Honda has launched the CKD operation for its Jazz Hybrid model, making it the only locally manufactured hybrid car in Malaysia. Currently, Honda Jazz Hybrid is fully imported and enjoys tax exemption hence making it locally, in theory, will results in no cost reduction. However, Honda has thrown in some RM4,900 price reduction, courtesy of some realignment in the specification.
The CBU version of Honda Jazz Hybrid is the EU spec, thus has a left-mounted signal stalks. This is among the changed item, the signal is now on the right, as per most of the Japanese cars. Other realignment include dual airbags (down from 6 airbags), rear drum brakes instead of solid disc, no jack-knife key, re-labelled fuel meter and the deletion of hill start assist, cruise control, auto wipers, paddle shift and steering wheel mounted audio control. Together with 10% localized part, these are parts that contribute to the slight cost savings.
Otherwise, Honda Jazz Hybrid remain similar to the imported model. It is powered by the 1,339cc gasoline engine hooked to Honda's IMA system. The petrol mill produced 88PS and 121Nm while the electric drive contributed further 14PS and 78Nm.
The Alor Gajah assembled Honda Jazz Hybrid is priced at RM89,900. Apart from the slightly reduced price, and the quite sum of reduced equipment, the color variation has been revised too. While the CBU is flourished with the striking Fresh Lime Metallic and Milano Red, these two shades made way for Sparkling Brown Metallic and Polished Metal Metallic in addition to the usual Tafetta White, Crystal Black Pearl and Alabaster Silver which are the usual Honda paint option in Malaysia across all of their models.
Meanwhile, Honda Malaysia also announced its intention to setup R&D Center in Malaysia next month. This is to complement the Thailand R&D Center and will concentrate in developing the parts for Honda cars more suited to the local flavor. Currently, for certain parts, Honda has to pick and match between all the globally available variant in order to create the local specification. Thus, with proper design and development engineer on-site, the development of the new components will be much easier. Just ask any experienced Proton and Perodua engineers!
Many media quoted the R&D Center will be located adjacent to its Melaka assembly plant. However, according to those who has attended the interview (yes people there were job opening recently for Honda R&D Malaysia) the office could be setup in Sungai Buloh. While we are not certain about the location, but we knew they were looking for Japanese-speaking personnel to handle the R&D transition from Japan to Malaysia.
So for the Proton and Perodua runaways (I know many of you want to run) this is your chance. For the automotive engineering guys in the oil and gas company here (no matter how weird it sound, and I know all of you don't want to run away), this also could be your chance as a fresh alternative which did not exist previously!-->