Volkswagen Philippines reveals initial lineup; launch will be in September


Volkswagen Philippines, officially known as Ayala Automotive Holdings Corporation, announced its initial plans for the local market, including the first five models to be launched. These will be the Jetta sedan; the Touran MPV; the Tiguan and Touareg SUVs; and the iconic Beetle. The best bit of news: the lineup will be all diesel-powered. The Golf is not yet a sure bet, as it has just been through a full model change, and is also being held back by pricing concerns.

According to John Philip Orbeta, Chairman and President of Ayala Automotive Holdings, the vehicles will not be sourced from China, despite the robust manufacturing presence of the VW group in that country. Restrictions on supplying other countries including the Philippines are in place. Instead, the Beetle will be from Mexico and Brazil, while the MPV and SUVs will be supplied by (as hoped by many) Germany. Mr. Orbeta said that the lack of a full VW manufacturing and distribution hub in ASEAN is one of their challenges.

The first showroom will be in Bonifacio Global City (which is either in Makati or Taguig—or perhaps Pateros?), right beside the current Honda dealership. Ayala is pulling all stops to rebuild this brand, particularly as the very brand name means “people’s car.” The brand will launch on September 27.

VW Group is the world’s number two automaker by unit sales, selling over 9 million vehicles in 2012, and 4.8 million vehicles in the first half of 2013. The group also owns the brands Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Porsche. Ayala Corp. has other automotive investments, in Honda Cars Philippines and Isuzu Philippines.

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