|Honda Malaysia today held their annual performance brief for the media at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur. They also took the opportunity to preview the all-new Honda City. (click to enlarge)|
The latest generation Honda City is offered in four versions: 1.5-liter S, 1.5l S+, 1.5l E, and the top-of-the-line 1.5l V. Deemed an ideal entry sedan, the new City extends class-leading safety and improved innovations that are pertinent to current automotive trends.
Fourth-generation City is expected to receive an encouraging response from new car buyers
In looks, the 4th-generation City takes on the ‘H’ Design which literally means Human Center. The Human center philosophy puts the driver and occupants in the utmost criteria.
At the front, the regular City has a wing face which is highlighted by a chrome grille that resembles that of the current Jazz Hybrid variant. The headlights consist of non-projectors and halogens, while the foglight areas are patched up with black-mesh fillings. A platinum front grille is provided on the 1.5l V City. On the side, the City portrays a well-toned form with a straight shoulder line from the front door all the way to the rear lights. Side mirror with turning light and the unmistakable shark fin antenna on the roof towards the rear form the City’s side profile preposition. From the rear, the slight protruding lights, chrome insert at the center of the boot lid and rear reflectors give the City a bulked up profile when compared to the previous generation. The exterior package is completed by the 16-inch wheels and tyres specifications.
Due to its scheduled unveiling in mid-March, Honda Malaysia didn’t allow access to the interior. Preliminary image revealed that the “Man Maximum, Machine Minimum” interior concept comprises mostly black with silver trimmings as well as seats with black leather material. Conveniences and amenities include Cruise control, ECON mode, an engine start-stop switch, a 7-inch touchscreen, rear air-conditioning vents, smart-entry, a boot space of up to 536 liters, steering switches and a three-pronged illuminated meter cluster. Cabin space, especially the rear, is touted as a class leader in the segment.
The 1.5-liter i-VTEC SOHC engine with CVT (Continous Variable Transmission) is inherited from the previous generation, although major tweaks have granted the new City a little more output of 120 PS and torque of 145 Nm. This fourth generation City is said to have enhanced gear ratios, which evidently allow greater efficiency and better pick up speed.
In terms of safety, the new City is the first in its segment to offer 6 airbags, which consists of Dual frontal airbags, Side Airbags and Side Curtain Airbags; together with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA). At the same time, an ISOFIX is in place at the rear for toddlers or infants.
Honda Malaysia’s annual performance brief reveals positive despite challenging times
Honda Malaysia reported an accumulated sales of 51,550 units for the previous year. The figure represented a 7.1 percent spike from 2012 or 8.9 percent in the non-national segment. Although only two variants were introduced last year, the CRV and Accord, Honda M’sia intends to up-the-ante this year by revealing five new entry-level variants through the year. These variants consist of new FMC and MMC variants which include the City and CKD hybrids. For the year, Honda M’sia has set 76,000 units as overall sales target, which represents an 11 percent market share of the total TIV (Total Industry Volume). The company also plans to increase the current 73 dealerships to 80 with 14 Body & Paint centers by the end of the year.
On the economic front, Honda Malaysia is primarily focused on three core business areas: the introduction of new variants with competitive value for money, expansion of production capacity and expansion of dealer network.
Honda Malaysia’s Managing Director and CEO, Yoichiro Ueno, commented, “We expect the stable economy to continue to grow by 4-5% this year and we anticipate the TIV to hit 670,000 units with a 2.2% growth. However, we foresee that due to the recent increase in the cost of living and weak consumer sentiment, there will be a shift towards smaller or entry level vehicles.”
The new City is already opened for bookings at the Honda dealerships nationwide, with 6 outlets offering a preview of the new compact car. Price range for the new Honda City is expected to fall between RM 70,000 to 90,000.