Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd has proudly launched the first ever CKD hybrid vehicle in Malaysia, the new Jazz Hybrid. The launch ceremony was done at their Pegoh Plant in Malacca and was officiated by Dato’ Mukhriz Tun Mahathir, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI). As an effort to lead the way in green mobility, the CKD Jazz Hybrid is built based on the platform of the Jazz Hybrid which was introduced here in March 2012.

Prior to the historic launch ceremony, the media and guests were brought on to a short tour at the plant. The tour was to give an insight on how Honda Malaysia assembles the CKD Jazz Hybrid and the processes involved. Basically, the plant works as a hub for installing the parts, which mainly are imported from Thailand and Japan. On a side note, the Pegoh plant needs only 8 months of preparation to assemble the hybrid locally, whereas other Honda plants outside the country need 18 months. This explains why the CKD Jazz Hybrid resources only 10% of its parts. However, Honda will set up a Research & Development Centre (HRAP-MA) at the Pegoh Plant by December this year. The R&D Centre aims to develop parts design that best match the local suppliers and to further increase the local content.

Currently, the 70,718 sq ft. plant consists of only one production line with the capability of producing 50,000 vehicles per year. The second line will be available in the fourth quarter of 2013. As at November 2012, the Pegoh plant is responsible in producing five Honda vehicles – City, Civic, Accord, CR-V and the latest Jazz Hybrid. The vehicles are then exported to the UK, Turkey, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. However, all vehicles will be tested on the new 2.15 km testing track before they roll off the line.

 

Back to the car, the exterior features an acrylic grille at the front and the exclusive license plate garnish at the back. Headlights and rear lights are primped with the clear blue chrome trim, a standard feature for Honda’s hybrid vehicles. Stylish 15-inch rims complete the sleek look of the hybrid.

Interior-wise, some of the tasty features available in the CBU such as the paddle shift and the Hill Start Assist model did not make it into this model. However, it still retains the same spaciousness as the imported model. The seats can be folded into three different mode – Utility, Long and Tall in one swift action. Apart from that, more storage space can be found in the upper glovebox, centre control and the rear underseat box. Driving information can be accessed via the steering wheel-mounted buttons. iPod can be easily plugged in via the USB port in the centre console.

Like the CBU model, the CKD Jazz Hybrid is powered the 1.3-litre i-VTEC engine with the (IMA) Hybrid System. The internal combustion unit produces 87 hp and 121 Nm of torque while the electric motor produces 14 hp and 78 Nm of maximum torque. The Intelligent Power Unit (IPU) which acts as the ‘brain’ to the electric motor, is fitted onto the boot floor to maximise interior space.

Yes, the locally-assembled unit does lose a fair amount of features but Honda ensures that the passengers remain safe and in control with safety features offered in the CBU Jazz Hybrid. Apart from the dual front SRS Airbags, the G-CON chassis helps to minimise injuries by absorbing and distributing collision energy to other sides of the car. It works cohesively with the seatbelts and airbag system. Although the rear disc brakes are now replaced with drum brakes, the local hybrid model still features ABS, EBD and BA which helps to prevent the wheels from locking during emergency situations.

The new CKD Jazz Hybrid is now available in Honda showrooms nationwide and comes in Tafetta White, Sparkling Brown Metallic, Alabaster Silver Metallic, Polished Metal Metallic and Crystal Black Pearl. Prices start at RM 89,900 (on-the-road with insurance) with the optional Honda Genuine Accessories available at a certain additional cost. Customers are able to enjoy 5-years or 140,000 km warranty for the battery.

 



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