Search CarGuide.PH

May 22, 2018

We Investigate the Meaning of Volkswagen's New Cars

Volkswagen Philippines has turned a new chapter and has become the first carmaker to benefit from the country’s free trade agreement with China. With that, the Ayala-held company becomes the first export market for the German automaker’s Shanghai-based joint venture.

Naturally, China-made cars also come with, what else, China-market names. Forget about Polo, Jetta, and Passat here; Volkswagen will now be selling the Santana, Lavida, and Lamando. At first glance, these names seem like gibberish with the exception of “Santana” which is, of course, the name of a famed guitarist and musician.

But is it really gibberish? Not quite. It turns out, Volkswagen has an inkling for Spanish-based names for its China models. Putting the names through Google Translate this is what we found out:

Separating “La” which is an article in Spanish, similar to English’s “The”, “A”, or “An”, “La Vida” means “The Life.” It’s actually a pretty awesome name for a car, perhaps connoting that its owner is “living the life.”

“La Mando” is a bit trickier. Entering the text straight in Google Translate and all you get is “I send it.” This name doesn’t make such sense because imagine this conversation:
Car Dude A: “Bro, what car do you drive?”
Car Dude B: “I drive a Volkswagen I Send It.”

Errr…no. That won’t work. Anyway, removing the “La” article and retaining just “Mando” enters a lot more possibilities from “Command” to “Leadership.” Personally, “Leadership” is a great translation given this car is meant to compete in the executive sedan market. Driving Volkswagen “The Leader” or the “The Leadership?” Sounds like something straight from a Star Wars movie; something an Imperial commander would be driving. Awesome.

Finally, we get to Santana. Yes, Santana is still the name of that smooth AF guitarist that’s on every tito’s playlist. However, the name does translate to “Saint-like.” Again, it’s a great car name that connotes good values. We’re pretty sure you’re going to think twice about committing road rage in a car that’s named “Volkswagen Saint-like.”

We’re pretty sure Volkswagen Philippines could have muscled Shanghai Volkswagen to spare a new badge to change the names to something much more familiar with Filipino buyers, but we’re also pretty sure that Spanish pretty boy and Ayala Corporation COO Fernando Zobel also thought highly of the names. We’re pretty sure he found them perfecto.


  1. Made in China... so could the quality be like that of a Foton or Geely?

    1. Its like saying since Mazda is made in Malaysia, quality is like the current Proton (if its still alive)

    2. To Jun: Mazda here is distributed by a malaysian company Berjaya but doesnt mean its produced in Malaysia, their cars are still made in Japan. Do some research first dude

    3. Actually, CX-5 models in the PH are actually assembled in Malaysia.

    4. Based on your premise, are you implying that Honda's, Mitsubishi's, and Toyota's vehicles which are assembled here in the Philippines have inferior quality compared to those units made in Japan?

  2. And they brought in the older Tiguan again. :/

    I hope they don't take away the Caddy, and introduce the new Touran here.

  3. lamando is like the name of your local neighborhood tambay...

  4. Santana. You'd have to be a saint to put up with something like that. Or if you crash in one, chances are you'll be a saint (and dead)

  5. To Jun: Mazda here is distributed by a malaysian company Berjaya but doesnt mean its produced in Malaysia, their cars are still made in Japan. Do some research first dude

  6. Automotive repair manuals Volkswagen is one of those top pages websites where thousands of car manuals are available and the users can download the pdf of those manuals for free.


Feel free to comment or share your views. Comments that are derogatory and/or spam will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to moderate and/or remove comments.