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Honda jumps into the Suzuki Alto market

By Rigval on 09 Dec 2010

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Honda has decided to join into the developing nations small car market with the Brio concept car at the Thailand International Motor Show recently. The tiny city car is meant for the emerging markets as Honda states that they intend to start sales of the Brio in Thailand and India in 2011. The car seems to have edgier design cues and it looks like a smaller Mazda 2 with a huge chrome Honda grille. This look is unexpected as it looks different from the pretty feminine Jazz supermini, the most common small Honda these days.

The Brio is based on Honda's city car concept and looks extremely production ready unlike the earlier mock-up versions announced nearly a year ago. The Brio will be unique to each and every country it is sold. Honda has stated as an example where the Thai version will be more efficient and better equipped than the Indian version. This is presumably because the Thai market is slightly more affluent and more demanding than the less demanding Indian auto market. If you do not know how 'less demanding' the Indian market is, Suzuki is still selling the Suzuki 800 from the 1980s over there and even the Alto imported into Malaysia from India seems to have a slightly budget looking interior than one could have expected (after their SX4 and Swift models).

Anyway, Honda is entering the same category as the Suzuki Alto, Kia Picanto and Hyundai's i10 town cars and I suppose these companies would be slightly worried by the entry of another innovative player in both tightly contested markets. No major details have been revealed as yet including the size of the engine. Some are speculating that the company's 1.2liter i-VTEC engine that powers the base Honda Jazz/Fit models.

Of course the main question now would be whether the Brio would be sold elsewhere, especially here in the South East Asian region.

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

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