June 19, 2018, 4:28 pm
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Santana leads five new VW models in PH

THERE was a time when buying a Volkswagen spelled “budget car.” Volkswagen Philippines (VW PH) is bringing those days back as it unveiled its 2018 line up which included the price-busting Santana MPI M/T Trendline which will retail at P686,000. The features and specification of this all-new VW and will give the Korean and Japanese brands a run for their money. Other all-new models introduced were the Lavida 230 TSI DSG Comfortline, the the Santana GTS MPI A/T Comfortline, and the Lamando 280TSI DSG Highline. The Tiguan 280 TSI DSG Comfortline is a returning model in full model change. All vehicles come from Shanghai Volkswagen, and have been designed and made specifically for the Asian market, taking into considerations factors like climate, road conditions and traffic congestion. In his welcome remarks, Shanghai Volkswagen First Vice President David Powels said that VW continues to be a strong brand worldwide. In markets in North America, the brand has encountered serious isses regarding emissions but in many markets elsewhere it has continued to be number one choice for car buyers. Powels said the five new models launched locally have had notable successes in China, the world’s biggest and most competitive automotive market. Powel stressed how Volkswagen’s strong regional network of research and development centers and manufacturing locations provide the ability and technology to develop cars that are specific to the markets. Combines this prowess with the command of a powerful global brand to produce a large product portfolio, each model having its own individual design and features, in order to appeal to and gain success with customers in specific regions and markets. “These newest car models are the latest expressions of the Volkswagen tradition of world-class, superior German craftsmanship passed on from generation to generation,” Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Corporation President and Chief Operating Officer said after he drove to Santana on stage. The Santana, which was among the 10 best-selling models in China in 2017, is powered by a 1.4-liter Multi-Point Injection (MPI) 4-cylinder gasoline engine mated to a 5-speed manual transmission, with maximum power output of 90 Ps at 5,500rpm and maximum torque of 132 Nm at 3,800rpm. Speaking about the rest of the line up, Ayala said that the new VW line up offers superior options for the Filipino motoring public. “They (Tiguan, Lamando, Lavida, Santana GTS, Santana) represent the kind of craftsmanship, engineering, and design that Volkswagen is known for—and that has endeared Volkswagen to Filipinos as one of the premier European automotive brands in the country… Whether you’re a successful professional, an outdoorsman, or someone looking to invest in a functional and stylish car for your family, there is a Volkswagen vehicle for you,” Ayala stressed. For ride comfort and stability, the Santana features electronic power steering, front McPherson Independent Suspension, and rear composite torsion beam semi-independent suspension. Safety highlights include ISOFIX anchorage points (mounting fixture for two child seats on rear seat bench), Anti-lock BrakingSystem (ABS), and immobilizer. Available exterior colors are Polar White, Reflex Silver, Pepper Grey and Deep Black. The second car to be launched is the Lavida, which is still the best selling sedan and second best-selling model in China. It is equipped with a 1.4-liter Turbocharged Stratified Injection (TSI) 4-cylinder gasoline engine with BlueMotion Technology mated to a 7-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) transmission, capable of 130 Ps of power at 5,000 rpm and 225 Nm of torque at 1,400 to 3,500 rpm. New class contender. VW Lavida The interior features and comfort amenities include leather seat material, cruise control, Climatronic air conditioning, and sunroof. Safety highlights include the Electronic Stabilisation Program (ESP) with Brake Assistant, ABS, Electronic Differential Lock and Anti Slip Regulation (ASR), hill hold control, Push Start, and Front and Rear Park Distance Control (PDC). Available exterior colors are Polar White, Reflex Silver, Deep Black, Limestone Grey, Sunset Red, and Opalsilver Metallic with an SRP starting at P1,171,000. “The Lavida has been number 1 in its segment in China for the past five years running. With over 450,000 customers taking delivery of a Lavida last year, it is still the best selling sedan and actua Third car to drive on stage was the Tiguan. This SUV, already available in the country has been updated a 1.4-liter TSI 4-cylinder gasoline engine with BlueMotion Technology mated to a 6-speed DSG transmission. Maximum power output is 150 Ps at 5,000 rpm, while maximum torque is at 250 Nm at 1,750 to 3,000 rpm. Its interior features and comfort amenities include “Vienna” leather seat material, 2-zone Climatronic airconditioning, Panoramic sunroof, 8 speakers, and driver power 12-way seat adjustment. Safety systems include ISOFIX anchorage points, ESP, ABS, brake assistant, ASR, EDS, EDTC, hill hold control, and rear PDC with acoustic warning signal. Available exterior colors are Polar White, Titanium Beige, Hunting Brown, and Deep Black with an SRP starting at P1,648,000. “The Tiguan family has enjoyed a similar amount of success, with over 720,000 customers taking delivery of a model globally in 2017. With 330,000 units sold in China last year, it comfortably maintains its position of segment leader,” Powel added. The fourth of the five models introduced is the Santana GTS. Powered by 1.5-liter 4-cylinder in-line MPI gasoline engine connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The wagon like appearance is its biggest appeal, though it is actually more of a hatchback. Prices start at P999,000 for the Comfortline. Last on the list is the Lamando which was launched in China in 2014 and was meant to be the domestic model version of the Jetta. It uses 1.4-liter TSI 4-cylinder gasoline engine with BlueMotion Technology mated to a 7-speed DSG transmission. The executive sedan features a long wheelbase, full leather interior and a panoramic sunroof. Price starts at P 1,600,000 for the 280 TSI Highline. Three of the five new models— the Santana, the Lavida, and the Tiguan —were made available at the entire dealership network since May 19, while the Santana GTS and the Lamando will be offered in November. The warranty coverage for all these five new models are comprehensive. Aside from the 3 years or 100,000-km general warranty, whichever comes first, Volkswagen Philippines also offers a 3-year warranty for paint and another 3-year warranty for through-corrosion of the main steel body structure. Moreover, the periodic maintenance service (PMS) interval schedule is also structured for its owners’ convenience. The PMS interval is once a year, or every 10,000 kms, whichever comes first. This is more convenient and more cost-efficient compared to the industry-standard 5,000-km PMS interval. Beyond the vehicles’ value-for-money specifications, features, and the warranties and PMS intervals, the five new models unveiled open new chapters to the continuously evolving relationship between Filipinos and Volkswagen, making the world-class auto brand much more accessible than ever to the Filipino car-buying public. This unique, cross-generational relationship between Volkswagen and the Filipino was highlighted when AC Industrials President and CEO Arthur Tan took to the stage before the formal unveiling to address guests and the media. He stressed that the new models would undoubtedly add to the growing heritage of the Volkswagen brand in the Philippines, helping Volkswagen continue to be an integral part of the Filipino culture, crossing over many generations and economic classes. “Volkswagen Philippines knows how important cars are to Filipinos. This is why these cars have been designed and engineered to fit your lifestyle, and to ensure your safety and security. As part of the Ayala group, Volkswagen Philippines, has carefully taken into consideration the unique needs and aspirations of the different automotive markets and demographics in the country. What we have now—what we have launched tonight are cars that are ideal for each one of these market segments,” Ayala said. – Raymond G.B. Tribdino. All photos by Greg E. Bautista
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