In a recent media appreciation event held by Volkswagen Philippines last night, newly-appointed president Felipe Estrella has laid down the plans of the company to boost its presence further in the local automotive market. Among them is the promise to introduce two more SUVs into the current lineup.
While it’s no secret that the current Volkswagen range is now sourced from China through the German marque’s joint venture with SAIC (SAIC-VW), there is one small SUV, or subcompact crossover, that we can’t help but wish that the brand would bring: the Volkswagen T-Roc diesel crossover.
The T-Roc was introduced in 2017 as a European model that sits atop the brand’s MQB platform. Its main highlight is its powertrain options that include two diesel engines, the 113-hp 1.6L TDI and the 148-hp 2.0L TDI. Even better, the bigger engine trim is all-wheel drive.
Now, will the T-Roc be one of the two SUVs that Volkswagen Philippines launch in the next 12 months? Most likely not, we reckon. The T-Roc’s production in China is through a joint venture with FAW (FAW-VW) and getting the diesel-fed crossover into the country would mean a separate deal from the current SAIC-VW-sourced Tiguan, Santana, Lavida, and Lamando.
However, considering the strength of subcompact crossovers and diesel-powered vehicles to Filipino taste, it would be a missed opportunity for Volkswagen Philippines to not launch the T-Roc TDI in the country.
Which SUVs would VW PH likely bring then?
Looking under SAIC-VW in China, there are four more SUVs that VW PH has yet to bring ashore. First is the raised version of the Santana sedan, the Santana Cross. Another candidate would be the return of Tiguan L, which is the long wheelbase seven-seater version of the Tiguan.
Another seven-seater option would be the Teramont, also known as the Atlas in the U.S. It’s the biggest VW crossover that’s underpinned by the MQB platform, pegged to rival the Ford Explorer, Mazda CX-9, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Kia Sorento. Lastly, there’s the Tharu crossover, but that would be a long shot since it would overlap the market for the current Tiguan.
If you ask us, we think VW PH would bring the Santa Cross and the Tiguan L since these nameplates have already been established and marketing would be quite easier. But then again, introducing a new nameplate is something that could go for or against the brand – something that could be worth risking for.
Guess we have to wait for VW PH’s next move.
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