Breaking News: Honda Indonesia Exporting 1000 Freed To Thailand

Well my ASEAN friends, rejoice, this holiday season Honda is finally bringing the Freed out of Indonesia and into your hometown. As reported by our leading news media, Kompas, one thousand (1000) Freed is heading to Thailand on Monday 14th of December. Thailand will be the first country to receive the Freed but safe to assume every major ASEAN countries will receive the car eventually. The launching on Monday is indeed going to be a spectacle too, with government officials attending the event.

So for my Thailand friends who had kindly asked me for a confirmation date when the car will arrive to your hometown… This is your definite answer. And I know some of you are deeply in wait for the car, but if I might remind is to test drive the car first before committing to a purchase. It’s a great car for sure, but not for the vertically superior.

Source:

Honda imports 1000 Freed to Thailand (Bahasa language)

Phenylpropanolamine: Otak Anda, Hidung Anda dan Hoax Ketinggalan Jaman

Hari minggu lalu, saya mendapatkan SMS dari Ibu mertua saya yang menyebutkan seperti ini:

PHENYLPROPANOLAMINE obat influenza(decongestant) ditarik oleh badan pengawasan obat dan pangan Amerika(FDA) pada tanggal 1 maret 2009 karena terbukti sebabkan PENDARAHAN DI OTAK. Berikut obat2 di Indonesia yg mengandung PHENYLPROPANOLAMINE 1.DECOLGEN 2.DECOLSIN 3.SINUTAB 4.ALLERIN 5.BODREXIN 6.CONTAC500 7.COSYR 8.FLUCYL 9.FLUDANE 10.FLUGESIC 11.INZA 12.KOMIX 13.MIXAFLU 14.MIXAGRIP 15.NALGESTAN 16.NEOZEP FORTE 17.NODROF 18.PARASUTIN 19.PROCOLD 20.RHINOTUSSAL 21.SANAFLU 22.SILADEX 23.STOPCOLD 24.TRIAMIN. Bri tau teman2 & saudara

Tampaknya, di era informasi ini masih banyak orang-orang yang tampaknya senang menyebabkan kegaduhan dalam sistem tatanan masyarakat yang teratur. Seperti film Batman: The Dark Knight, dimana sang pengurus rumah tangga setia, Alfred menyatakan bahwa ada beberapa orang yang ingin melihat dunia hancur tanpa keuntungan bagi pelakunya sedikitpun.

Berita hoax ini bahkan sudah menyebar melalui chat client populer… (gak mau promosi ah)… Cukup untuk dikatakan bahwa saya telah mendapatkan beberapa pesan yang diforward oleh teman-teman saya. Tentu saja, saya membalas pesan ini untuk menenangkan teman-teman saya yang kebingungan dan panik.

Phenylpropanolamine benar merupakan zat berbahaya, menyebabkan pendarahan otak, dan benar telah dilarang oleh pihak FDA.  Namun selain kenyataan pada kalimat pembuka paragraf ini, semua isi pesan mengenai Phenylpropanolamine tidak memiliki basis kenyataan. Phenylpropanolamine sendiri sudah dilarang digunakan semenjak tahun 2000, BUKAN 1 Maret 2009. Karena riset membuktikan bahwa bahan tersebut menyebabkan pendarahan otak pada kebanyakan wanita. Phenylpropanolamine BUKAN obat, melainkan sebuah bahan baku pembuatan obat saja, jelas… Kalimat pembukaan pesan hoax ini sudah salah.

Apakah Phenylpropanolamine digunakan oleh obat-obat yang digunakan diatas saya tidak tahu. Tapi yang jelas, saya baru saja sembuh dari pilek berkepanjangan dan saya selalu minum Stopcold. Mendapatkan pesan ini, saya langsung melihat daftar bahan pembuat Stopcold yang tertera pada bungkusnya. Cukup menenangkan bahwa Phenylpropanolamine tidak disebutkan dalam daftar bahan pembuat obat ini.

Yang perlu diperhatikan dan disimak disini adalah kondisi masyarakat kita yang mudah terpengaruh komunikasi getok tular tanpa melalui proses logika terlebih dahulu. Apakah Anda benar-benar percaya, bahwa Badan Pengawas Obat dan Makanan Indonesia begitu bodohnya untuk meloloskan sebuah zat yang sangat berbahaya ini 9 tahun lamanya? Aturan baku oleh BPOM, FDA dan badan pengawas obat dan makanan lainnya, menyatakan bahwa bahan baku pembuat obat dan makanan harus tertera secara jelas pada bungkus kemasannya. Penggunaan kata “bahan lainnya” pun sudah mulai jarang tertera pada bungkus obat dan makanan. Jadi, apabila perusahaan obat ataupun makanan gagal menyertakan informasi yang lengkap, maka perusahaan tersebut sudah melanggar hukum. Setidaknya, tidak ada bahan Phenylpropanolamine pada obat Stopcold.

Berikut adalah pernyataan resmi dari pihak FDA mengenai berita kebohongan yang beredar ini…

FDA is aware of emails circulating widely that list many products allegedly containing PPA. These emails, however, generally contain dated and inaccurate information and should be ignored.

Dan tanggal berapa pesan tersebut dilansir oleh pihak FDA? 23 Desember 2005. Jauh dari 1 Maret 2009 yang disebut dalam pesan hoax yang beredar.

Pesan saya hanya satu, stop menelan informasi publik secara bulat-bulat bila dilansir oleh sumber yang tak dikenal. Telaah informasi yang Anda terima dengan seksama, cari bukti pendukung lainnya, dan ambil kesimpulan dengan tenang. Saya yakin, Anda pun mencari opini kedua bila pergi memeriksa kesehatan apabila penyakitnya serius… Lalu, kenapa tidak mencari informasi pendukung kenyataan yang Anda dapatkan dari sumber tak dikenal? Mudah percaya bukanlah sebuah hal baik dalam dunia yang penuh dengan kebohongan ini.

Sumber:

Informasi resmi FDA mengenai Phenylpropanolamine

Pernyataan FDA membantah surat kaleng mengenai Phenylpropanolamine

Informasi hoax Phenylpropanolamine

Officially Official: Honda Freed Is Coming NEXT JUNE!

Well, so much for the hoolabaloo… It seems that today is just the day Honda Indonesia sent out a press release about going to sell the Freed in Indonesia. At least we have a timeframe, it’s June and it’s confirmed the car would be available with i-VTEC engine and 5 speed automatic transmission. No further information is available regarding the car, on whether it will be offered with the 8 seat variant or the 7 seat variant nor would it be avaible in manual transmission.

For the time being, I’m going to write about Freed specification in comparison with its competitors, namely Xenia/Avanza, Grand Livina, APV and Gran Max Luxio.

Officially Official: Honda Freed Is Coming NEXT WEEK!

Oh my… What a delightful turn of event this is… It seems that I mistakenly translate trimester with semester. Last night in a closed session, Honda Indonesia finally unveils its intention to sell Honda Freed in Indonesia and the official launching of the car will be held on 11th of March, next week! Wow! This is actually happening, Indonesia will be the first ASEAN country to sell the Freed… Wait… Actually, if you want to put more emphasis on that, Indonesia will be the first country in the world to produce and sell Freed outside of Japan.

Honda Indonesia is very bold, very very bold if I might add… The Freed target market in Indonesia is already saturated with Daihatsu Xenia and its clone, Toyota Avanza. Then the venerable challenger Nissan Grand Livina. Not counting Suzuki APV and the soon to be released Daihatsu Luxio. But should Honda be afraid? Not really… We are talking Honda here! Where engineers are part magician and voodoo doctors.

The Freed first of all, is a front wheel driven, front engine minivan where its competitors are more or less a crossover between two cars sans the Grand Livina. The Xenia/Avanza is a crossover between MPV and SUV, high ground clearance with front engine, rear wheel driven setup. The Suzuki APV and Daihatsu Luxio origins are semi pick up truck with engine underneath driver seat driving the rear wheel. This doesn’t mean a thing, but when you start to add up the fact that FF cars like the Freed and Grand Livina have ample interior room thanks to the lack of driveshaft running from the front of the car to the back… Then it start to makes sense.

The Freed main competitor will be Nissan Grand Livina with its similar FF drivetrain setup. Size wise, although the Freed is shorter compared to Grand Livina, it has longer wheelbase and is taller, these facts should lead to the Freed having more ample interior room than the Grand Livina… Although it remain to be seen.

The last sentence leaves a lot to be desired, and I smell a comparison is coming! Comeback soon, I’ll prepare a paper comparison between Freed competitors in Indonesia… And to some extent, the ASEAN.

Unofficially Official, Honda Freed IS Coming to Indonesia

Well, according to an interview of a local online media with Honda Indonesia Marketing Director, Mr. Jonfis Fandi that is.

The impromptu information was out in a yearly media gathering held in Jakarta. It is confirmed by the head honcho that the Freed is indeed coming to Indonesia in the 2nd trimester of 2009 (that’s middle of the year), and what’s more, it will be Freed’s debut outside of Japan… Wowza! This backwater country actually got an exclusive debut of THE most waited Honda in 2009! (at least in term of affordability… Hybrid this ain’t)

With the rumors Honda Indonesia is canceling bringing Freed to Indonesia, this is quite a news. Price wise, Honda Indonesia is touting that volatile foreign currency/local exchange rate make them unable to guesstimate the local price for the Freed. Final price will be announced near the actual car launch date. Whatever it is, the price might land between US$2300 to US$25000 considering local Honda City is priced at US$24000 to US$26000. It’s common to price 7 seater MPV below a sedan in some parts of Asia as sedan is considered more luxurious than an MPV.

All I can say, godspeed bringing this car back home Mr. Jonfis. We’ll be waiting with arms wide open… Although I’m keeping my SX4 Crossover.

All New Honda City Revealed… Gravy On The Steak

With the already too much spy photos, renderings, pictures and hints from around Asia, the all new Honda City has arrived in full glory. For this generation, Honda goes all out to design the new City. No longer a lanky and dorky brother of Honda’s own Fit for which the City is based upon. The new City, albeit derived from the same platform of the Fit now sports a huge different between its hatchback brother… To a degree that the new Honda City is now is Fit’s second cousin that the Fit really want to get its groove on upon… I really am rusty… More pictures courtesy of autoblog after the click. Continue reading

Honda Jazz 2008 & Prepare For An Epic Battle… A Paper Battle

Well, the bird is out of its cage, the all new 2008 2nd generation Jazz (Fit) has arrived in Indonesia!!! Although I didn’t have any pictures, I do have information taken from the official brochure. Then, I will start a new section for my blog here called Paper Battle. The premise is simple, I will take a spec sheet of some cars which I’m going to compare, and compares it… It’s that simple, that’s why it’s called Paper Battle… Comparison based on the brochure… D’oh…

But anyway, here’s the information regarding the all new 2nd generation Honda Jazz.

There are only regular and RS model.

  • The regular version comes with the RS engine 1.5L 120ps.
  • Both version comes with 5MT or 5AT, no more CVT.
  • No future plan to bring the 1.3L + CVT version.
  • There are no moonroof for both models.
  • ABS+EBD+BA standard on both models.
  • The regular model uses 15” wheels, the RS uses 16” wheels.
  • Footrests on both model for AT version (finally!)
  • The RS model got dual SRS airbag, a bodykit, front armrest, keyless entry (akin to Accord’s), retractable door mirror, and paddle shift for the AT version.
  • Multi Information Display to calculate fuel consumption standard on both model.
  • Under seat box standard on both model.


The prices are:
Regular MT : Rp 160 million (US$16K)
Regular AT : Rp 170 million (US$17K)
RS MT : Rp 172 million (US$17,5K)
RS AT : Rp 183 million (US$18K)

Prices are expected to increase as demand increases, and demand will increase! It is priced competitively, still in range with other Japanese city cars (Toyota and Suzuki), and comes with a distinct most powerful engine in its class and the first to use 5AT on city cars.

I’m quite speechless indeed. I know for long that Honda Indonesia will probably follow Honda Thailand’s model portfolio, but I expect huge price jack. The MID, 5AT and 1.5L i-VTEC alone should warrant a premium price for the new Jazz, but it is quite affordable. The brochure even stated that the 2008 Jazz comes with tilt and telescoping steering wheel… I need to see this car in person, that’s just too awesome for its current price.

Damn! When I’m just about to buy 2008 Suzuki SX-4 (long story) and the new Jazz came out of nowhere… Oh well, three months of fasting and resolve to finally buy a non Honda obliterated to hell and back. I just need to test drive this baby and I will have another fasting time to consider the new Jazz or Suzuki SX-4… Damn….

Taktik Kotor Melawan Pendatang Baru

Komunikasi adalah konsep yang paling sering kita gunakan, dari berbicara hingga menyampaikan pesan secara tak langsung. Tak hanya dapat membentuk sebuah tujuan baik, komunikasi kini juga kerap digunakan tujuan jahat. Black campaign yang mendera Nissan Livina dan kartu GSM Axis baru-baru ini di Indonesia merupakan salah satu bentuk “demarketing” yang tak pandang bulu.

Continue reading

Feel… I’m So JAZZ!!!!

Wowza! I just browsed and opened up Honda Thailand website for some confirmation of new Jazz/Fit drivetrain. Not only I stumbled upon the fact it uses a 5AT with the 120ps engine, Honda Thailand made a full length jingle for the car… Feel I’m so Jazz indeed!!!!! I can’t stop playing the song at the background!!! Very catchy song… And almost made me forget about buying Suzuki SX4 altogether… Go Honda!!!

Click here if you want to hear the song, it will load in the background.

http://www.honda.co.th/jazz/launch/select_en.html

Click here if you want to see the TV commercial of Honda Jazz in Thailand, it features a portion of the song.

http://www.honda.co.th/jazz/launch/tvc_en.html

I bet to anybody who replied to this post that Honda Indonesia will make a half assed attempt at creating the advertisement for 2008 Jazz. They are probably going to use some hip artist dancing around with a popular song, I bet also they didn’t even bother to look at this Honda Thailand Jazz advertisement.

Proton Vs Indonesia: Between Dreams and Reality

Proton as one of SE Asia own automotive marque is regarded as one of the most successful brand in the industry. As a SE Asia bigger company, it stretches its sales network to Europe, Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, China, many other countries and recently Indonesia. Even though many late comers did not enjoy high growth or sales immediately, Proton sales in Indonesia is awfully lacking.

Indonesians are well known for their impulsive buying habit and have tendency to become super early adopter. Many China made bikes, cars, products which had bad quality being bought as soon as they come up, and the reason why because they are cheap. Sure in the end the quality problem rears its ugly head and people started ditching them. However, Proton did not enjoy that kind of “first step” as none even bought their products (well actually there are some). Until today since last year Proton opens up its business in Indonesia, I only saw 4 Protons on the road with one of them being towed… Probably had a problem, the driver seemed very unhappy. So why oh why…?

The reason Proton is very unsuccessful in Indonesia as far as I know is attributed to several obvious things. One being political, two being product portfolio, and three being the product styling.

Politically, Malaysia and Indonesia has a bit of tension regarding Indonesian labor being treated bad there. As deaths has been reported due to neglect and abuse in Malaysia. To make things worse, there are claims about Malaysia claiming Indonesia’s cultural products such as songs, indigenous dance and what not. I would not go into details because I think politics are stupids and most politician goes where a marketer and lawyers went when they are dead anyway.

On product portfolio front, Proton only made available cars which are sedans and supermini, which are cars most Indonesians dislike. Indonesian market dictates that a car must be:

  1. Cheap.
  2. Can sit minimum of 6 comfortably.
  3. Frugal
  4. Handsome… This one is subjective

So Proton current product portfolio only consists of two sedans, one hatch coupe, and one supermini hatch. They certainly could not seat 6, the price range is weird, their looks are… Somewhat unique, and frugality is unproven. Proton’s product price range is unique in a connotative way. Proton Savvy as a supermini is aggressively priced at Rp. 107 million, that is quite right, considering it is automatic model, the Gen-2 sedan hatch is also attractively priced at Rp. 146 million, so does the Waja sedan at Rp 168 million (all A/T models). However, the Satria Neo, which is a 2 door hatch coupe is priced at Rp. 190 million, quite expensive for a late comer considering at that price you can get the more popular Honda City VTEC A/T. So price is okay, one star product with three cash cow is not bad at all.

Then there is the look… Frankly speaking personally, aside from Proton Savvy, all of Proton’s offering is… Different… In a negative way. The Savvy is different in a unique way, it looks very European. The unique side profile, the center exhaust, and every line puts me head over heel. If I have excess money, then I will buy this car, but since I do not have any, then it will have to suffice I am writing good impression of the car 🙂 Do you know that the Savvy has engine and transmission lifted directly from Renault Clio? Yup, the D4F engine and Quickshift 4 (or is it 5?) can be found powering the Savvy. Some say the Savvy itself is based on the Clio, but I could not found definitive info on this. Suffice to say, the engine and transmission itself is worthy to be called awesome, as this means that Savvy is a true European car. There is a popular culture here in Indonesia that if you cannot afford Mini Cooper, than Suzuki Swift is the next best thing… WHOA! The Swift might have the look, but the Savvy is the truer representation of European technology (because it actually is). Interior wise it is also quite good, considering it is a Rp 107 million car.

Other Proton cars… Err… The Waja looks like small VW Passat, a bad impersonation that is. The Gen-2 rear end is good, I like it, but the overall roundness does not suit the front end of the car, which happens by the way has smallish headlights. Proton Satria Neo profile also look like it belongs to the 90s. Overall, aside from the Savvy, all Proton cars looks outdated to me.

So why Proton is unsuccessful in Indonesia? Aside from political problems, Proton did not do the number one mantra in the business world, they did not do enough marketing effort. Marketing effort to change the perception of Proton when it was just taxi fleet so many years ago. The problem is, Proton Indonesia needs to get rid of its taxi fleet image that has been perceived for so many years. Mind you, when Proton (Saga) was used as taxis, it is not a good taxi, the ride was rough, and the engine noise was awful. Sure time changes everything, but perception is one thing that time could not easily change.

So Proton needs to change or rather reinvent their marketing strategy. For sure the existing campaign is less than effective, and they can follow what Suzuki, Toyota and Honda had done in the past to introduce youth oriented marketing and approach. At least the Savvy is quite good, Proton could abuse the European connection because people are sucker for International exposure.

One more thing I like about the Savvy is that it looks very different than any other car out there. Perfect to be targeted to those who wanted to be different.