It seems Honda Cars Philippines is considering a major shift in their manufacturing operations in the Philippines.
In a conversation with Noriyuki Takakura, Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) President after the opening of the Tokyo Motor Show, the chief executive of the company spoke of a potentially important step forward, if they decide to go through with it. "We are considering BR-V for Philippine production," said Mr. Takakura over dinner.
Given the strong response from the market, assembling the BR-V from complete knock down (CKD) kits in the Philippines is logical. HCPI's "pillar" in the Philippine market is the City, though Takakura says that the CR-V and BR-V are catching up to become pillars of the brand themselves.
The news is not as surprising as it seems; Honda's BR-V immediately became one of the brand's best sellers in a market with a strong demand for crossovers and SUVs, particularly PPVs. The BR-V is currently HCPI's third best seller.
Takakura says they are still in the early stages of evaluating the BR-V for assembly at the Santa Rosa, Laguna plant. The General Manager of HCPI also indicated that the BR-V they could produce for the market could be the second generation of the model line; a vehicle that could be launched in 4-5 years' time as it is still in the early stages of conceptualization.
Shifting the assembly of BR-V to the Philippines would also mean ceasing the production of the City, though Takakura said that the sedan can be sourced from Thailand.