Aside from the T-Cross and facelifted Santana, Volkswagen Philippines has more in store for us this year. During a virtual presser, they said they will introduce two new models sometime in 2021. They didn't say what models they will bring in, but they did give an estimated time frame.
The first model is slated for a third-quarter launch, while the second one might arrive by the fourth quarter. Volkswagen Philippines added that one is on its way. Here's another kicker, both incoming vehicles will be global models. So, what can these be? Let's take a look at the SAIC VW has on hand and see what international models they produce.
Right now, SAIC VW has the Polo, redesigned Lavida (Also known as the MK. VII Jetta), Passat, Terramont, and Touran. They're all interesting models, but only two of those will come in here. Let's take a look at their chances of arriving here.
Let's start with the Passat. It seems the least likely to land here for one reason. The mid-size executive sedan market shrunk dramatically over the past 15 years. The de facto sales leader in that class is the Toyota Camry, but even then, it's not a fast-moving product.
What about the Polo? It's an interesting addition to the local line-up and a good choice wishing for a hatchback version of the Santana. They could bring that in provided it's priced competitively. One barrier they might have to overcome is hatchback sales in the Philippines. The body style sells well enough in the Philippines, but the country is a predominantly sedan nation. Even then, more people are shifting to crossovers.
Speaking of sedans, the all-new Lavida would be a great addition to the Volkswagen Philippines range. But isn't the Lavida a China-only model? Don't let the name throw you off as the redesigned Lavida is essentially a rebadged seventh-generation Jetta. The Jetta was a popular model here before it was discontinued, and for those looking for a chance to buy one again, the Lavida is their opportunity to do so. Volkswagen Philippines also mentioned that they will continue selling sedans, so you can file this model under “possible”.
But Volkswagen Philippines also said they plan to bring in more crossovers in the future. That's where the Terramont comes in. Also known as the Atlas in the U.S, the Terramont is also offered in Eastern Europe. It's a large crossover too, so it's ideal for those looking for the presence of an SUV but the comfort of a car-based vehicle. Among the models mentioned so far, this is the likeliest to be launched in the country. If you've noticed, all their crossovers start with the letter T, boosting its chances for a local launch.
Then there's the Touran. The version SAIC VW produces isn't the one sold here a few years ago. What they roll out is the extended version dubbed the Touran L. Thanks to its stretched wheelbase, it slots in between MPVs such as the Toyota Avanza and Suzuki XL7, and the Innova. With more people looking for affordable seven-seaters, this is a model Volkswagen Philippines might need.
So far, the likeliest candidates are the Terramont and Touran L. Of course, Volkswagen Philippines can throw us a curveball and bring in something entirely different. Then again, we're all for surprises here, and we'll wait for the third quarter of 2021 to see what they reveal.