Words and photos by Manny N. de los Reyes

VOLKSWAGEN celebrated its sixth anniversary in the Philippines with an expansive family-themed mall display held recently at the TriNoma Activity Center in EDSA, Quezon City.

The two-day event showcased Volkswagen Philippines’ six years in the local automotive scene, underscoring the Wolfsburg-based brand’s efforts to make German engineering and design more accessible to more Filipinos.

Highlighting the weekend celebration was an 8-car display of the Santana, Santana GTS, and Lavida with the Club Edition and Club Edition+ packages as dealer options.

The introduction of the Lavida Club Edition and Club Edition+ serves as Volkswagen Philippines’ “special gift” for all VW enthusiasts. This anniversary package includes accessories such as distinctive Club Edition decals, body kits (front and rear spoilers and side skirts), bigger and sportier 18-inch rims and wheels, and a touchscreen audio package with a Kicker speaker system (for the Club Edition+) — for just an additional P129,000 for the Club Edition and P179,000 for the Club Edition+ to go on top of the P1,171,000 retail price of the Lavida.

The Lavida was introduced to the local market in 2018. It was positioned to become not just the “smart choice” but the ideal sedan that combines performance, comfort and convenience, and safety.

The performance comes from the Turbocharged Stratified Injection (TSI) with BlueMotion engine mated to a 7-speed DSG transmission, producing numbers remarkable for its category — 130ps at 5,000rpm and 225Nm of torque from 1,400 to 3,500rpm. It’s equipped with climatronic air-conditioning, cruise control, push/start stop, leather seats and a sunroof.

The Lavida comes with a slew of safety features — Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP), Hill Hold Control, front and rear Park Distance Control, tire pressure monitors, front and side air bags, and ISOFIX child seat anchors.

The vehicle displays were symbolic of the Volkswagen brand that has won awards from reputable automotive journalism bodies such as the Car Awards Group, Inc. (Car of the Year-Philippines), Sunshine Television Ventures (Auto Focus People’s Choice and Media’s Choice), and C! Magazine (C! Awards).

Volkswagen Philippines also held the 54th activation of its Child Safety Initiative (CSI) campaign with its Steps to Safety module that addresses pedestrian safety for kids and parents. The CSI campaign, which has benefited 11,114 kids and 7,939 parents since it began in 2015, has been recognized by the prestigious Anvil Awards, the Driven to Serve Awards of the Society of Philippine Motoring Journalists (SPMJ), and the Stig Awards of Top Gear Philippines.

In his welcome remarks, Volkswagen Philippines’ President Felipe Estrella characterized the first six years of the company as “growing the family.”

“For us at Volkswagen Philippines, it has always been about getting the family involved in experiencing the motoring lifestyle and experience that only Volkswagen cars can offer. Volkswagen Philippines may have been back in the country for just six years, but the global history and heritage of the Volkswagen brand has been around for many generations,” Mr. Estrella explained.

He also revealed that there are now around 6,000 Volkswagen customers. “Our birthday wish is for our community and ‘family’ to increase. For every client driving out of our dealers with his or her new Volkswagen car, that wish is being granted.”

To grow this Volkswagen family further, Mr. Estrella said that Volkswagen Santa Rosa in Laguna province was inaugurated last Aug. 16, and soon, its first dealership in Mindanao — Volkswagen Cagayan de Oro — would also open.

To entice even more Filipinos to drive away in a Volkswagen, special cash discounts have been offered for the Lavida (less P85,000), Santana MPI MT (less P30,000), and Santana MPI AT S and SE (less P10,000), to go on top of the free Periodic Maintenance Services (PMS) for the first three years for these models.

Volkswagen Philippines has eight dealerships across the Luzon and Visayas regions: Volkswagen BGC at 938 28th Street City Center, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City; Volkswagen Quezon Avenue at 1229 Quezon Avenue, Quezon City; Volkswagen Pampanga at McArthur Highway, Dolores, City of San Fernando, Pampanga; Volkswagen Alabang at Madrigal Business Park, Alabang-Zapote Road; Volkswagen Santa Rosa along the Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road in Laguna; Volkswagen Cebu at A. Soriano Avenue, North Reclamation Area, Cebu City; Volkswagen Iloilo (Taft North, Mandurriao, Iloilo City); and Volkswagen Bacolod (along Araneta Street, Singcang, Bacolod City).