Next-gen Honda BR-V, WR-V to be imported from Indonesia to Malaysia?
CY Foong · Mar 16, 2021 05:30 PM
Honda is planning to move its Indian production facility to Indonesia and the Japanese carmaker is committed to invest around Rp. 5.2 trillion (RM 1.48 billion) in the archipelago as well as developing a brand-new model that will be solely built in the country.
Although Honda has yet to confirm the model, we think it could either be the next-gen Honda BR-V or even the next Honda WR-V. Both models are due for replacement within the next few years, with the current BR-V having introduced in 2016 while the current WR-V (only sold in India, Latin America, and South Africa) was first introduced in 2017.
Case #1: Next-gen BR-V
We’ll start with the BR-V as it is a model very familiar among Malaysians. It was first introduced here in 2017 with the facelift launched in 2020.
When the BR-V was first introduced, it was a hit among Malaysians but soon, rivals like the Perodua Aruz and the Mitsubishi Xpander caught up with the 7-seater Honda by offering better features at even more attractive prices.
It might handle as well and is as comfortable as a car, but there’s no doubt the BR-V feels its age compared to younger rivals.
As such, the next-gen BR-V could be in the works soon. The current BR-V was jointly developed for the Asian market by Honda R&D Asia Pacific Co., Ltd., in Thailand, and P.T. Honda R&D Indonesia. It shared underpinnings with the Honda Mobilio.
Given Indonesia’s love for the MPV, it also makes sense for the next-gen BR-V to be developed and eventually produced in the archipelago. The BR-V being a slow-seller also meant that the next-gen might make more financial sense for Honda Malaysia to have it imported (CBU) instead of assembled locally (CKD).
Case #2: Next-gen WR-V
Meanwhile, the current WR-V was developed mainly for the Indian and South American markets. The 5-seater crossover looked like a jacked-up Jazz and was updated in 2020.
The jacked-up Jazz look, however, won't be carried over into the next-gen WR-V. So, don't expect a design that will resemble the fourth-gen Jazz that we’re missing out on but a proper SUV look.
We reported last year on Honda's plan to introduce the next-gen WR-V in the archipelago. The 5-seater crossover is expected to arrive in 2022 which could also be the year we might see the next-gen BR-V.
Between the two models, perhaps it’s the next-gen BR-V that would receive greater success for Honda’s Indonesian onslaught than the next-gen WR-V.
Even though the Honda Brio is Indonesia’s best-selling car in 2020, Honda Indonesia (Honda Prospect Motor) is making up its quiet 2020 year with a few new model launches this year including the launch of the Odyssey facelift and the all-new City Hatchback.