Shanghai Volkswagen, a joint venture between the German automaker and China’s SAIC Motor, launched the Tiguan last Friday as Volkswagen’s first Chinese-made sport-utility vehicle (SUV), Shanghai Daily reported.
The Tiguan, equipped with either a 1.8-liter or 2.0-liter TSI engine, will be available in seven variants. Shanghai VW said about 40,000 orders have been received since pre-sales began in February. Its prices may range from 190,000 yuan ($27,000) to 300,000 yuan.
Changes between the China-built Tiguan and the versions sold in Europe and North America are minor: They amount to a new grille and a mildly reworked front bumper. The Tiguan will continue to be imported, but special models only. The imported 2.0TSI currently sells for 340,000 yuan.
With this SUV model, Volkswagen AG is planning to position itself in China’s fast-growing SUV market, which is now dominated by Japanese models such as Honda’s CR-V and Toyota’s Rav4 locally produced by their Chinese ventures.
Sales of SUVs jumped 47% to 658,800 units in China last year, outpacing the sales increase in other segments of the auto market. In the first two months of this year, SUV sales surged 170%.