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2011 VW Jetta: Interesting car but with bad image in Egypt and Middle East

03.08.2010 / Dubai - San Francisco – Cairo /

Unlike in Europe, the Volkswagen brand in Egypt and the Middle East is not enjoying the best image among both local and regional media representative as well as among existing VW owners and potential VW customers.

Not only do we at receive regularly emails and reader’s letters from extremely unsatisfied VW and Audi owners, but there are also many Facebook groups dedicated to unsatisfied VW and Audi owners, where they describe the misery they are facing with the VW and Audi dealers in Egypt.

That image damage will surely affect the success of the new 2011 Volkswagen Passat to be launched at the upcoming 2010 Paris Motor Show next October, and it will surely have a direct impact on the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta which was launched just a few days ago.

So, what about this new 2011 Jetta?

Well, Volkswagen AG – Europe’s largest automotive manufacturer – has presented its new generation
Jetta, and is expected to make serious inroads towards the company’s goal to become the world’s most innovative high-volume automotive manufacturer.

VW claims that the new Jetta delivers above class quality and is now a more comfortable, sustainable and dynamic saloon with entirely new styling.

The saloon – developed in Germany and built in Mexico – makes great strides forward in both concept and styling. Never before was a Jetta this large.

The new Jetta is 4.64 metres long, 1.45 metres tall and 1.78 metres wide. This makes the new Volkswagen Jetta nine centimetres longer than the previous model. The interplay of its exterior dimensions generates a powerful ratio of proportions. In parallel, the new Volkswagen “design DNA� sharpens its style. This has resulted in clear precise lines and athletically muscular surfaces, which give the saloon an image of timeless elegance and dynamic styling.

Designers and engineers have also crafted the interior right down to the last detail, with the five-seater’s quality and attention to detail clearly surpassing class boundaries. The extended wheelbase of the five-seat Jetta has enabled a rear seating layout that is significantly more comfortable. Compared to the previous model, legroom has now increased by 6.7 cm to 96.7 cm.

German engineering is the key word that captures the attention of many customers in the Middle East, who have come to expect the highest level of quality and efficient technologies that German engineering and craftsmanship reflect. The new Jetta is a prime example of this, and a look at its range of engines makes this abundantly clear.

Unfortunately the image and reputation of many VW and Audi dealers in the Middle East region destroy this possible confidence in the those renowned German brands, and force many existing VW and potential customers to opt for a different German or European brand.

That is very obvious in Egypt where a lot of VW owners import their Jetta, Passat or Tiguan from Saudi
Arabia or the GCC countries, mainly due to the extremely over-priced offers at the local VW / Audi dealer (Egyptian Automotive Company, headed by Karim El Naggar) and also due to its very unsatisfying service reputation and service problems.

Throughout the world, the new Jetta will be available in a variety of engines. The petrol range will include the 1.2 TSI (77 kW/ 105 hp), 1.4 TSI (90 kW/ 122 hp), 1.4 TSI (118 kW/ 160 hp), 2.0 MPI (85 kW/ 115 hp), 2.5 MPI (125 kW/ 170 hp) and the sporty 2.0 TSI top engine (147 kW/ 200 hp). The Jetta will also be available with two diesel variants: the 1.6 TDI (77 kW/ 105 hp) and the 2.0 TDI (103 kW/ 140 hp).

The 1.2 TSI and 1.6 TDI engines are also available with the BlueMotion Technology package. Its technical features include a Start-Stop system and recovery of kinetic energy by battery regeneration.

The new Jetta 1.2 TSI with BlueMotion Technology consumes just 5.3 l/100 km – an absolute top value for a petrol-powered saloon that can reach speeds of up to 190km/h. The 1.6 TDI with BlueMotion Technology has an even lower fuel consumption of 4.1 l/100 km, making it one of the most fuel-efficient 4.6 metre saloons in the world.

Technically speaking, petrol direct injection, engine charging and reduced displacement are some of the most efficient ways to radically reduce fuel consumption while significantly improving a vehicle’s dynamic properties.

That is why Volkswagen is taking exactly this approach in its TSI engines: Reducing engine displacement, which in turn lowers friction and charge changing losses, resulting in lower specific fuel consumption and better engine efficiency.

Engine charging takes the form of either a combination of turbocharger and supercharger or a specially developed turbocharger.

Volkswagen’s world premiere of the new model Jetta took place amid a carnival atmosphere at New York’s Times Square in June, attended by celebrities and featuring a performance by Katy Perry, and will enjoy similar fanfare when it is launched across the Middle East next year.

“Volkswagen Middle East is striving to grow its regional market share, and one of our recipes for success is a clear focus on the customer and not just on the competition,� said Stefan Mecha, Managing Director of Volkswagen Middle East. “That is what has made Volkswagen unique among high-volume carmakers, ever since the days when Ferdinand Porsche built the Beetle.�

The new Jetta takes this philosophy into the future with its excellent fuel economy and a comprehensive safety concept. ESP and a tyre pressure monitoring system are standard features in this car, and the previous model was already named “Top Safety Pick� in crash testing by the US organisation IIHS.

Along with its optimal occupant crash safety, the car has further advanced pedestrian safety features as well. The workmanship quality is pioneering. The new Jetta addresses the automotive challenges of the times better than the vast majority of the competition − with a remarkably comfortable interior, a stylish and powerful design and maximum efficiency.

The new Jetta will be available at Volkswagen Middle East partners across the region in early 2011. Pricing will be announced prior to the Jetta’s regional launch, and VW Middle East claims and promises the prices will be very competitive.

We shall wait and see.


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Readers Comments:

esmat fawzy from alexandria - egypt wrote:
I wish to comment the bad image of the VW in Egypt & Middle East market and I am asking why the editor has not addressed the reasons behind this bad image in the subject area or at least addressed the real reasons so they can allign the efforts to prevent reoccurence and improve this image in the future .
I can see that the main issues need to be addressed are the expensive maintenance as well as the poor technical support provided by the local dealers , and the service after sale and all of these reasons not available in Europe zone .

Moataz from Cairo - Egypt wrote:
Dear editor,

I want to thank you for this great article. I'm currently waiting for the new Jetta to come in the egyptian market to buy it.

I understand that old Jetta had some global issues with the gearbox and not sure if the new one has the same problem or it is very early to know.

I also heard it will come in the model of 1.4 TSI with 122 HP and it will require gas 95. I'm wondering if that mean we will be spending much more on gas or the consumption of this car will be less so it will end up the same as before.

Appreciate your feedback

Karim Fadl from Cairo - Egypt wrote:
Dear Editor,

Thank you very much for such outstanding publication as it is really informative and interesting to read.

I'm a 2010 VW Passat owner, the new model equipped with DSG gearbox and unfortunately I feel there is something uncomfortable with its gearbox specially on low speed during traffic.

I've contacted Egyptian Automotive Company, the VW agent in Egypt, and they checked the car and they said it is fine but it just needs software updating.

After a trial period I felt that the problem still exists and that it must be something mechanical not a software issue.

Then I sent a letter to VW Germany and they made their agent in Egypt call me again. We then did a second check couple of days ago, and after testing my Passat with the VW Egypt engineer in charge he discovered the issue I was talking about and he summarized it in the following: "Strong judder occurring during traffic" and he said that he will forward a report to VW Germany for technical consultation and will call me within 48 hours.

I got my brand new 2010 Passat only one month ago and I started suffering from this issue when it was only one week old. Currently my Passat has covered 3780 km only.

I contacted the engineer in charge today after the agreed-on 48 hours and he said that Germany Technical support needs further information on driving behavior which was recorded by the car, and he said he will send it to them and then update me.

So far the agent in Egypt is trying to do a good job, but I hope they keep it up until the problem is solved.
Do you have any suggestions on how to solve my problems more quickly?

Best Regards,
Karim Fadl

Editors response:
Dear Karim,
Thank you for reader's letter. We will forward your complaint to the German VW engineer at VW Egypt. I hope he will be able to solve your problem. If not, then kindly get back to us and we will then forward your complaint directly to the VW headquarter in Wolfsburg (Germany).

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