Saturday, January 8, 2011

The FN2R in Malaysia ?

In the recent KLIMS 2010 last month, one of the exhibits was a red FN2R. According to one of the HM staff I chatted with, the FN2R was exhibited in the KLIMS for two primary reason. Firstly they wanted to highlight the continued commitment to sporty models in Honda's line-up. It is no secret that many Honda die-hards are frustrated with the lack of outright sporty models in Honda's current line-up. The fact that Honda discontinued production of the highly regarded FD2R met especially great reactions from the fans.

In the KLIMS, Honda Malaysia displayed the new hybrid CR-Z 2-door sports coupe as its primary showcase. Meanwhile quietly sitting in a corner is the red FN2R. Does that indicate the HM is planning to sell this model in Malaysia ? The logical implication is that to continue to maintain its sporty reputation, with the FD2R gone, the FN2R would be the replacement.

The work needed to get permission to sell the FD2R here was tremendous. The truth is Malaysia is such a small market that it is difficult to justify the sale of any niche model which a Type-R definitely is. But with the great benefit from that work already in place, it would be a waste to just let the FD2R disappear and HM be left without a true sports model yet again.

But the other angle is that if HM wants to sell the FN2R here, they have to re-do most of the work they did with the FD2R. For this, it is important to bear in mind that the 8Gen Civic is nearing its end-of-life and for Europe, the new 9Gen Civic will be launching very soon. Does it make sense to spend a lot of effort to launch what is essentially an previous generation model for sale here and only a few months (obviously units must be imported from Europe but they won't be manufacturing it anymore very soon).

So the logical choice would be that if any work is to be done to justify for a replacement for the Fd2R, that replacement must be the hybrid CR-Z.

So, why then did HM display the FN2R ? According to what I was told, with the FD2R no longer available, for this year's MME Honda Malaysia intend to field an FN2R. So this then seems to be the REAL reason for that FN2R in the Honda booth in KLIMS 2010.

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