As you might have known by now, Volkswagen vehicles in the Philippines are now sourced from China. The thing is, there are two conglomerates handling the German automaker's business over there. The first is FAW-VW, while the second is SAIC-VW. We get ours from the latter.
This is why we get models such as the Santana, Lavida, and Tiguan L in the country and not the Jetta, Golf, and Touareg, which are made by FAW. Upon looking at the SAIC-VW website, we saw several models that could possibly be sold here, two of which should found familiar to some.
First up is the all-new Polo. The all-new model was launched globally last year but, at the time, it wasn't assembled by SAIC-VW. Now that they are, the odds of the small hatchback making a comeback here in the Philippines are favorable. It's called the Polo Plus over there and it's powered by a 1.5-liter engine that's good for 113 PS and 145 Nm of torque, which sounds competitive in the local market. There's also a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic version available. When it comes to the interior and exterior at least, it appears to be closely related as the one sold in Europe.
Speaking of making a comeback, the Passat is another likely candidate. Unlike the Polo, SAIC's Passat is a little different. Yes, it's based on the current-generation model but that's where most of the similarities end. It has a different exterior and interior from the European and North American, making it a unique model. In terms of dimensions, it sits somewhere in between the Western versions of the mid-size sedan but there's a greater emphasis on rear legroom. There are three engine versions to choose from, starting with a 1.4-liter turbo with 150 PS, a 2.0-liter turbo making 186 PS, and a stronger version of the 2.0-liter turbo tht that puts out 220 PS.
What about the Jetta? Well, SAIC-VW makes it in the form of the all-new Lavida. It's essentially the all-new US-spec Jetta with a different name although engine specs are similar with a 1.4-liter turbo mill available.
Of course, VW Philippines is keeping their cards close to their chests for now. But would you like to see these cars back in showroom floors soon? Chime in the comments. Maybe Volkswagen Philippines will listen.