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Published on March 21st, 2011 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Honda Brio Is A Go In Thailand and Not Malaysia

Honda has unveiled the new Brio in Thailand, which is specifically designed for emerging markets such as India, Thailand, and China. The Brio will be made by Honda’s Thai subsidiary and is designed as an ‘economical car’ which is a new incentive offered by the Thailand government with a preferential excise tax rate of 17 percent (versus the standard 30%). To qualify as an ‘Eco Car’, the car must consume just 5 liter of fuel per 100 kilometer and meet a minimum pollution standard of Euro4 emitting no more than 120grams of C02 per kilometer. The Brio satisfies needs of the growing markets in Thailand and India for a basic but high quality car. It is powered by a 1.2L i-VTEC engine which develops 90 PS (66 kW / 89 hp)  that is certified by government as a 5.0 liter per 100 km car. The Malaysian road transport should be encouraging this scheme way before our neighbours are doing the right thing for the environment.

The Brio has a very compact size at length 3,610mm x width 1,680mm x height 1,475 mm. The design of the Honda Brio remains loyal to the concept car but the finish and quality of materials used don’t seem to be very Honda in its quality. Honda is looking for sales of 40,000 units per year in Thailand. The market will be expanded as they have plans to first export and then make and sell the car in India.

More and more manufacturers are now looking at Thailand as a market with great potential for small and economy models and missing Malaysia as a potential location as it maintains a clear dividing line between the foreign brands and local brands. The workforce is also cheaper in Thailand and it’s easy for car makers setting up production plants there. They also have the support of Thai government because these factories create many jobs for the locals.

The Thai-spec model, seen here in the pictures, will go on sale in late May and pricing starts at 390,000 baht (about RM40,000) which is a smidgen higher than the all new Nissan March which is also produced in Thailand. Unfortunately this car will not come to Malaysia as its possible pricing here will be too high (probably RM55-65,000) to compete against segment leaders like the Hyundai i10, Suzuki Alto and the all time winner, the Myvi from Perodua.  

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