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China 1996-2001: VW Jetta challenges Santana domination

1991 Shanghai VW Jetta surrounded by two 1998 Shanghai VW Jettas

The Santana, produced by joint-venture Shanghai VW, set up the ground work for Chinese motorisation up to the mid-nineties. The Jetta, the first model produced by VW’s second joint venture partner FAW-Volkswagen, challenged this domination towards the mid-nineties.

Complete knock down (CKD) production of the Chinese VW Jetta began on 5 December 1991. It was in fact the 1984 German Jetta model, and by 1995 full local production took over. The model was restyled in 1991 using leftover Passat lights and grilles.

There are no official sales figures available for this period, but it seems logical to assume that the VW Santana and the VW Jetta fought for the Chinese sales leadership from the mid-nineties all the way to 2001.

1985 VW Santana

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