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October 26, 2020

The Philippines May Not Get the All-New Honda Jazz After All

With sales of the all-new Honda City in full swing (check our launch story and video), the focus now shifts to its hatchback sibling, the Jazz. Though it was already shown at the Tokyo Motor Show as the Fit last year, questions still linger as to its fate for global markets.

Given its popularity in its home market, Japan got the all-new Jazz. Europe, and surprisingly, China does so as well. However, the U.S. doesn’t get it anymore; the blame squarely on the Americans’ insatiable appetite for anything SUV. But what about closer to home? Will Honda offer the all-new Jazz for markets such as the Philippines?

As early as February of this year, spy photographers have already snapped what looked to be a hatchback version of the all-new City on Thai roads (patent drawings were also leaked as well). Similar to Toyota’s decision to localize the Yaris as the hatchback version of the Vios, the City hatchback is said to share everything with the City sedan from the C-pillar frontward, including the powertrain. The rear, obviously would be entirely unique (see rendering above).

Reports then suggest that the City hatchback, unlike the Civic hatchback, will be made more widely available globally, at a more premium price point. The target market? Primarily Asia followed by India, and possibly South America as well.

Adding fuel to the fire, and perhaps the first definite answer to the Jazz’s fate is actually found in the all-new City—particularly in its DENR Environmental Management Bureau compliance sticker. This sticker signifies its compliance to the Philippine Clean Air Act. You can check the sticker below, but it reads: “City 4D CVT.” This was snapped on the City 1.5 V.

Looking at the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Clean Air Act, it states that car manufacturers must show compliance with the law’s provisions. This is shown by its Certificate of Conformity which is attached to the windshield, and is based on the “complete and detailed descriptions of the motor vehicle and the engine.”

This points to the increased possibility that Honda won’t offer the all-new Jazz in ASEAN. Instead, they’ll offer the hatchback version of the all-new City instead. The only question remains though is its formal trade name. Even if its Certificate of Conformity indicates “City 5DR,” Honda can still continue to call it Jazz or Fit (as previously mentioned, Toyota has done this with the ASEAN market Yaris), or they can opt to go with the City hatchback instead.

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