L-R: Dr. Bjöern Dammermann, Weiming Soh, Fernando Zobel de Ayala, and John Philip S. Orbeta
On 27 May, German auto giant Volkswagen formally signed the appointment of Automobile Central Enterprise, Inc. (ACEI) as its Philippine distributor.
In a ceremony held at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Hong Kong, Weiming Soh, President for Commercial Operations in Greater China/ASEAN affixed his signature on the Importeur Agreement with Fernando Zobel de Ayala, President and Chief Operating Officer of Ayala Corporation, and John Philip S. Orbeta, Chairman and President of Ayala Automotive Holdings Corporation (Ayala Auto) and Managing Director of Ayala Corporation.
“In line with our ASEAN growth strategy and the vision to be the world’s most successful automobile manufacturer in ecological and economical terms by 2018, we found in Ayala Auto a dedicated, resourceful, and experienced partner in the Philippines that will strengthen the Volkswagen brand,” said Weiming Soh.
“The dominant position of Volkswagen in the global automotive market will boost Ayala’s strong presence in the growing Philippine automotive industry. We are excited to bring Volkswagen’s innovation and technology to the Philippine market complemented by an outstanding customer experience,” added Fernando Zobel de Ayala.
“Ayala is now making a comprehensive program to successfully bring back Volkswagen to the Philippines. We are finalising plans to roll out several models in multiple showrooms at the earliest time. We would like to contribute to the growth of the auto industry with the appointment of new dealership partners in the coming months,” affirmed Mr Orbeta.
Volkswagen vehicles roamed the busy thoroughfares of Manila back in the 60s and 70s, when the Beetle and the Kombi were first introduced to Filipino car aficionados. Other models followed but it was the Beetle that enjoyed huge success, turning into an icon of its generation.
The Volkswagen Group is Europe’s biggest and the world’s third largest automotive manufacturing company. 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.