Honda To Launch Entry-Level MPV In Jakarta - 2014 Honda Brio MPV?
Honda will be premiering an all-new MPV model at this coming September's 21st Indonesia International Motor Show, which will run from 19-29 September.
For now, Honda has only released a design sketch of the car. Not much else is known other than it will be an entry-level MPV model powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine and three-row seating configuration.
The company also adds that this model will be the first Honda product in Indonesia to be introduced to the entry-level MPV segment, the biggest category in the Indonesian automobile market.
It is quite possible that the model referred to here is the third model in the Brio family, following the Honda Brio hatchback and the Honda Brio Amaze sedan. The current Brio hatchback is already being produced in Indonesia for domestic sales.
During last year's ground-breaking ceremony for its second plant in Karawang, Honda revealed that a new MPV model derived from the Brio will also be produced alongside the current Brio model.
Honda says the new Honda MPV was developed for the Asian market by Honda R&D Asia Pacific Co., Ltd. in Thailand and P.T. Honda R&D Indonesia.
Tomoki Uchida, President Director of P.T. Honda Prospect Motor said “The new Honda MPV has been developed especially for the needs of customers and road characteristics in Indonesia. This model will also be locally produced in Indonesia as the first product of its new Second Plant in Karawang, scheduled to begin operation in early 2014. This makes the new Honda MPV a very special product for Honda in Indonesia.”
Unlike the more upmarket 2013 Honda Freed, there will be no sliding door feature. Instead, a conventionally-hinged type is adopted. This is understandable as sliding doors are not a very well-appreciated feature for MPV buyers in this region (unlike in Japan where parking spots can be quite tight).
Moreover, sliding doors cost a bit more to engineer and manufacture, especially if the car maker intends to score excellent side impact crash safety performance.
The front exterior design, too, shares some similarities with the Honda Brio and Brio Amaze, further suggesting that the new model could be derived from Honda's eco-car range.
The Brio MPV is unlikely to replace the current 2013 Honda Freed, a car positioned to be more premium.
As the Brio family range is aimed at emerging markets and may not meet the expectations of buyers from more developed car markets like Malaysia, the Brio MPV is unlikely to be introduced here. Honda Malaysia's MPV range is likely to continue with just the 2013 Honda Freed and the 2013 Honda Stream.