HomeAutomotiveHonda Jazz Convert To Honda Fit. Why Is This So Common?

Honda Jazz Convert To Honda Fit. Why Is This So Common?

Life Imitates Nature 

It’s a common sighting in parking lots and car meets. From Honda Jazz converted to look like a Honda Fit or a Proton Wira converted to look like a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3. All of these conversions often look the part without having the performance, and in a way, are very much like a peacock’s bright, flamboyant tail.

The peacock’s large, fan-like flamboyant tail is often in bright, attractive colors and ornately decorated patterns. These are just one of the few evolutionary traits of animals that adapt to attract a potential mate.

Laws of the jungle dictate the survival of the fittest but certain species reproduce by having desirable traits such as thick manes, color, and feather patterns. The caveat of such a feature is these tail feathers serve no other purpose other than looks. 

What does this have to do with cars? Car up-badging resembles a peacock flourishing its feathers – all form but no function. Look no further than your local Honda Jazz to Honda Fit conversion, Proton Wira to Mitsubishi Lancers, BMW 318is to an M3, and the list goes on. There is a huge scene where car owners convert their cars to resemble another simply for looks. 

It’s important to note that the Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalanraya (JPJ) strictly prohibits this. According to JPJ, the modification of a vehicle with body parts/body kit installation changes the vehicle’s identity is illegal, and can be fined. 

Image Source: Racenotrice
Yes, up-badging your Proton Wira to become a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3 and similarly can get you fined

Yet the million-dollar question still remains – Why are there still so many people converting their Proton Wiras and other cars out there even if it’s against the law? There is an underlying complex issue that is driving this among Malaysians. 

Social & Country Infrastructure 

Showing up in a presumably expensive vehicle commandeers a better social image among your family and peers. The aphorism – fake it till you make it holds true and dear; even in vehicles. A simple badge with the right modifications can fool the untrained eye. 

Ever since our automotive industry experienced rapid growth in the 70s, the possession of a private vehicle is seen as a status symbol desired by many. Furthermore, in a car-centric country like Malaysia, fresh graduates would be pressured to buy a car upon entering the workforce just to commute to work. Having a car with a higher specification or brand can signal their social status among their peers.

Another reason why converted cars are revered is that imported vehicles have high import duties imposed on them. By up-badging or converting a locally-produced car, Malaysians can get a car that looks and feels like an imported car, but at a fraction of the cost. Even though cars are expensive in Malaysia, this doesn’t stop people from nurturing a thriving car culture here that revolves around modifying cars. 

Not all red-badged Hondas are Type-Rs by the way.

The Honda Jazz is another perfect candidate in this scenario. In Japan and some parts of the world, this five-door hatchback is called the Honda Fit. However, Malaysian owners are fond of swapping or up-badging the Jazz to its Japanese counterpart. 

While there is nothing wrong (ethics-wise) with doing so, what’s wrong with owning a Honda Jazz? Is it that shameful to own something that is sold in Malaysia? In a developing country like Malaysia, the possession of luxurious goods is seen as a symbol of success and wealth; buying local goods doesn’t get all the glam and glory of an imported one. This is why local and Complete Knockdown Units (CKD) cars are seen as “low-class” according to some people. 

Understandably, the concept of wealth remains subjective. However, that doesn’t stop people from masquerading themselves. Personally, I think it will be cooler to see someone drive and own a mint-condition Proton Wira and a Honda Jazz than a highly modified one. 

Read More: The History of Proton

Desperation Breeds Innovation

It’s no secret that Proton and Mitsubishi car parts can be interchanged with each other. Though in older Proton vehicle owners’ defense, Proton has ceased OEM support for their older models. This is why the Proton Wira still retains the number one spot for the most stolen car in Malaysia for years. Lack of spare parts in the market forces owners to outsource from Japan and other countries. 

There is a saying that goes – desperation breeds innovation. Unintentionally, grafting Mitsubishi Lancer Evo parts on a Proton Wira has led to a thriving and innovative community in Malaysian car culture. Some have managed to convert the Proton Wira to all-wheel drive (AWD) and shorten the wheelbase to resemble the real deal. 

At the end of the day, we don’t have the right to say how one should dress up their vehicle. Taste is subjective after all. However, should you wish to swap in parts or badges from another make and model, do consult local laws first before doing so. 

This article was originally written by Wapcar – Less than RM 3k to convert from a Proton Inspira, here’s how to tell a fake Evo X

*Disclaimer: CARSOME does not condone any illegal modifications on your vehicle. We urge you to do your own research on local laws and consult JPJ for any inquiries before doing so.*


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