Remember the Honda Jazz-rivaling Nissan Note we saw at last year’s KLIMS13 motor show? What that was essentially a B-segment hatchback which shared many components of the current Nissan Almera – sounds perfect for our market?
Unfortunately, it looks like Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) won’t be launching it here anytime soon.
Despite several local publications mentioning that the Note will be coming to Malaysia later this year, it seems that ETCM has pulled the plug on the car’s supposed arrival – at the very least, it will get here only in 2015 (if it isn’t cancelled entirely).
According to the same RHB Research Institute Report which depicts the arrival of the Serena S-Hybrid CKD here in Malaysia and a bit of snooping around for info, it seems that slow sales of the Almera, coupled by the dominance of the Honda Jazz (priced from RM72,800) may have prompted ETCM to rethink the Note's entry.
Unlike the March (also based on the Almera), the Note is aimed mainly at buyers in developed markets like Europe, Japan and USA. It is not sold in any other ASEAN market so its cost structure can be rather complicated.
The 2014 Honda Jazz's low selling price, spacious interior and excellent fuel economy pretty much makes the Note redundant, as the Note has little else to offer to buyers.
Since Toyota has quietly removed its Yaris (RM101,700) from its line-up almost as soon as it was launched, it looks like the B-segment hatchback market is going to be a single horse race with only the Honda Jazz in competition. The Yaris is now only on sale in duty free Langkawi and Labuan.
Apart from these, we also have the Volkswagen Polo, Ford Fiesta and Suzuki Swift appealing to the enthusiast crowd, a group of people who will never consider something like a Note or a Jazz in the first place.