Volkswagen Jetta (2) Profile

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Volkswagen Jetta (2) General Information

It may seem crazy we spend time and effort on this car, but I like crazy cars and curiosities. This Volkswagen Jetta was never run with works support and never had any success whatsoever. It still would be a shame to miss out on this one, for Volkswagen's history and for a showcase of global market developments.

First it also shows why I decided to identify models for this database not only by name but by generation. When we started this database, the guy who made all this possible with his programming skills, our Subaru fan Adrian, had lengthy discussions with me that for the database a Subaru Impreza should be a Subaru Impreza and all its records and victories should be counted together, never mind if it is a 22B, 44S, GC, GD, GE, whatever generation. I said no, because only if we go by generations we get a fair balance for records between manufacturers and their models! The problem is different manufacturers have different attitudes with marketing model names, if Impreza is Impreza, then a Focus is an Escort and the Citroën C4 should be awarded all the Xsara victories to its record, because it is simply the next generation of this model. Now Volkswagen makes it best apparent why I had to stay stubborn. It seems strange to count all Volkswagen Golf as one and the same model when even Volkswagen themselves don't see it that way with their saloon versions of this same car. The Jetta started its career in 1979 as a saloon version to the Golf 1. Golf 2 and its saloon version was Jetta 2, so far so good. But Golf 3 and its saloon version was Vento, Golf 4 and its saloon version was Bora, Golf 5 and its saloon version is Jetta again. And then of course this is the saloon version of the Golf which already is in our database, same car but the boot. So shall I call this model the Jettaventoboragolf, or shall we agree that these are different models - but then obviously the hatchback version of a Vento must be a different model to the hatchback version of a Jetta, too?!

Next it seems strange that here we have a Jetta 2, based on the Golf 2, as a groupN car debuting in 1999. It should have been a long time obsolete model by then! Well, the car was actually built and entered by FAW, a Chinese manufacturer who produces Volkswagen license products. And this Chinese manufacturer only got an interest into the WRC because the China Rally was included into the WRC. It was not just a joke entry, FAW employed British star David Higgins to drive this Chinese car in China!

This could steer the discussion towards new global markets. China is the biggest growing market in modern economy and being the most populated country on this planet, it would be like committing suicide for car manufacturers to just ignore it. This is also why the new IRC series has hit the nail on the head when including events as China and Russia to their calendar. Plus IRC has real classics, as i.e. the Safari. No wonder car manufacturers think IRC has more to offer in marketing than the WRC despite the WRC's overcrowded calendar.

But IRC is not the point here. More interesting is how different and new markets have different demands. Volkswagen through their own Shanghai Automobiles arm has desperately missed the point, trying to be an upmarket brand with most desirable image Volkswagen/Shanghai produces cars as the Volkswagen Pheaton and Audi A6. Err, hello, China is a new market, people don't have money and need a functional car. They don't even care if a car is not the most modern design and if a car looks a little conservative, as long as it is affordable and functional. That is why PSA with their Dongfeng arm has gathered such a massive success on the Chinese market. When the Citroën ZX production stopped in Europe, its old production lines were moved to Dongfeng, a boot was added and the ZX saloon became a hit in China! Similar was done with old Peugeot 206 production lines. In China the old 206 is available and successful as a cheap saloon! Meanwhile PSA also makes image building cars and shows to the Chinese they care about their demands. Currently saloon versions of Citroën C4 and Peugeot 307 are assembled and sold in China, when here in Europe nobody has ever seen a C4 saloon or a 307 saloon!

What this has to do with this Jetta rally project? Maybe Volkswagen has missed the point and the market with their Shanghai arm, but PSA with Dongfeng has shown how it works. FAW may only be indirectly connected to Volkswagen, also making Toyota licence products, but in 1999 the Golf 2 based Jetta was a perfect car for the Chinese market! And why not promote it through rallying, especially if the country has an event that enjoys international attention?! All fits so well that this seemingly old model groupN car appeared on the IRC Rally China again in 2007, finishing 13th overall with a local driver!

Leaves to say technically the car was surely underpowered and overweight, but it has a novelty. Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda were playing around with engines with 5 valves per cylinder, but not in such small engines, so note this is a rare 1.6 20v! Otherwise, except a modernised Passat 4 style front, this FAW Jetta is identical to the European Volkswagen Jetta 2.

Volkswagen Jetta (2) Related Content

Volkswagen Jetta (2) Evolutions

Model & Evo. (Activity)
Volkswagen Jetta (2) GTX (99-99) 101/5800 150/4000 4428.1660.1420 1100 (10.9) FWD (2471)

Random Volkswagen Jetta (2) Photos

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Volkswagen Jetta (2) Results

This is an unofficial Car Results list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego hh:mm:ss
16th. 2008 IRC China Rally (IRC) H. Zhu H. Chen #62 [UNKNOWN] 2:29:7.1
13th. 2007 IRC China Rally (IRC) X. Huang X. Guo #37 [UNKNOWN] 4:29:52.5

Volkswagen Jetta (2) Retirements

This is an unofficial Car Model Retirements list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego Reason
Ret. 1999 WRC China Rally D. Higgins C. Patterson #51 [UNKNOWN] SS8 steering