The Beetle is back
Volkswagen was part of my childhood. My late aunt owned a Beetle and there were times that we rode with her to trips around my hometown Iloilo City. At that time, most Ilonggo families owned one.
Volkswagen was established in 1937 in Wolfsburg, Germany at a time when Adolf Hitler was in power. It was called Volkswagenwerk (The People’s Car Company). It was in 1960 when the German government sold a huge portion to the public. Manufacturing lasted until year 2003.
Volkswagen Beetle 1.2 TSI at the Volkswagen Iloilo showroom in SM City Iloilo
Volkswagen was overtaken by Japan-made cars, relegating the Beetle to a vintage car that you show off to your friends when they visit your home or during car shows.
But, the Beetle’s might is still felt around the globe, thanks to its durability and the passion of Beetle enthusiasts. In fact, there is a club for lovers of this small yet mighty car - Volkswagen Käfer Club of Iloilo Inc.
The company is poised to take back the market share it once enjoyed. In fact, they opened a showroom at the upper ground floor of SM City Iloilo.
Volkswagen Polo Sedan 1.6 MPI
Volkswagen's Chief Operating Adviser, Klaus Schadewald said, "In the 1970s or 80s, Volkswagen enjoyed a market share of 50 percent. Now, you will see a new line-up of Volkswagen cars. We are the number one European car manufacturer in the Philippines, one of the most promising markets in Asia."
Their showroom features a sleeker Beetle along with other models such as the Polo Sedan and Caddy. Schadewald assured Volkswagen fans they will roll out many exciting models this year.
Volkswagen Beetle 1.2 TSI still features the iconic design but mixed with modern features such as 16-inch alloy wheels, electronic stability control, Bluetooth connectivity, integrated touchscreen, leather flat-bottomed steering wheel and shift knob, six-speed dual-clutch and front-wheel drive transmission, and more.
Volkswagen Caddy TDI
There’s Volkswagen Polo, hatchback car with 6-speed automatic transmission, front wheel drive, electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering, and front and read stabilizers. It is also spacious with a thoughtfully designed cargo area.
The Caddy is a dependable vehicle equipped with the next generation of TDI diesel engines, Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, integral roof spoiler, rear light clusters, front and curtain airbags, and more.
Volkswagen’s other models are Golf, Tiguan, Jetta and Touareg.
For those who wish to own a Volkswagen, financing is coursed through the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI). Like Volkswagen Philippines, BPI is owned by the Ayala group of companies, according to Volkswagen Iloilo branch manager Adrian Rodriguez. But, he said they are also open to other banks.
"For the Beetle Manual which costs P1.6 million, we offer zero down payment and zero interest for five years," he said.
OLD MODELS NOT LEFT BEHIND
He added that the world's biggest automobile maker would continue to support old Volkswagen models by making their spare parts and tools available to help ensure they are in good condition. Their repair personnel are also Volkswagen certified.
"May it be the Beetle, Comby, Sakbayan or Brasilia, we will support," he said.
He added that their maintenance schedule is once year or 15,000 mileage, whichever comes first.
Volkswagen Iloilo has spare parts and repair services even for old Beetle models such as this one. Image source: AdWeek
Volkswagen chose Grand Canyon, Inc. as its dealer. John Andrew Po, president of Grand Canyon, Inc., said that they already have 20 dealerships. "I foresee progress of performance, people and culture. This requires a program of massive action, so we nurtured our people and our culture. Today, we celebrate that milestone of progress as we were given the opportunity to handle Volkswagen," he said during the opening of Volkswagen in Iloilo last March 2, 2017.
For more information, you may email Volkswagen Iloilo manager Adrian Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their showroom at SM City Iloilo./Kathy Villalon
Adrian Rodriguez, manager of Volkswagen Iloilo is being interviewed by Iloilo bloggers