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VW's new way to sell Jetta: More car, less money

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VW's new way to sell Jetta: More car, less money

VW's Jetta Selling Strategy

VW's Jetta Selling Strategy

VW's new way to sell Jetta: More car, less money.

 

When the redesigned 2019 Volkswagen Jetta begins arriving at U.S. dealerships next month, the brand's 650 dealers will be asked to do something they have little experience with: Sell what's been VW's most popular model as a value play.

The strategy — moving away from the brand's traditional premium pricing in a highly competitive and declining compact sedan segment — is possible in part because the seventh-generation Jetta was designed exclusively for the U.S.

That means it didn't have to be engineered for both a demanding German driving cycle, with sustained speeds of 130 mph or more, as well as the more erratic "0-to-70-to-0" driving cycle more common on U.S. roads, Serban Boldea, Volkswagen of America's director of product planning – compact line, said last week during a media drive here.

The strategy is also possible because the 2019 Jetta is among the last Volkswagen brand vehicles to move onto the automaker's MQB platform, allowing designers and product planners to put the sedan together largely from existing components, dramatically driving down costs across its trim lineup.

One example: The 2019 Jetta's starting price is $100 less than that of the previous-generation Jetta, even though it has far more features and technology included. That should make the Jetta an easier sell, even as demand for sedans continues to fade.

"Obviously, the markets are moving, and there are a lot more customers that are going into SUVs from sedans," Boldeasaid. "For us to really focus and bring customers into the sedan, in this extremely competitive environment that we're in — with the Hondas, Toyotas, Kias and Fords offering very, very good competitive vehicles — we had to bring a car that was not only built correctly, but is valued appropriately in the competitive set."

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