One factor allowing the price rollback is the recent depreciation of the yen against the ringgit, which has lowered the cost of hybrid batteries imported from Japan.
Civic’s Li-ion battery more costly than other models’ NiMH type.
Malaysia cuts the price of hybrid-battery replacements up to 52% and extends the warranty period from five years to eight, as well as unlimited mileage, for all hybrid models.
The auto maker says hybrid owners who bought their vehicles between January 2011 and May of this year also are entitled to the extended warranty, the longest in the Malaysian auto industry.
Thehybrid range includes complete-knocked-down and completely built-up Jazz Hybrid, Insight, CR-Z and Civic Hybrid models.
“We have been constantly studying the market and taking feedback from our valued customers into consideration,” Honda Malaysia Managing Director and CEO Yoichiro Ueno says in a statement.
“We have learned that the two main concerns of the customers in accepting the hybrid vehicle are the hybrid battery’s lifespan and its replacement cost. Thus, we have taken a huge step to reduce the price of the hybrid batteries and to extend the warranty period.”
The auto maker is able to reduce the price of the batteries and pass the benefit along to customers for three main reasons:
“We reviewed the total cost of logistic as well as the administrative expenses and have reduced it by enhancing the efficiency of our business. Secondly, the costs of hybrid batteries are gradually decreasing due to the increase of global hybrid sales and production of hybrid vehicles including its batteries.
“Furthermore, the recent depreciation of the yen against the ringgit has reduced the import cost of hybrid batteries that are fully imported from Japan.”
The Malaysian market for hybrid and energy-efficient vehicles is growing, and Honda dominates the segment with more than a 50% market share and nearly 16,800 Honda hybrids sold as of May 31.
Honda in November became the first auto maker in Malaysia to assemble CKD hybrid models, and when the second line is completed at its Melaka factory it will have annual production capacity of up to 100,000 units.
The battery price changes are:
- Honda Jazz Hybrid (nickel-metal-hydride): From MYR6,934 ($2,249) to MYR3,980 ($1,291).
- Honda CR-Z pre-facelift (NiMH): From MYR7,580 ($2,458) to MYR3,980 ($1,291).
- Honda CR-Z MMC facelift (lithium-ion): Previously not offered. MYR5,480 ($1,777).
- Honda Insight (NiMH): From MYR7,580 ($2,458) to MYR3,980 ($1,291).
- Civic Hybrid (Li-ion): From MYR11,480 ($3,723) to MYR5,480 ($1,777).