Volkswagen to build budget electric Jetta in yet another Chinese partnership through FAW joint venture

Volkswagen to build budget electric Jetta in yet another Chinese partnership through FAW joint venture
The budget Volkswagen Jetta EV could inherit some of the industrial design of the ID.Aero, but it's unlikely to share the underlying MEB platform. (Image source: Volkswagen)
The budget Volkswagen Jetta EV could inherit some of the industrial design of the ID.Aero, but it’s unlikely to share the underlying MEB platform. (Image source: Volkswagen)

Volkswagen appears to be pursuing another partnership with a Chinese company, this time to produce an electric vehicle under its Jetta subsidiary brand. Insiders indicate that there have been talks between the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture and Chinese company Leap Motor.

Volkswagen spun off Jetta into a sub-brand in China in 2019, although it has continued to produce ICE vehicles with the Jetta model name elsewhere in the world. Now, a new report quoting FAW-Volkswagen insiders claims that the joint venture is in talks to license or buy an electric vehicle platform from Chinese EV maker Leap Motor.

Leap Motor, which has previously unveiled cell-to-chassis battery breakthroughs, would reportedly sell an electric vehicle platform to FAW-Volkswagen, as opposed to the XPeng deal, wherein the brands would work together to produce new VW EVs based on XPeng’s existing platform.

Previous reports had also confirmed that Leap Motor was in talks with two foreign companies to license its EV technology and designs.

It appears that Volkswagen is targetting a wider audience than just the premium segment that a lot of EV makers currently have their teeth in. This news comes mere days after Volkswagen confirmed a partnership with XPeng motors to produce two mid-size electric vehicles together for the Chinese market.

Leap Motor would also reportedly take care of the autonomous driving tech in the product it sells to FAW-Volkswagen. Vehicles sold under the Jetta brand in China have previously made it to European and other foreign markets, but it remains to be seen if a Leap-developed Jetta EV would make it to any international markets. 

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