According to Honda, the all-new 320hp/400Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged Civic Type R (CTR) hot hatch will only be produced in Swindon, United Kingdom, and exported to the rest of the world including Japan and the US, so rest assured that both right-hand drive and left-hand drive markets will be covered. That’s the good news.
The retail price of the new CTR has yet to be announced but Autocar UK has reported an expected retail price of slightly above £30,000 (in pound sterling). Sadly, Malaysia does not have any form of Free Trade Agreement with the United Kingdom (maybe there’s hope after Brexit finally happens), hence the CTR will be subject to the full force of import and excise duties. Brace for impact.
To get a semblance of the base cost of the CTR, we first have to deduct UK’s VAT (consumption tax) and local auto-related taxes totaling around 20% of the retail price, so from £30,000 we now have a starting price of £24,000. As Malaysian duties are imposed on the price which the local distributor (Honda Malaysia in this case) pays to the principal (Honda Motor Co.) and not the retail price in UK, we would have to also deduct an assumed a profit margin for Honda UK.
Based on a source who is currently employed at a European manufacturer, the average distributor margin currently stands at 13% for mainstream car brands, so by looping off 13%, we now have the CTR at £20,880.
With the prevailing exchange rate of RM5.40 for £1.00, £20,880 would then be equivalent to RM112,752. Now multiply 30% import duty and then 80% excise duty on top of that (tax on tax, mind you) and we have a sum of RM263,840, this is before Honda Malaysia’s margin and GST of 6%.
Let’s assume Honda Malaysia is feeling generous (they are on a roll after all) and treats the CTR purely as a brand building exercise, we tack on a modest 10% profit margin and arrive at RM290,224 before GST, and thereafter becomes RM307,637 after the dreaded 6%. Now factor in road tax, insurance and you’ll be lucky to get any change left from RM310,000. And yes, we’d still trade a kidney for one.