The 2023 Honda BR-V has officially launched in the Philippines just two days ago. The brand’s well-loved 7-seater gets a whole new generation and a lot of goodies. Of course, with all new model releases, a lot of questions come in tow. A most gracious panel from Honda Cars Philippines answered some of these questions and here are the three that really stood out as need-to-know information for all of us.
How much of Honda PH’s sales is the BR-V set to take?
In a very bold statement, Atty. Louie Soriano, Sales Division General Manager of Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) said that they are looking at selling anywhere from 800-900 units of the BR-V. Very bold, indeed. But we have to remember that the outgoing/previous generation did sell well across its many years in the market. Now comes a few more important questions: how and why?
How, with all the supply issues that have been hounding not just Honda but other manufacturers across the globe? Why the confident sales forecast at a time when the market is practically saturated with choices? Ms. Misa Abe, Vice President of HCPI, answered that there is no shortage of the BR-V and that they can meet the demands of the PH market for their new 7-seater (sic). As for the forecast, it’s simply because the demand is there, and the demand exists. This is why they have a good number of variants to choose from.
This leads us to our next little tidbit which you’ll read below.
A manual BR-V? But why?
Strange, isn’t it? In this day and age, it’s become quite uncommon for vehicles in this segment (and most other segments) to offer a manual transmission. But there’s a very sound reason why the BR-V comes with a stick. Well, two, by our assessment.
First, there is (again) a demand for it. A demand, you say? Yes, Honda wants to reach out to the more “rural” areas where most motorists still prefer to drive a stick than a slushbox. After some research, HCPI is keen on reaching out to this “untapped” market and bringing their wares to them with a more practical and economical choice and variant.
That said, the second reason is that HCPI just cares; cares for their customers’ needs, and dare we say it their financial options as well. The entry-level manual variant of the BR-V will be the most affordable in the lineup, and with a manual, you get the same space and capability of a 7-seater that bears the [H] badge without having to break the bank while you’re at it.
We’ll take it.
Will a hybrid option for the BR-V (ever) be available?
As for the route towards electrification, it’s known that other manufacturers will be or have already delved into hybrid technology. When asked about the chances that the BR-V will get a hybrid option, HCPI answered in the affirmative. They didn’t speak much about it, but what’s certain is that the brand is already (quite) deep into electrification R&D and the chances of a hybrid model coming are significant.
As to when that will happen, we have no specific timeline. But again, with the competition becoming heavier and greener, we hope that it does come sooner than later. Honda already has hybrid engines, and finding ways to fit one under the BR-V’s hood will do them well to realize their dreams of a more sustainable future, and that of their customers who want a more “practical” choice, especially with the volatility of petroleum product prices the world over.
More and more brands have continued upping their 7-seater MPV game in the years past. Whether it’s with looks, features, safety tech, and cost, everyone’s been jockeying for position in the PH market, and that’s a fact. Honda Cars Philippines has been pretty gung-ho with some of these statements, but they have good reason to be so.
They’re one of, if not the very first to introduce the segment into the country. They have enjoyed great sales in the segment, and the demand has been kept up despite global challenges. And the BR-V, as one of their better-selling models has just gotten an all-new release that looks really good and is anticipated to perform so much better than its predecessor.
Cost may be another talking point, but we’ll leave that for later. More specifically, when we get a hold of test units and review all the variants that we can on YugaAuto. Until that time, let’s just say we look forward to a lot, and our expectations will be high. After all, we did like the Honda BR-V a whole lot, and this all-new model will have pretty big 7-seater shoes to fill. At least by our reckoning.