In a round table discussion involving select members of the press, Volkswagen is now set to officially re-enter the Philippine market in September this year.
Volkswagen will be distributed by a newly formed company under the Ayala Automotive Holdings Corporation (AAHC), and it will take the name Automobile Central Enterprise, Inc. (ACEI).
Serving as chairman and president of both AAHC and ACEI will be John Philip (JP) S. Orbeta, concurrently sitting as chairman and CEO of Honda Cars Makati, Inc. and Isuzu Automotive Dealership, Inc.
ACEI also introduced the rest of the management team to the press, composed of automotive industry veterans from other car companies such as Janinna Mendoza (Operations Director), Arnel Doria (head of Sales and Marketing) and Je Borromeo (Marketing Communications Manager)
ACEI will formally launch the Volkswagen brand on September 27 along with its new company-owned 2000 square meter dealership at Bonifacio Global City (next to Honda Global City). The public can expect a line-up composed of the Jetta, Beetle (to follow soon after), Touran, Polo Sedan, Tiguan and Touareg. The vehicles will be powered by Turbo Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engines for now while TSI (Turbo Stratified Injection) petrol engines to follow once concerns with local gasoline are addressed. The vehicles will also come with Volkswagen’s DSG dual-clutch gearbox.
The Golf will be offered next year upon its full model change. ACEI is also looking into other models to offer in the future such as the Passat CC and Bora. The Scirocco, however, will not be offered.
ACEI plans to open two more company-owned dealerships in Quezon City and Cebu within the first twelve months of its operation. They are already in talks on franchising other dealerships in other areas. The service station and workshop for VW's will be off-site in the Pioneer area in Pasig City, until such time that the dealerships' own service areas can be completed.
Unfortunately, VW refused to reveal prices of their vehicles as of press time. They do, however, foresee the Tiguan to sell well in the market.