When we first learned that Honda was looking at replacing the Jazz (international name: Fit) in the Philippine market, we felt it was a shame. Honda had just premiered a new generation Jazz/Fit which included a crossover-inspired variant at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.
Now the news is official: Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) has just announced that they are discontinuing the Jazz for our market.
The Jazz was first launched in the Philippines in July 2004, meaning the nameplate is about to celebrate its 17th birthday in our market. Internationally, the Jazz/Fit will be turning 20 as it was first launched as the Fit in Japan in June 2001.
There have been three generations available locally. The first generation was made available in 2004, followed by a second generation model in 2008, and the third generation model in 2014.
What made the Jazz unique -apart from its hatchback style and fun driving characteristics- is its versatility and spaciousness that can rival much larger vehicle models. The secret is the way Honda engineered the A-pillar and moved the dashboard forward to maximize the space within the vehicle. Together with the rear seat folding mechanism that actually drops the seatback flush with the trunk floor.
"The Jazz has been a remarkable nameplate in the Philippine market for around 13 years. However, as we continue to put an emphasis on meeting market demands, we have thoroughly studied the necessity of the models in our current model lineup. After careful consideration, we would like to formally announce the discontinuation of Jazz and all its variants, in order for us to shift our focus and resources to our current and upcoming models." said Mr. Masahiko Nakamura, Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) president.
Honda Cars Philippines says they have sold over 25,000 units of the Jazz in the local market over three generations. The model will continue to go on sale at dealers that still have stocks, so if you're in the market for a new Jazz, the time to decide is now.
The replacement of the Jazz will be the all-new Honda City hatchback. We first learned of this development in January 2020 when we got hold of an internal document detailing that Honda Thailand will be exporting a 5-door variant of the City for the Philippine market with the 1.5-liter twin cam i-VTEC engine.
The 5-door City hasn't been revealed yet at the time, but in November 2020 they showed the City hatchback. We also got an unofficial confirmation from HCPI president Nakamura-san that Honda was planning to launch the model this year, along with the all-new Civic later on.
Do you think the City hatchback will fare better in our market compared to the Jazz? Or should Honda have opted for the new generation Jazz instead?