The first consignment of Honda’s breezy Brio budget hatchback destined for South Africa has left the Indian port of Mumbai. The newcomer will reach Honda dealer showrooms in SA on schedule in early December, 2012. The consignment is also a milestone for Honda Cars India Limited because it is the first export of products from its plant to SA. Honda India’s president, Hironori Kanayama, said: “The export of Brios to the highly sophisticated SA market underscores the world-class quality of the cars we produce.” ENTRY-LEVEL BUT CLASSYThe Brio has been on sale in India since September 2011 and more than 25 000 units have been sold there.The compact Brio hatchback is set to become Honda’s most affordable offering but will, Honda said, "offer advanced technology and legendary quality to a wider audience”.The Brio is powered by a 16-valve, 1.2 i-VTEC engine delivering 65kW/109Nm and will be offered with a choice of manual and automatic transmissions. Despite its entry-level status, the Brio employs Honda’s 'Advanced Compatibility Engineering' which creates a robust passenger protection cell and, according to Honda, is fitted with a full range of active and passive safety features. Further specifications, Honda said, would be revealed at the vehicles' launch in South Africa.Honda SA expects the Brio to compete witht the VW Polo Vivo, Toyota Etios, Ford Figo, Hyundai i10 and Kia Picanto when it arrives in this market.