Philippine Daily Inquirer


- By Aida Sevilla Mendoza

It all began in May 2018 when Volkswagen Philippine­s, an Ayala Group company, launched five new VW models imported from China.

The vehicles – the Lavida, Lamando, Tiguan, Santana and Santana GTS – are manufactur­ed in Shanghai by SAIC VW, one of the German brand’s joint venture partners in China. The five replaced the Beetle, Golf, Golf GTS, Jetta, Passat, Polo, and Touareg in the PH lineup.

When the SRP of the 1.4-liter Santana subcompact sedan MT was announced at P686,000, the lowest price point ever for a German marque offered here, the plan of Ayala Corporatio­n’s AC Industrial­s became crystal clear: to ramp up VW’S market share by making VW cars more affordable for the Filipino people.

AC Industrial­s was able to overhaul its VW lineup because China-sourced cars are taxed only 5 percent in import duties, thanks to the ASEAN-CHINA Free Trade Agreement.

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