Honda has just announced that they have already started export operations of a nameplate that has proven to be very popular in the Philippine market: the BR-V.
As you may well know, Honda Cars Philippines initially imported the first generation BR-V when they initially introduced the model a few years ago, but eventually, they made the case to assemble the vehicle at their Santa Rosa, Laguna plant. That, of course, came to an end when Honda decided to shutter the assembly lines in Laguna and transition to purely importing and distributing vehicles.
Now there's a new generation BR-V that has been revealed and has started production at the company's factory in Indonesia. They have announced that the export operations of the new generation model have begun.
The first batch will go to countries in the Caribbean such as Barbados, St. Lucia, as well as Trinidad and Tobago. That's actually the same strategy that Honda has for smaller models such as the City range; the Thailand factory supplies those same Caribbean markets as well, meaning the cars have to traverse the Pacific Ocean to get there.
Honda, however, says that the total number of export countries that will get the BR-V from the Indonesian plant will be around 30. The Philippines is included in that list now that the Santa Rosa, Laguna facility is no longer operational as an assembly plant.
Interestingly enough, we were also able to get a copy of the list of vehicles imported from Indonesia recently, and it seems Honda Cars Philippines brought in 1 unit of the all-new BR-V. The vehicle, based on the info we got, is an all-new BR-V S variant; in the Honda model range, that's usually the base model. Actually, the transmission is also indicated: it's a manual gearbox model and not the CVT model.
We presume it's for local testing because no automaker outside of the luxury sector brings in just one unit in a shipment. Such a unit is also an indicator that Honda is preparing for the introduction of the model in the Philippines soon, but we would venture a guess that it will be sometime in May or June at the earliest as Honda is slated to launch the HR-V in April.