According to well placed sources within the Honda dealer network, HCPI is 'seriously considering' bringing in the Brio hatchback and Brio Amaze sedan to the Philippine market.
With reports verified from various independent contacts, the Japanese automaker is revisiting its earlier decision to not offer the subcompact model to the country. The subcompact car is currently being produced in Thailand for the ASEAN market, while India produces for their growing domestic consumption.
The model was developed for the Thai eco car program which gives a preferential excise tax on models that meet a certain criteria. Under the scheme, cars should have the following: a fuel consumption figure of 20km/liter or better; comply with Euro4 emissions standards; emit no more than 120g of CO2 per kilometer; should follow safety standards outlined by the UN Economic Commission for Europe Regulation 94 and 95; the manufacturer is also required to comply with investment requirements outlined by the Thai government.
To meet eco car requirements, the Brio is equipped with a 90 PS 1.2-liter L12 B i-VTEC in Thailand, while Indonesia gets a 99 PS 1.3-liter L13A i-VTEC engine. Both engines are mated to either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a CVT.
We recently managed to get our hands on a Brio Amaze in Thailand during a comparative test with the Mitsubishi Mirage and were quite ‘amazed’ by its handling and performance. However, we found the car a bit too economical in features and interior finish.
Our sources tells us that the release for the subcompact is slated for next year. Pricing will be a very important consideration for the Honda Brio to do well in the market.
Could this be Honda’s reaction to the success of the Mirage in the Philippine market?