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Volkswagen PH president answers your questions

We picked the best queries from our readers

In March, Volkswagen Philippines announced its next product for our market, the T-Cross, which prompted us to write an article highlighting the distributor’s relationship with its customers. In essence, we said that the company was somewhat frustrated with the fact that car buyers in the country weren’t aligned with the importer’s product strategy. You could see this from the majority of the comments.

Proving that it genuinely cared for its customers, the distributor offered to participate in a dialogue with our readers. The firm invited our audience to submit their questions, to be answered by no less than company president Felipe Estrella III.

The video you see above is the result of this “dialogue.” We picked 10 questions and let the VW boss deal with them as honestly and as transparently as he could.

For your guidance, here is the list of the chosen questions as well as their respective time stamps in the video. The questions were edited for brevity and clarity.

1. Why don’t you position your brand with other European carmakers here in the Philippines? Brand perception is everything. – Je Alvarez (0:16)

2. While I dream of owning a Volkswagen car, I am worried that I won’t be able to afford its maintenance. How do you plan to make the price of your after-sales service competitive? – Michelle Mendoza Peralta (1:26)

3. Why don’t you sell both your global models with the Chinese models together, allowing them to cater to two very different types of customers? – Karl Alejandro Resurreccion (2:56)

4. Is the maintenance cost of an entry-level Volkswagen the same as that for the Vios or the City? Are spare parts widely available? – Mike del Mundo (3:40)

5. What is your strategy in competing with well-known Japanese brands that Filipinos love? – Lian Cruz (4:24)

6. Do you have any plans to bring back your diesel-engined vehicles? – Justine Lising (5:47)

7. Volkswagen is ditching internal-combustion-engine vehicles in Europe and the US. Why are there still no hints about electric vehicles for Volkswagen Philippines? – Allen Rufo (6:37)

8. Sell halo cars. Bring in the Golf R or the ID.4. These will definitely boost your brand image. – Christopher Co (7:51)

9. I like Volkswagen. How about a motorsport campaign for our market? You need one to show off. – Oliver Aquino (9:02)

10. I see the trend going toward value propositions rather than bare-bones vehicles—more so when you carry a perceived premium brand. It’s an uphill battle, but it can still be won. – Franklin Lu (9:40)

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.