Ayala Automotive Holdings Corp. (AAHC), through its wholly owned subsidiary, Automobile Central Enterprise Inc. (ACEI), has officially brought back the iconic Volkswagen Beetle to the Philippine market.
The car was reintroduced to the market in a symbolic ceremony held late Friday, led by Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Corporation president and chief operating officer; Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, chairman and chief executive officer; and John Philip Orbeta, Ayala managing director who also serves as chairman and president of Ayala Automotive Holdings Corporation.
Volkswagen’s leading position in the global car market is expected to boost Ayala Automotive’s presence in the growing Philippine automotive industry.
The Volkswagen brand owns various models that are available locally such as the Jetta, Touareg, Touran, Tiguan, Polo Notch and now the 21st Beetle.
“We are excited to bring Volkswagen’s innovation and technology to the Philippine market, complemented by an outstanding customer experience,” Fernando Zobel de Ayala said at the xxxx (occasion, where, when)
“No other car evokes as much nostalgia, tradition, and heritage as the Beetle,” Zobel de Ayala said.
Volkswagen vehicles roamed Manila streets in the 1960s and 70s when the Beetle and the Kombi were first introduced to Filipino car enthusiasts. Other models followed but it was the Beetle that enjoyed huge success, becoming an icon of that generation.
“The Beetle brings many fond memories especially to many Filipinos. And now, I am extremely proud to be heralding the return of the world’s most iconic car back to the Philippine shore,” John Philip S. Orbeta.
“Our target market is the younger generation now because many of our parents and we, ourselves, are part of the old beetle [generation],” Orbeta said.
“We are still testing the market in terms of what products will sell. We are getting good feedback from our customers. We’ll adjust our products. After this year we’ll have accurate estimates,” he added.
The Volkswagen Group is Europe’s biggest and the world’s third largest with global sales of 9.3 million units in 2012, up 11percent from the previous year. As of 2012, its global market share for passenger cars accounted for 12.8 percent. The group operates 100 production plants in 27 countries and employs more than 550,000 people worldwide. The Volkswagen Group sells its vehicles in 153 countries.