Meet the 2019 Jetta A7, AKA New Jetta. Assembled in the Volkswagen facility in Puebla, this model has meant a new capital injection to VW’s operations in the state as the company revamped its plant to produce this vehicle. Before its facelift, the sixth generation of Jetta stayed among Mexico’s top ten best-selling vehicles since it was unveiled in 2011 (when it held the first position) until 2017.
At a starting price of MX$330,000 (US$18,200), the Jetta A7 is 36 percent more expensive than its antecessor but has many more features. All versions are powered by a 1.4-liter, TSI turbocharged, four-cylinder, inline engine that delivers 150 hp. The simplest version of the new Jetta (Comfortline) equips LED headlamps, ABS disc-brakes, cruise-control features, 16” wheels, an infotainment system with Volkswagen App-Connect and either a manual or a Tiptronic six-speed gearbox, among other amenities.
The next-to-top higher version R-line comes with an XDS electronic differential-blocking-system, a CD/MP3 player in the glove compartment, leatherette seats and interiors, fog lights, keyless start/stop ignition button, panoramic retractable roof and 17” wheels.
Last but not least, the Highline version equips a Blind Spot Detection system that alerts the driver whether it is possible to change lanes based on rear traffic. The top-of-the-line model also features fatigue detection, rear view camera, heated/air-conditioned, perforated-leather comfort-sport seats, rain sensors that regulate wipers’ speed, LED headlamps with refraction lens, 10 mood lighting options and a memory function in the driver’ seat which can be adjusted electrically.
In the first two months of 2018, the New Jetta amounted for 2.6 percent of the total vehicle sales in the country and 11.6 percent of all sales in the compact segment with 5,693 collocated units, according to AMDA. The domestic market is contracting, however, and the SUV segment is the only one growing (aside from luxury cars) with a 12.4 percent growth between January and February 2018 compared to the same period of 2017.
Despite being the third best-selling compact and seventh top-selling vehicle in Mexico in the first two months of 2018, low car sales have translated to low demand for the Jetta A7, which has hit production in the Puebla plant. Volkswagen has announced workhour reductions in the New Jetta line that will stretch between the 14th week of 2018 and the 51st week of 2019 unless demand for the car bounces back up.