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Thursday, December 25, 2008
A follow up to an earlier entry here. Toyota and Daihatsu today jointly launched their new 7-seater MPV, based on the Toyota Passo / Daihatsu Sirion (Boon) hatchback.
The new MPV will be jointly sold under the Toyota badge as Passo Sette and Daihatsu badge as Sirion Luminas. Previously most of the English speaking automotive blogs speculated that the Daihatsu version will be called Sirion Ruminous. Obviously we got it wrong due to some dodgy translation. One of the reason why online information should be taken with discretion.
More importantly to Malaysian readers, this new MPV will be a "preview" to Perodua's new MPV which is set to launch around the Q4 2009. Perodua is Daihatsu's outpost in Malaysia in the same way Maruti is to Suzuki in India.
Looking at the dimensions, the new MPV will be 430mm longer than the standard Passo / Sirion / Myvi (Perodua).
Power will come from a 1.5-litre 3SZ-VE powerplant, which is now already servicing Avanza / Xenia MPV and Bego / Rush / Terios and SUV. Only one transmission option will be available - a 4-speed automatic while Japan domestic models will have optional 4WD.
While the press release does not clearly state a flat folding second and third row seats, it does suggest the feature, along with a 150mm sliding second row seat. In typical Japanese compact-MPV fashion, the front seats will feature bench seat setup. But it is unlikely that this feature will be adopted in overseas / export models due to local regulation compliance.
Fuel economy is officially rated at 15.6km/l under the Japanese 10-15 test cycle, which I have to add is not a very realistic representation of actual fuel consumption in real world driving.
More information can also be obtained at Nihoncar.com. The Japanese domestic market models feature a lot of fancy bells and whistles from their in-car entertainment and convenience features. Don't expect these to be included when Perodua localises the same model for the Indonesian and Malaysian market.
What surprises me is that the Daihatsu version is sold at a higher price than the Toyota version. Typically, Toyota badged equivalent models comes with a higher specs and a price premium. The Toyota Passo Sette starts from 1.49 million yen while Daihatsu Sirion Luminas starts from 1.535 million yen. The Toyota Passo which forms the basis for this MPV retails in Japan for around 1.3 million yen. Ignoring local tax structure which will be slapped on Perodua MPV, you can roughly estimate that Perodua's MPV will retail at around 15% to 20% higher than the current top of the line Myvi SE (RM53k). Expect a retail price of between RM60k to RM70k, which puts it within the firing range of Malaysia's best selling MPV - Toyota's Avanza which starts at RM62k. Currently the Toyota Avanza in Malaysia, sold by local distributor UMW Toyota is assembled under OEM contract by Daihatsu's outpost in Malaysia - Perodua. It is also worth noting that like Passo Sette / Sirion Luminas, the Avanza is another product jointly developed by Toyota and Daihatsu, and it is specifically developed for sale emerging developing markets. It is sold by Daihatsu as the Xenia in Indonesia. Perodua also assembles and exports the Indonesian market Daihatsu Sirion, under an agreement with the Indonesian Daihatsu distributor Astra Daihatsu Motor.
With Perodua's new MPV, this would mean that Perodua will be assembling two MPV models at its Rawang plant, that will be competing with each other. It doesn't really make sense. Sales of the Avanza and Perodua MPV are bound to cannibalize each other as they both target the same entry level MPV buyers segment. It is left to be seen how will this OEM arrangement between UMW Toyota Motor and Perodua accomodate Perodua's new MPV. Platform sharing with cross-branding agreement is workable in saturated markets of Europe and Japan (i.e. PSA-Toyota's partnership in Czech republic, PSA-Mitsubishi's Outlander / C-Crosser / 4007). In the case of Xenia / Avanza in Indonesia, Indonesia is the largest MPV market in the region, thus the "pie" is big enough to be shared between Daihatsu and Toyota dealers, with the Xenia and Avanza targetting slightly different ends of the market. Malaysia however is still a predominantly passenger car market, with over 70% vehicles sold here are of sedan / hatchback body type.
All images courtesy of nihoncar and responce.jp via autoincar.com.
For those who find the designs a bit tame, they may be interested to draw some bodykit styling ideas from Toyota's Modelista styling package, only available in Japan though. Currently Perodua already offers bodykits for its Myvi (Sirion) and Kenari (Move) models, there is no reason why they can't offer something similar if the demand is sufficient.
Image via autoincar.
Related link :
Undisguised Images of Proton MPV
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Posted by AutoIndustrie at 5:58 AM