VW PH joins SUV bandwagon

Published April 21, 2021, 3:43 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Volkswagen Philippines is joining the bandwagon in the popular sports utility vehicle (SUV) market starting off with T-Cross, a subcompact SUV directly imported from China.

Felipe Estrella, president of Ayala unit Automobile Central Enterprises, Inc. (ACEI), the exclusive importer and distributor of Volkswagen and Maxus vehicles in the Philippines, said the T-Cross, its entry point to the emerging subcompact SUV market, is expected to become a volume driver for VW sales.

Estrella said the emergence of the SUV subcompact is evidenced by the  growing number of players’ throwing in their models into this segment. 

Estrella also boasted that no one comes close to what the T-Cross of VW could offer. Thus, bolstering his confidence the new model would become a volume sales contributor to the overall VW Philippine.

Estrella, however, could not give a sales target aside from saying “a lot.”

He said T-Cross will be ushering in an array of SUV models the company will be bringing into its product line. “Other products are still under processing but we are engaging with partners to bring additional models into the country,” he added.

T-Cross, to be sourced from China to avoid the friction cost that it would entail should they import VW products from other regions, will be charged with safeguard duty of P78,400. T-Cross is produced in four VW manufacturing plants globally, including China.

Josh Altarejos, VW Philippines head for product planning and strategy, also said they expect to get a significant share of the local SUV class, which is now the most preferred vehicle among Filipino consumers.

The T-Cross 180 MPI S would be offered at P1.098 million, while the 180 MPI SE would be pegged at P1.198 million with an additional discount of P30,000 off the announced price tags. These introductory prices and discounts will be available for those who will reserve their T-Cross units before the market introduction on May 26. 

Since its introduction in 2018, T-Cross sold approximately 300,000 units worldwide, achieving this milestone despite the limitations presented by the pandemic.  The T-Cross would come laden with significant ownership value in after-sales. With its once a year periodic maintenance service, the company Sid that  the T-Cross is on average 40 percent more affordable to maintain compared to its competitors in the segment for the duration of 5 years of ownership. This would be on top of the warranty coverage of 3 years, or 100,000 km (whichever comes first); spare parts warranty of 2 years, and; service quality consistent with Volkswagen standards across the world.