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Thursday, November 11, 2021

Volkswagen Is Saying Goodbye To The Santana


Volkswagen is axing the Santana sub-compact sedan in China after over 30 years. This as the carmaker accelerates its plans towards crossovers and electric vehicles.

A report from Reuters says that Volkswagen and its joint-venture partner, SAIC Motor will end production of the Santana and the Skoda Rapid at its Yizheng plant located in eastern China. That plant is the main factory responsible for making the Santana, and has the capacity to produce around 224,400 of them a year.

The Santana nameplate began in China in 1985 and has become a symbol of that country’s rising middle class. By the 1990s, it became a status symbol and as a result, helped Volkswagen sell more than 6 million examples. Single-handedly, it helped the German brand become a household name there.

However, shifting consumer preference away from sedans towards crossovers and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) prompted Volkswagen to shift its plans.

Instead of the Santana and the Rapid, Volkswagen’s Yizheng plant would make the T-Cross and the Tharu SUVs. It will also produce the Polo hatchback and Lamando sedan. These arrangements would be completed by 2023.

Volkswagen Philippines brought in the Santana nameplate in 2018 along with other models sourced from China as part of its push towards offering more affordable vehicles. This year it received a modest refresh. 

13 comments:

  1. AC Motors, I think This is your Opportunity to Assemble the VW Santana in the Philippines if Volkswagen will invest to Assemble cars in the country

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    1. if VW allows them, the fact that they're discontinuing the model in its home market means it's already highly unlikely that they'll simply move production to another country, even more so to a country with no VW production/assembly facility.

      And of course the lingering issue that it's cheaper to import than to assemble :/ Not a great incentive for automakers..

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    2. Correct, the opportunity is do a fire sale for current Santanas and focus on crossovers and SUVs (ala Ford PH who doesn't offer small cars anymore).

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    3. if they will manufacture a VW car here, it should be Amarok. pickups have less tax. with mainstream premium image of VW here, it would make sense to bring in or manufacture Amarok here since we Filipinos treat pickup trucks as lifestyle vehicle.

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    4. Yes and also the Amarok-based SUV should be assembled here also in our country.

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  2. Another concern in the discontinuation of the Santana production is the long term availability of spare parts for Santana sedan and GTS owners.
    The only hope is that since the Santana siblings and the TCross more or less have the same engine and the TCross production will continue, Santana owners will still have parts source through the crossover's parts supply.
    - Mark Javier

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    1. The Santana will stop production in favor of the T-Cross.

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  3. Sir Uly, kindly inform us if there will be any update from VW Philippines re parts supply. This is for the benefit of the Santana owners. Thank you 😊

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    1. Even if production stops, carmakers, including distributors are to maintain a stock of parts--some up to a decade after production has ended. There will be no issue when it comes to spare parts, don't worry.

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  4. If China struggles to sell the formerly king of the China roads - Santana that would make production feasible, what more with smallish PH market. More so if to pour in money for manufacturing. AC motors had minimal success with the brand VW, if its road presence is the evidence. It is hard to justify its investment even if Germany HQ would allow.

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  5. If China struggles to sell the formerly king of the China roads - Santana that would make production feasible, what more with smallish PH market. More so if to pour in money for manufacturing. AC motors had minimal success with the brand VW, if its road presence is the evidence. It is hard to justify its investment even if Germany HQ would allow.

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  6. Fantastic, more and more heavy boxy vehicles on the frail infrastructure. Expect more giant rainy season potholes if everyone abandons cars that provide a sensible balance between interior space and modest curb weight like the Santana subcompact sedan.

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  7. Biggest reason why VW failed here is the lack of creature comforts in their vehicle lineup. They are Marketing them as premium vehicles due to their German build reputation yet it is not what Filipinos are looking for... We are looking for stylish & feature-loaded vehicles. VW & Hyundai are in the same predicament - you cannot just sell style, design and build when you put steel rims and basic radio with your vehicles.

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