A0 architecture.

C segment

The Mark 7 Golf began to reach dealers across Europe from November 2012. It was revealed to the media at an event in Berlin in early September 2012, with public premieres of both three- and five-door cars taking place later the same month at the Paris motor show.

The Golf estate had its global debut at the Geneva motor show in March 2013, as did the Golf GTI. The Golf GTD was another world premiere at Geneva.

Premiering alongside the TDI Bluemotion at the 2013 Frankfurt show was the Golf R. Originally available with three or five doors, the R is powered by a 300PS turbocharged 2.0-litre EA888 TSI engine. An R estate had its world premiere at the LA auto show in November 2014.

An R 400 prototype debuted at the Beijing motor show in April 2014. This had a fluorescent yellow band across its grille and headlamps, enlarged wheel arches and a 294kW version of the EA888 2.0-litre turbo engine. A production version had been expected but this was subsequently cancelled.

FAW Volkswagen builds the seventh generation Golf at two locations: Changchun and at the JV's Foshan plant. The latter opened in September 2013. China's locally built Golf premiered at the Guangzhou motor show in November 2013. VW China's Golf went on sale in December 2013.

The firm's Puebla plant in Mexico would begin building the Golf from early 2014, Volkswagen announced in January 2013. The Golf and the GTI were launched in the US in March 2014. The 2015 Golf SportWagen replaced the Jetta SportWagen in the US market. A pre-production model premiered at April 2014's New York auto show: the Golf SportWagen concept.

In North America, the seventh generation Golf's first model year was 2015. In January 2014, VW of America issued a media release which stated that the Golf R would be sold in the US from the first quarter of 2015, in four-door form only. The car's regional debut was at the Detroit auto show in January 2014. The R SportWagen was added for the 2016 model year and the SportWagen Alltrack for the 2017 model year. The latter was announced at the New York auto show in April 2015.

In September 2013, a spokesman for the Brazilian state of Paraná told the local media that Volkswagen's São José dos Pinhais plant in Curitiba would build the Golf, plus the Audi A3 & Q3 from 2015. The downturn in Brazil delayed things but the Golf went into production in January 2016.

A more powerful GTI had its world premiere at September 2015's Frankfurt IAA. The GTI Clubsport was powered by a 195kW (265PS) version of the Group's 2.0-litre TSI engine. It had overboost, which took power up to 290PS. The car was a special edition, and had its own front bumper, side sills, rear diffuser, multi-part roof spoiler and forged alloy wheels.

The Golf SportWagen HyMotion, a fuel cell concept, premiered at the 2014 LA auto show.

A turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol unit replaced the 1.4 TSI from early 2017. It was revealed under the bonnet of the facelifted Golf at a media event in November 2016. The new 110kW (150PS) 1.5 TSI Evo features cylinder deactivation, direct-injection and a new turbocharger: the unit is an evolution of the 1.4 TSI, not part of any new engine family. There is also a BlueMotion version producing 96kW/130PS.

The updated range announced in November 2016 includes the GTI. This gained more powerful engines: 169kW/230PS for the standard version and 180kW/245PS for the GTI Performance. The other updated cars were the three- and five-door hatchbacks, the GTE (plug-in hybrid) and Variant (estate/wagon). As well the facelift and new engine, the infotainment system was also updated. The 'Discover Pro' system includes gesture control.

TDI, TSI, LNG, GTD and GTI cars with Adaptive Cruise Control ACC and/or Front Assist including the City Emergency Braking function with new Pedestrian Monitoring no longer have a visible radar sensor. Pre-facelift, this was located in the lower cooling air intake, but it is now hidden behind the VW logo in the upper grille.

Volkswagen also announced a new seven-speed DSG dual clutch automatic transmission for the facelifted Golf. The new DSG will gradually replace all of the six-speed DSGs used in the Golf to date.

In November 2016, Volkswagen and its long time sales partner for Algeria announced they would be opening a 100 vehicles per day SKD plant in April 2017. The Volkswagen Group is a minority shareholder in the JV, which is called SOVAC Production SPA. The first four models to be assembled were the VW Golf and Caddy, SEAT Ibiza and Skoda Octavia. The facility is 220 km west of Algiers.

The eighth generation Golf will use an updated version of the MQB architecture. The car should have its world premiere at the 2019 Geneva motor show and be on sale from the third quarter of that year. It might instead be delayed to the Frankfurt IAA six months later, however.

In November 2017, the Volkswagen Group announced that its Zwickau-Mosel plant will not be building any future models other than electric ones, so Golf production in Germany will be based at Wolfsburg.

Build of a replacement for the New Beetle commenced in July 2011. The current Beetle is a rebodied Mark VI Golf. The 'Dune', a crossover variant, would be launched in early 2016, Volkswagen of America announced at the New York auto show in April 2015. This was previewed by the Beetle Dune, a concept which premiered at the Detroit auto show in January 2014. The production version of the Dune premiered at November 2015's LA auto show. It is available as a hatchback and a convertible and the changes include a higher ride height and a modified front end. It went on sale across Europe from March 2016.

The Beetle is longer, wider and lower than the New Beetle, has a larger boot and more rear-seat headroom.

The 2012 model year Beetle went on sale in North America in October and the new shape car was launched in Europe from the following month. Sales in the UK and Asia-Pacific followed in February 2012, and in South America at the end of 2012.

The factory in Mexico which builds this car is one of the Volkswagen Group's largest vehicle manufacturing plants. Puebla also supplies North and South America as well as Europe with the Jetta. The Beetle and Golf Variant/Golf SportWagen (wagon) are built exclusively by Volkswagen de México for world markets.

An e-Bugster concept had its global debut at the Detroit auto show in January 2012. This was a plug-in version of the Beetle powered by an 85kWh motor, in combination with a 28.3kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This design study was said to be 90mm lower than the Beetle, thanks to a new roof, whilst also being 30mm wider. This was followed up by a convertible version of the e-Bugster at the Beijing motor show in April 2012.

The Beetle Convertible's global debut was at the Los Angeles auto show in late November 2012. The 2013 model year was its first in North America.

For North America's 2014 model year, the 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol engine was replaced by a more economical 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit. This EA888 series engine is built at VW's Silao plant in Mexico and was also new for North America's 2014 model year Jetta and Passat.

A new 150hp 2.0-litre TDI was introduced by Volkswagen of America for the 2015 model year. The Beetle was one of the first models to be equipped with it. There were only minor changes for the 2016 model year Beetle. The 2017 model year Beetle range was announced to the media in June 2016. It had a minor facelift.

As was the case with previous models, the name varies. In Germany, it is The Beetle, in France it's Coccinelle, in Italy Maggiolino and in Brazil (but not Portugal) the name is Fusca.

Just over 25,000 Beetles were sold worldwide in 2016. This has fuelled rumours that the model will not be directly replaced.

There has been another suggestion, which is that the next generation Beetle could be rear-wheel drive and electric, based on the MEB architecture and called e-Bug, e-Bugster or Bug-e. Should that be VW's intention, the car would be delayed until 2020.

The Jetta and Santana are sold in China by both of Volkswagen's joint ventures. The first of these twins debuted at the Chengdu motor show in August 2012 as the FAW Volkswagen Jetta, followed three months later by a differently styled model, the Shanghai VW Santana. FAW VW launched its Jetta in September 2012, while SVW began selling the new Santana in December 2012.

The Jetta/Santana replacements should go into production during 2019.

Another model in the C segment and exclusive to China is the Gran Santana. This 4,282mm long five-door hatchback/estate version of SVW's Santana sedan had its world premiere at April 2015's Shanghai motor show. The car went on sale in June 2015, offering the choice of 1.4-litre turbo and 1.6-litre petrol engines. The Cross Santana variant has raised suspension. Both are due to be facelifted in 2018 and replaced in 2020.

The current, sixth generation Jetta was first built at the Puebla plant in Mexico from September 2010. This facility supplies the North American market. Production at FAW Volkswagen's Chengdu plant followed in October 2011.

Volkswagen of America revealed the then-new Jetta to the media in June 2010. Sales in Canada, Mexico and the USA followed four months later.

At the Geneva motor show in March 2010, VW confirmed that a hybrid Jetta for the US market would be launched there in August 2012. The car had its world premiere at the Detroit motor show in January 2012. It was new for Volkswagen of America's 2013 model year and discontinued at the end of the 2016 model year.

A facelifted Jetta sedan had its world premiere at April's 2014 New York auto show. This was the main change for North America's 2015 model year.

In June 2011, VW Group and GAZ Group stated that three models would be built at the latter's Nizhny Novgorod plant in Russia. The Jetta was to be the second of these, with assembly starting in late 2013. Assembly in Malaysia was added in April 2014.

China's second generation Sagitar, the local market name for the latest generation Jetta, had its debut at the Guangzhou motor show in November 2011. It went on sale in March 2012. The Volkswagen Jetta sold in China is another car (see above).

Under its plan to spend BRL10bn by 2018, Volkswagen do Brasil announced at October 2014's Sao Paulo motor show that the Jetta would be built at its São Bernardo do Campo factory ('Anchieta') in the Greater São Paulo area from the second quarter of 2015. Space once used for the defunct Kombi utility was reserved for the Jetta which is built at the rate of about 18,000 a year with steadily increasing local content. High-end versions, however, continue to be imported from the parent company's main Jetta plant in Mexico.

The Jetta was one of four Volkswagens to begin being assembled in Nigeria in July 2015. In 1975, the German OEM started assembly of the Beetle in Lagos via a partnership. Other models as well as LCVs were added, but operations ceased in 1990. The Dubai-based Stallion Group, which is the distributor for Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Porsche in Nigeria, owns the former VW plant. Stallion also assembles vehicles for Hyundai Motor, Nissan Motor, Ashok Leyland and Iveco.

The seventh generation Jetta is likely to be closely related to a low-roof model previewed by the NMS concept at AutoChina 2014 (Beijing motor show). Puebla is due to commence building it later this December. Its world debut will be at the Detroit auto show in mid-January. The next Sagitar is expected later in 2018. The platform is MQB A/B.

At the 2014 Shanghai motor show, Volkswagen exhibited the New Midsize Coupe (NMC) concept. This was shorter than the Jetta and a sort of a 'Jetta CC' design study. A production version, based on the Volkswagen Group's MQB architecture, premiered at the Chengdu motor show in August 2014. The Chinese name is Ling Du but Lamando in English. SVW began selling this additional model in November 2014. The first cars reached showrooms two months later.

D segment

The current Passat (B8) for mostly European markets was revealed to the media in July 2014, with its public debut taking place at the Paris Mondiale de l'Automobile three months later. In May 2014, Volkswagen stated that its Zwickau plant (Mosel) would start building the new car in October 2014. The first LHD European market deliveries took place towards year-end, with cars for the UK following in early 2015. Then in November 2017, the group told the media that Zwickau-Mosel would in future concentrate on electric vehicles and that Passat production in Germany from late 2018 onwards would be based at Emden.

Despite exterior dimensions that are marginally smaller (4,767mm long) than those of the previous model, interior space is improved, with more leg- and head-room, as well as increased luggage space.

The Passat was one of four Volkswagens to begin being assembled in Nigeria in July 2015. Then, just over two years later, the sedan began being assembled at the Shendra/Aurangabad plant in the Indian state of Maharashtra (from September).

The replacement for the Magotan, which is sold mostly in China, differs from the Passat by having a long wheelbase body. Its world premiere was at the Beijing motor show in April 2016, going on sale in China three months later.

The Chattanooga-built Passat sedan which went on sale in Canada, Mexico and the US during 2011 is a different model to the car of the same name sold elsewhere in the world. There is also a version of this same large sedan for China, the New Passat. This is built by the SAIC Volkswagen joint venture, while the Magotan is produced by FAW Volkswagen.

Europe's Passat should be replaced in late 2021, with China's next Magotan to follow in 2023. However, some sources have claimed that the Passat and long-wheelbase Passat plus China and North America's larger Passat will be folded into one basic model. If that becomes the case, then the replacement for Europe's Passat and China's Magotan could be available from 2019 or 2020. VW might choose not to facelift the existing models in 2018 and instead replace them after only five or six years of build. Whatever the case, the architecture will be MQB A/B.

VW484 is the replacement for the CC. Unlike that sedan, the Arteon is a hatchback. This large car was previewed by the Sport Coupé Concept GTE. This had its world premiere at the Geneva motor show in March 2015. The Arteon, which, at 4,862mm, is 50mm longer than the CC, is more expensive than that car. It is, or will be, sold in Europe, China, the Middle East and North America.

The public debut for the Arteon hatchback was at the 2017 Geneva motor show. Cars were in German dealerships from June. A wagon should be added in 2018.

Even though it is more expensive, the car is shorter than the US-built Passat. This was also the case with the CC, and the same situation applies to the Atlas and the smaller but pricier Touareg.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 2017 Detroit auto show, Herbert Diess, the head of the VW brand, said the Arteon would be offered in the USA but not until CY2018. Even though it is more expensive, the car is shorter than the US-built Passat. This was also the case with the CC, and in fact, the same situation applies to the Atlas SUV and the smaller but pricier Touareg.

A facelifted Arteon is due for release during the third quarter of 2021. The next generation model should be released in 2025 and based on an evolution of the current car's MQB A/B platform.

E segment

VW511, the Phideon, is a large sedan for China built by SAIC Volkswagen. It is positioned above the Magotan and Passat but is more expensive than the Ford Taurus, Buick Lacrosse, Citroen C6 and Toyota Crown which should be its natural competitors.

For reasons unknown, the 5m long Phideon had its world premiere at the Geneva motor show in March 2016. The car entered production at an SAIC Volkswagen plant in September 2016, going on sale during the following month. It is not available in Europe.

SAIC Volkswagen's big sedan is based on the MLB Evo architecture. A facelifted model should be released in 2020. The second generation Phideon is due for release in 2024.

Future model plan reports for other manufacturers can be viewed in the OEM product strategy summaries section of just-auto.com.

Future product program intelligence

Additional data on vehicle lifetime and future product plans, such as code names, production plants and expected annual build, are available in PLDB from QUBE.

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