Honda has unveiled that it is developing a new affordable MPV based on the Honda Brio. The new Brio-based MPV is codenamed the Honda 2NH, and it will be produced at Honda’s new RM1.05 billion automobile production plant in Karawang Industrial Park, Jakarta, Indonesia, alongside the Brio.

The new MPV is designed for Asian countries, and we expect it to be sold in markets such as ASEAN and India, and it will have local content of approximately 80%, which is up from the current level of about 50%.

Just like how Thailand is famous for their affinity towards pick-up trucks, Indonesia is the ASEAN MPV haven, and many automobile companies have based their ASEAN MPV production there. Even European companies have invested in Indonesia for MPV production – Volkswagen invested RM166 million in 2009 to assemble the Volkswagen Touran, Volkswagen Transporter T5 and Volkswagen Multivan there, with full fledged manufacturing to be considered in the future.

Honda’s existing small MPV the Honda Freed is also built in Indonesia for the region, but perhaps the Freed is a little too expensive and of not the right shape (it’s very JDM-inspired) to really compete with other ASEAN MPVs such as the Toyota Avanza and the Nissan Grand Livina. We expect the new Honda Brio-based MPV to follow a more traditional MPV shape, trim and price tag.