Published on February 21st, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Honda ALL-NEW 2014 CITY Now Open For Booking Nationwide
Honda Malaysia for the first time surprised the market by giving a sneak peek into the All-New City. Honda Malaysia has set a challenging target for 2014 with 76,000 units of sales (47% higher compare to 2012) and 11% market share. Honda Malaysia Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Yoichiro Ueno said, “We expect the stable economy to continue to grow by 4-5% this year and we anticipate the TIV to hit 670,000 units with a 2.2% growth. However, we foresee that due to the recent increase in the cost of living and weak consumer sentiment, there will be a shift towards smaller or entry level vehicles.”
The challenging target comes after a successful year for Honda where the company reclaimed the No.2 position in the Non-National Passenger segment with a market share of 8.9%. Honda Malaysia President and Chief Operating Officer, En. Roslan Abdullah said, “The 2013 sales of 51,550 units was the highest ever achieved by Honda in Malaysia. The gap between Honda and the market leader in the Non-National Passenger segment stood at 1.7% and this is a significant increase compared to 7.1% in the previous year.”
Honda Malaysia will be focusing on 3 core areas – Introduction of New Models with Competitive Value for Money; Expansion of Production Capacity; Expansion of Dealer Network – to support their business growth in Malaysia. During the past year, the company has worked on numerous projects to significantly increase the localization, improve production efficiencies, reduce cost and improve product quality.
“We have laid the foundations to strengthen the company’s operations in order to elevate our business to the next level in terms of sales volume, market presence and branding. With the completion of the No.2 Line at our factory and new main models including CKD hybrid to be introduced this year, we believe that our strategies are in line with the current market situation where more people are longing for affordable, environment friendly and good value for money vehicles,” said Mr. Ueno.
Honda plans to introduce a total of 5 class-leading models at a very affordable price. These models consist of new FMC and MMC models including new CKD hybrid models to continue to excite the market. The company remains focused on hybrid models, which are in line with the Malaysian Government’s National Automotive Policy. In order to ensure the quality adheres to Honda’s global standard, new manufacturing technologies and state of the art equipment were installed in the new No.2 Line to enhance the vehicle quality and production efficiency. The Malacca factory is now able to produce up to 100,000 units annually. To support the anticipated growth of Honda’s sales volume, Mr. Ueno added, “By the end of this year, we will expand our dealership network to 80 dealers and 14 Body & Paint Centers. Furthermore, we will be increasing the number of sales advisors and service technicians who will be fully trained to ensure service quality to our customers. This expansion will see Honda represented in major cities and primary market areas around Malaysia.” The first model that will be launched this year by Honda will be the All-New City. First introduced in Malaysia in 2003, the City was an instant favorite among Malaysians and the success of this model elevated the brand to be one of the leading automotive brands in Malaysia.
During the unveiling of the All-New City, Mr. Ueno said, “This is the first Honda Malaysia’s model to adopt the Exciting H Design concept, which represents the ‘Human Center’ design philosophy that puts the focus on the driver and passengers. The design concept boasts a solid wing face, and well-toned athletic form body and finely honed surfacing on the exterior.The overall exterior is a fine balance of sophisticated aerodynamic styling, power and sporty feeling”.
The City has always been known for its perfect balance of performance and fuel efficiency. This 4th Generation City further enhances the advantages of the previous model. The All-New City draws on a 1.5L i-VTEC engine, coupled with a newly designed Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT), which was developed under Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology. The enhanced gear ratios offer more efficient fuel consumption and exhilarating acceleration.
The packaging design of the All-New City saw the evolvement of Honda’s “Man Maximum, Machine Minimum” philosophy to the next level. The interior space was maximized to provide superior comfort for both driver and passengers. The rear cabin space is class leading and is the most spacious in its segment.
In terms of safety, the All-New City also takes it one class above. This 4th generation will be the first in its segment to offer 6-Airbags, which consists of Dual frontal airbags, Side Airbags and Side Curtain Airbags together with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA). This is in addition to the standard comprehensive range of Honda’s active and passive safety technologies.
Honda Malaysia is confident that the All-New City would be the ideal entry sedan with the most affordable and attractive price in the Malaysian market. Catering to a wide range of customers, the All-New City is now open for bookings at all 73 Honda dealerships nationwide. Malaysians would be able to get a firsthand view of the All-New City at 6 locations, ahead of its official launch. Honda Malaysia believes that 2014 will be the year to push the boundaries to further exceed customer’s expectations and continue to be at the forefront, setting the pace with competitive pricing, exciting new models, efficient product-to-market time and excellent services.