Honda will join the MPV segment competition for Asian markets
Honda Prospect Motor (HPM), Honda’s Indonesian partner, unveiled the Honda Mobilio prototype at the Indonesia International Motor Show yesterday. This new model was exclusively designed to compete in the Asian MPV segment.
The Honda Mobilio will be the brand’s first attempt in the MPV segment. Honda developed this model based on research conducted in Indonesia concerning roads, weather conditions, and customer needs. The new MPV combines elements of a 7-seater vehicle and a compact body to maximize the cabin space while fitting in typical parking spaces. With the local roads in consideration, the Honda MPV features a 185 mm ground clearance. The vehicle power will come from a 1.5 liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder gasoline engine. This is expected to deliver above par driving performance and fuel economy. Its production will start in January 2014 as the second plant of HPM becomes operational.
Likewise, Honda also introduced the Brio Satya last September 11. The smaller Brio Satya is powered by a 1.2 liter i-VTEC gasoline engine that can achieve 20 km/l for fuel economy. This will also be produced at the current Indonesian plant. HPM will expand the capacity of its plant from the current 70,000 units to 80,000 units. By the time the second plant becomes operational, HPM will achieve an annual production capacity of 200,000 units.
As mentioned in a July 2013 article about the Honda Brio, Honda Car Philippines is considering the Brio models as an addition to the local line-up. The Thai Brio is equipped with a 90 PS 1.2-liter L12 B i-VTEC while the Indonesian model 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.
Given the similarities of the Indonesian automotive market to the Philippine automotive market, how likely will we see the Honda Mobilio and Brio Satya running on our streets by next year?