The month prior to any auto show is always a super busy one, and this month is no different. The Guangzhou Auto Show is practically upon us and will see a number of new cars being launched, one of which is the below VW Passat, aka the Magotan in China.
VW have two JV’s in China, one with FAW and one with SAIC. SAIC produce the facelift VW Passat, whilst FAW produce the European Passat which is known as the Magotan in China. The Magotan has been selling at a steady rate of around 5000 vehicles per month, which is somewhat below the expected rate of 8000 vehicles, however sales in August and September exceeded the average.
In an effort to boost sales, FAW are reportedly working with VW to llengthen the Magotan platform to give it more leg room in the rear. FAW have stretched the Magotan by an impress 100mm, giving it a total length of 2809mm, which is 6mm longer than the SAIC-VW built Passat (take that!) and also makes the new Magotan longer than the Skoda Superb.
In addition to making the Magotan longer, they are also working on making it cheaper to buy by putting in a 1.4TSI engine which will push it into a lower sales tax bracket.
FAW-Volkswagen is trying to stretch the length of its Magotan wheelbase to help it become branded as a medium-sized car.
A source working for FAW-Volkswagen says that the new wheelbase will be 2,809mm, the longest among all the Volkswagen vehicles made in China.
But this new Magotan with the longer wheelbase won't be released soon. Called the Passat B7, it is expected to be shown as a concept car in 2011...http://autos.globaltimes.cn/china/2009-11/482865.html
Lengthened cars are nothing new to the automotive world, but they are a relatively common phenoninem on the People’s Republic of China. Don’t think your mark one Chery Fulwin had enough space in the back? Simple: Order the stretched version. Think your Citroen Elysee is too cramped in the back? Simple: Order the stretched one. Wondering why Audi A4 sales are so good in China? Simple: the stretched one outsells the BMW 3-Series and Merc C-class combined. A love of legroom in the back has been the savior of many car companies in China, except VW don’t really need a savior, what they need is model diversification, and that’s where the Magotan comes in.
The Magotan, or rather Passat in Europe, is aimed at mid level managers and government officials. Government officials often get drivers as standard, and they get a budget every few years for car purchases, usually they are not allowed to go over 250,000rmb at mid level positions which doesn’t leave a great deal of models to choose from if they want to be chauffered to KTV’s in style. If you’re higher up, then you get around 350,000rmb which will buy you much more of a car. So the stretched Magotan is coming in as the affordable stretched car for the mid level city hall or junior minister who wants to get about town with the aid of his driver.
The stretched version is powered by the 1.8TSI engine and a six speed gearbox, which should keep its price to around 250,000rmb and thus inline with government procedure on buying cars. The wheelbase has been stretched from 2709mm to an impressive 2830mm, most of which has been given to rear passengers leg space.