Despite an industry-wide sales dip last year, Volkswagen Philippines managed to stay resilient and sold the same number of vehicles when compared to 2017. With 1,363 units sold, this actually includes a 7% increase in the brand’s passenger car sales whereas passenger car sales industry-wide have seen a 21% decline. It seems that the arrival of the German brand’s China-built models has somewhat paid off, but Volkswagen Philippines is not stopping there.
With its new president, Mr. Felipe Estrella III, the German brand is aiming for a 50% sales increase in the Philippine market for this year, which coincides with the expected recovery of the automotive industry this year. In order for Volkswagen Philippines to achieve this, the brand will be increasing its dealer network from 8 dealers to 12 across the country by the end of 2019. Also, the key to this growth will be the introduction of two new SUVs.
Now, it would be safe to say that Volkswagen will be focusing on its Chinese product portfolio since many of the brand’s models in the Chinese market have the right ingredients for success in the Philippines. It also must be noted that one of the reasons for Volkswagen Philippines selecting the Chinese market in the first place is the existence of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement, which makes the transaction of goods with China even more cost-effective.
Based on the German brand’s current offerings in the Chinese market, it would be safe to assume that among the two SUVs to be launched this 2019, this may include Teramont MQB platform-based midsize 7-seater SUV; the Tiguan L which is a 7-seater version of the current MQB-based Tiguan; and the Tharu which is a compact crossover SUV slightly shorter than the Tiguan but still uses the same MQB platform.
What do you think are the five vehicles that Volkswagen Philippines will be launching this year? Let the guessing games begin!