Honda will begin sales in Thailand of a new Cub-type automatic transmission (AT) scooter model, Honda Wave110i AT, in March of this year through A. P. Honda Co., Ltd., a Honda affiliate responsible for distribution of Honda motorcycle products in Thailand. Based on the Honda Wave110i, which is highly acclaimed for its fuel efficiency, the Honda Wave110i AT features a new automatic transmission called CV-Matic. The starting price will be 44,900 baht, with an annual sales plan of 50,000 units.
CV-Matic makes the Honda Wave110i AT a product that offers both the typical characteristics of Cub-type bikes such as longer riding range, durability and superior cost-performance as well as added characteristics such as ease of operation and comfortable ride. In addition to Thailand, Honda has plans for the sequential introduction of Honda Wave110i AT in Vietnam and neighboring countries to meet the diversifying needs of customers in ASEAN markets.
The CV-Matic features a new cooling system which solved the issue of heat load on drive belt, and was developed based on the small-motorcycle automatic transmission technologies Honda has been fostering over the years. This new system enhances the durability of the drive belt and allows for a more compact design with a shorter distance between the drive pulley and driven pulley. Due to this advance, the engine position does not need to be significantly altered, optimizing design layout freedom.
Industry-wide motorcycle sales in Thailand in 2009 totaled approximately 1.54 million units (down 10% compared to 2008). With sales of approximately 1.01 million units, more than 60% of the industry sales total, Honda has been the best-selling motorcycle brand in Thailand for 21 consecutive years. Due to the added comfort and ease-of-operation, the overall sales of AT models has been growing in Thailand, accounting for approximately 710,000 units, or approximately half of the market size in 2009.
With the introduction of the Honda Wave110i AT, an AT model of the already popular Wave110i, Honda will further enhance its product lineup to meet the diversifying customer needs. Moreover, Honda is planning to install Honda's programmed fuel injection system (PGM-FI) to all models sold in Thailand by the end of March 2010.