Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Honda to build Jazz (Fit) Hybrid in Malaysia

During the grounds breaking ceremony that I attended last week, Honda made the announcement that they will be building the Jazz (Fit) Hybrid in Malaysia. This means Malaysia will be the 2nd country after the U.S. to build hybrid models outside of Japan. Production of the Jazz Hybrid will begin on the current "No. 1 Line" and work is going on to prepare the production line for the assembly of the model. Currently Jazz Hybrids sold in Malaysia are fully imported from Japan in what is called CBU or Completely Built Up form. 

The price of the Jazz Hybrid is fairly attractive at around RM95,000 and this local assembly promises to help keep the price at this level even when the special Malaysia tax exemption for hybrid cars expires at the end of next year (2013). It is however unlikely that the price for Malaysia will change even after the production has changed to local production, due to the need to protect the investments of customers who already owns the Jazz Hybrid. Of course this is just my own guess.

The Jazz Hybrid is fitted with the same powerplant and battery unit as the Insight, 1.3l IMA with around 100ps max power. The Malaysian units comes only with the CVT 7-speed.

How strong is a Honda ?

Every manufacturer makes big boasts about how tough and safe their cars are. Occasionally, things conspire to put their claims to the test. In this case, the Honda CR-V definitely lives up to the boast. A bizarre accident caused a 18-wheel trailer weighing well over 13 tons to roll on top of a CR-V. And yet the driver came out totally untouched. Links to the news article plus TOV discussions are available at 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Honda expands Malaysia assembly plant (TOVA coverage)

On July 19th 2012, Honda made the announcement that they are expanding their Malaysia assembly plant located in Pegoh, Melaka. While this expansion have been talked about for many years now, it has been an 'off again/on again' affair AFAIK, due to the development of the automobile industry in Malaysia and how Honda perceives it. However unforeseen and uncontrollable situations last year clearly made Honda decide to expand and spread out their operations and this is one of the outcome.

The expansion of the plant includes three new additions: an assembly plant which Honda calls the "No. 2 Line", a new PDI or Post-Delivery-Inspection, and a new test track. The new "No. 2 Line" is slated for the assembly of 'entry level' models, which I believe is meant to be the City and Jazz. An intriguing thought would be the possibility of Honda Malaysia assembling the new Brio mini-car here as well.

Honda expands Malaysia assembly plant (official press release)


          Honda Malaysia expands its factory with an investment of RM350 million
          Honda Malaysia to start rolling out hybrid vehicles by the end of this year; this move reaffirms Honda Malaysia’s leadership in being the pioneer of hybrid technology in Malaysia
          Total production capacity will increase to 100,000 units annually and 800 units daily when No. 2 Line completes in Q4 2013

Friday, July 13, 2012

Interior quality of the 9G Civic

There seems to be some disagreement amongst TOV/TOVA'ers about the interior quality of the 9Gen Civic, between the ASEAN and USDM versions, and even between the previous 8Gen and the new 9Gen units. While it is never possible to judge correctly, nevertheless I was very concious of this issue and I -did- take close up photos of the material of the cabin. 

In this first supplementary post, I have put up three photos of the inside of the 1.8l Civic below for readers who might want to, or are able to make more informed judgements. The first photo on the top is the driver's seat, the one in the middle, the driver's door and the third the top of the dashboard on the front passenger's side where the front airbag cover is. 

9G Civic launched in ASEAN

The 9G Civic is now making its debut in ASEAN and was launched here in Malaysia yesterday. To Honda, this launch was a much awaited event is it marks the resumption of their full operations after the rather disastrous flooding in Thailand last year.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Honda City MMC coverage article

Just a quick update that my coverage of the Honda City MMC is now up at TOVA ( .)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

New variant Honda Freed S launched.

The Honda Freed is one of Honda's newest models and is a well designed and equipped small sized MPV which seats up to 7. When it was first launched a few years ago, sales were hampered by a relatively high price. In the next step to enhancing sales of the Freed, Honda Malaysia has just launched the Freed S, a new variant with reduced specifications and at a much more affordable price, below the magical RM100k mark in fact. The primary change is the deletion of the motorized sliding door, replaced by a manually operated one. Other than this, all the other unique features of the Freed are still retained. The official Honda Malaysia press release for the Freed S is below.

The NEW 9Gen Civic is coming !

The new 9Gen Civic will be launched by Honda Malaysia next week. In fact some publications have even published the exact date - July 12th 2012. Advertisements have already been placed in newspapers to attract attention to this new Civic. But at the end of the day, really, what does it hold for us, Honda fans ?

Update : A reader sent in a comment to say that the Honda Civic Hybrid is actually already in Singapore, which is of course RHD. So there should not be any problems with Honda Malaysia launching the HCH. Thanks to the reader. 

Which brings me to the intriguing 'coincidence' that 'Honda Global Amity', a Honda dealer located in the Bukit Jalil area sent me an invitation to their own launch of the HCH (at their showroom) next saturday, i.e. the weekend after the launch of the Civic. This suggests to me that on July 12th, Honda Malaysia will be launching the full line-up of variants for the new 9Gen Civic - both 1.8l and 2.0l -plus- the Civic Hybrid !