Volkswagen to open in September with all-diesel product lineup

By Vernon B. Sarne
 

Automobile Central Enterprise

"From day one, Volkswagen has always wanted to come back to the Philippines with a bang," Automobile Central Enterprise sales and marketing head Arnel Doria told TopGear.com.ph.

That statement may have been the most crucial one spoken at today's round-table meeting between the newly appointed Volkswagen distributor and the motoring press.

"With a bang" means moving fast. After Ayala Automotive Holdings' appointment as Volkswagen distributor in October last year, ACE was incorporated in January this year specifically to handle the VW business. Ayala Automotive Holdings has interests in other brands like Honda and Isuzu. In April, ACE moved to its new digs in Bonifacio Global City. The following month saw the ground-breaking ceremonies for the first VW showroom, on 28th Street also in BGC (between the showrooms of Audi and Honda). Next month, in September, ACE will officially launch the Volkswagen brand in our market, to be complemented by the opening of the BGC dealership.

"With a bang" means shocking and awing upon one's arrival. According to Doria, Volkswagen will be launched at the Ayala-owned Greenbelt. And not just in one wing of the shopping complex, but in all five (yes, that's Greenbelt 1 to 5). Talk about making noise.

But most of all, "with a bang" means impressing the market with an attractive product lineup. At launch, Doria said ACE will immediately make available the Jetta, the Polo, the Touran, the Touareg and the Tiguan--all powered by TDI diesel engines. Arriving a little later is the New Beetle (but of course), the only model equipped with a petrol engine among ACE's initial offerings.

Why mostly diesel?

"Volkswagen engineers conducted tests of our fuels, and surprisingly, they had no issues with our diesel products," Doria revealed. "It was our gasoline fuels that didn't meet the standards of VW engineers."

The Touran, the Tiguan and the Touareg will all be sourced from Germany, while the Jetta and the Beetle will come from Mexico. The Polo will be imported from India. Doria explained that it is simply not possible to get the units from China--where Volkswagen has a big manufacturing base--since the demand of the Chinese market alone is more than what VW's facilities in the country can produce.

In the pipeline for the Philippine market are the Golf and the PassatCC.

As for the Scirocco, Doria could only lament: "Too expensive."

Asked why Volkswagen picked Ayala among a handful of suitors from the Philippines, Doria said: "In my opinion, Volkswagen wanted to come back to the Philippines with a bang. And they need a big company like Ayala to achieve that."

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  • AJ 11 months ago
    Wow! Good news amidst all the pork barrel scam things.

    PS. It's okay VW. I don't think we wan't to patronize China right now. Germany's fine.
  • car_mac 11 months ago
    I'm wondering how these would be priced. A Jetta shoudn't be as expensive as an Accord or Sonata. And I hope they really price their line-up well 'cause this might be an alternative diesel choice for the family.
  • dragun 11 months ago
    "They had no issues with our diesel products,It was our gasoline fuels that didn't meet the standards of VW engineers." - My wth for the week :O
  • mo_lave 11 months ago
    Are the gas engines GDI? Maybe that's the reason.
    • Fundiver198 11 months ago
      Nearly all Volkswagen gasoline engines today are turbocharged and direct injected. I don´t know, what exactly the problem might be with local gasoline quility for these engines, so I will refrain from commenting on it. Apparently Ford don´t think its a problem, because they have introduced their 2,0 turbocharged petrol engine to the Philippine market already.

      When I hear statements like these, I can`t help thinking, that it could be true. But it could also just be a convenient excuse for a decision, that was made for completely different reasons. And which is provided to save face or "make a short story".

      "There is a problem with local gasoline" ends the discussion, while "we have surplus capacity at the diesel engine factory" don`t.
  • vonschnipp 11 months ago
    So all these negative comments by other brands about our diesel fuel were all fabrications. Mmmm. interesting.
  • nicologarcia 11 months ago
    Sana they would also bring Brazil's VW Gol. Para naman di puro yung usual suspects ang mga subcompacts dito sa atin.
  • HaulerBoy 11 months ago
    sana magpakita sila ng pics
    • yokam888 11 months ago
      there's a new thing on the internet called "google" daming pics dun JK JK JK XD
      • HaulerBoy 11 months ago
        it is their effort na mag ingay. not the effort of the possible customers. sila ang dapat mag reach out sa atin ng mga datas. hindi tayo ang mag reach out sa kanila.
  • GTi 11 months ago
    If they wanted to enter with a bang, I believe the Golf should be included in its initial lineup. And I believe there's no reason they shouldn't bring in the Scirocco, especially after Peugeot brought in the RCZ. There are bound to be interested buyers, even if it is a niche model sold on a by order basis.
  • carlo999 11 months ago
    wtf? walang problema ang VW sa diesel natin? whew andami kayang nababaradong diesel bimmers at benzes dito, di kaya mangyari din yang issue na yan sa VW?
    • booger 11 months ago
      Hmmm... are there any Audis on the grapevine that have diesel problems, is it something not just with Toyota D4D but with Euro diesels?

      Or has the TDI engines withstood the test of time?
      Can anybody confirm?
  • vgpena 11 months ago
    Touareg is a nice surprise to be included because that's essentially a Cayenne and Q7. I hope it's not going to be more expensive than a Ford Expedition.
  • The Stig 11 months ago
    yeaahhh!!!!!!!
  • PippinTook 11 months ago
    No amarok???
  • plat 11 months ago
    It makes sense for VW Philippines to bring in the Jetta vs. Golf (Euro) for its initial product offering. One of the reasons is that the Golf MK6 production ended early 2013 so there won't be any left for the Philippine market while the Jetta MK6 production is still running. The current Golf MK7 is made in Europe. It will come out to be more expensive than the Mexican Jetta MK6 which won't make sense. Mexico will start producing the Golf MK7 late this year in time for a 2015 (fall 2014) launch in North America. I predict that the Philippines will get their share of the Golf MK7 in 2015. The Scirocco and Scirocco R are made in Europe so again it will be very expensive to import but, if VW allows it, it can be made available for the few who can cough up the $$.

    BTW, the Golf GTI MK7 will be assembled in Mexico soon. So, that could be a possibility unless VW could not tweak their engines to work with Philippine fuels. On the other hand, if diesel is the only fuel in the Philippines that agrees with VW's TDI engines, then the Golf GTD MK7 may be something Pinoy enthusiasts would like to get their hands on. The DSG transmission is a joy to use. I know, I own a GTI MK6 DSG. This is a very wonderful smooth and lightning quick shifting auto tranny that I am sure Pinoys would enjoy. Cheers!
  • atmar 11 months ago
    exciting.....diesel pa :]
  • GotToRead 11 months ago
    Wait no issues about our diesel products? My whole life was a lie...
  • ttej123 11 months ago
    I'll definitely buy the Golf!!!
  • Fundiver198 11 months ago
    Volkswagen is one of the most successfull car companys in the world, and they are giving their competitors a really hard time in Europa. So for sure its good for pinoys, that this brand will now become available in the Philippines.

    However I fear a bit for pricing issues. Volkswagen make quality products, and in Europe their cars are almost always priced somewhat above competitors. But still manege to sell well, because they are worth the premium.

    But since Volkswagen will apparently not manufacture a single car inside the ASEAN region, all models will be burdened with both import duties and transportation costs. And unless Volkswagen is willing to swallow a lot of that themselfes, I think there is a real risk, that the cars might be priced so high, that they will become more or less irrelevant to pinoy carbuyers.

    And having only diesel engines in the lineup actually magnifies the problem, since it will increase starting prices with about 100k pesos for all models. So their will be no cheap entry level models to lure customers into the shop.

  • Juan Camaro 11 months ago
    Diesel is fine. VW is enough already.
  • LaHedare 11 months ago
    sana may mura mga below 1m
    • eydijey 11 months ago
      meron din naman Vios kung wala kang budget
  • Zack Sung 11 months ago
    "You haven't been brave, you've been st*p*d."

    The lineup is fine, except for one: the Touran. We Filipinos are not st*p*d; we could see that it's just a stretched Golf. Why not just bring the Passat, Scirocco and the Amarok? They'll do wonders for the company's sales.

    (And don't ever reason that it's too expensive. Price is not enough to stop Mercedes from selling the SLS AMG here.)
    • nicologarcia 11 months ago
      so easy for you to say...
      • Zack Sung 11 months ago
        I'm sorry, what's the point? You don't like VW's?
    • Fundiver198 11 months ago
      Whats wrong with an MPV? Not everybody has space or seats enough in a hatchback or sedan, and very few people need the offroad capability of a true 4-wheel drive SUV, which is very expensive to build. And the popular crossovers like Honda CRV, Kia Sportage or for that matter VW Tiguan are essentially nothing more than fancy styled MPV´s sold at a higher price.

      The Touran is an honest product catering to families, who need space, but don´t have a lot of money. It will compete with other MPV´s like Chevrolet Orlando and also to some extend with AUV´s like Toyota Innova. If the Tiguan is priced right, it will be a success.

      About being "just a stretched Golf" all car manufacturers use the same platforms, engines and transmissions across a wide range of vehicles. That saves costs and doesnt make the vehicles any worse. So just get used to it :-)
      • Zack Sung 11 months ago
        I was afraid you might say that.
  • pat 11 months ago
    Sad, thought for sure they'd bring in the Scirocco. Why not bring it in since they're deciding whether to bring in the Golf? I mean, it's not that much more expensive than a Golf is it?
    • plat 11 months ago
      @Pat

      Here's the Scirocco's pricing in Malaysia:
      1.4 TSI: MYR 188,888 or PHP 2.5M.
      2.0 TSI: MYR 243,888 or PHP 3.3M.

      To bring that price down, VW will have to come up with a de-contented version which takes away stuff like DCC (Adaptive Suspension and Steering), Adaptive Xenon Headlights, Touchscreen Radio, Bluetooth connectivity, etc. You only get stuff like manual gearbox, halogen lights, and any color as long as its white or black. Cheapest VW seats that available from the VW parts bin. This type of de-contented Scirocco will require a different production run. Tooling up the entire production line will mean that there must be a commitment from VW Philippines to sell 'X' amount of these units every year. We all know this won't be a big seller in the Philippines so it will be extremely impossible to make a case of having it as part of the VW Philippines lineup. However, as I mentioned, VW may consider having it as a prestige model and bring some in for those who can cough up the $$.
  • syclone 11 months ago
    What? no Golf? Why even bother?
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