AMID the tax hike on vehicles, Volkswagen Cebu remains confident sales will remain good this year with the launching of new car models that are “easy on the pocket.”
Harlan Dean, sales manager of Volkswagen Cebu, said they aim to sell 300 units this year with the entry of new models, which have a starting retail price of P698,000.
Volkswagen Philippines unveiled on Friday five new models that aim to expand the brand’s footprint in the local market.
Volkswagen unveiled the Santana MPI M/T Trendline, Lavida 230 TSI DSG Comfortline, the Tiguan 280 TSI DSG Comfortline, the Santana GTS MPI A/T Comfortline and the Lamando 280 TSI DSG Highline.
Three of the five models—the Santana (P698,000), the Lavida (P1,198,000) and the Tiguan (P1,688,000)—were officially launched in Cebu over the weekend and are now available in the entire dealership network starting May 19.
The Santana GTS and the Lamando, meanwhile, will be made available in November.
Shanghai Volkswagen first vice president David Powels, in a statement, said these five new models were tailor-made for Asian customers. He said they had notable successes in China, the world’s biggest and most competitive automotive market.
Dean said Cebuanos who are mulling to buy their first car now have the option to pick the German brand because of its friendly price points and its image that is fitting to the lifestyle of millennials.
“Clients now have the opportunity to choose a vehicle that has value-for-money specifications and features,” he said.
Moreover, he said the company remains confident sales will continue to soar amid the tax hike and intense competition in the automobile industry.
From 140 units sold last year, the Cebu dealership aims to at least double the number this year.
He attributed the optimism to Cebu’s high spending capacity and thriving growth of industries resilient to internal and external pressures.
Volkswagen Cebu is a member of the Ayala Group of Companies, under AC Industrials. It has eight dealerships in Luzon and in the Visayas.
Under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law, the tax rate of brand new vehicles worth P600,000 and below would be raised to four percent; those costing between P600,000 and P1 million, 10 percent; those priced between P1 million and P4 million, 20 percent; and those worth more than P4 million, 50 percent.
It, however, gives tax exemptions for pickup and electric vehicles. Hybrid vehicles will also be taxed at half rates versus non-hybrid vehicles.
A joint report released by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (Campi) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) showed that vehicle sales slid 22.8 percent in March to 28,216 units from 36,561 units in the same month last year.
This brought the year-to-date sales of member companies to 86,037 units, which was 8.5 percent lower than the 94,026 units sold in the same three months in 2017.