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Honda to invest $100m to raise output

Honda to invest $100m to raise output

KARACHI: Atlas Honda Limited (AHL), a joint venture of Atlas Group and Honda Motor Company, will invest $100 million for expansion of its motorcycle operations in Pakistan.

In its meeting held on Friday, the board of directors of the company approved a three-year expansion plan to double the installed capacity of its Sheikhupura factory from the existing 0.6 million to over 1.2 million units per annum.

Out of total investment, around 50 million will be invested directly by Atlas Honda followed by $30 million by Atlas Honda’s associated companies and a further $20 million by the company’s parts suppliers to expand their own respective facilities.

The first motorcycle is expected to roll off the new line by the beginning of October 2016. The expansion will generate 1,800 direct jobs and a further 5,000 jobs at its associate companies and part manufacturing partners.

Atlas Honda Limited, established in 1963, currently has two production plants — one in Karachi and the second near Lahore. After the expansion, the combined assembly capacity of the company will rise to above 1.3 million units a year.

Saquib H. Shirazi, CEO of AHL, said given an improved outlook for the economy, the company foresees the demand of motorcycles to rise steadily.

Razi-ur-Rahman, Head of Corporate Affairs, said as part of the expansion, a team of AHL associates has been tasked to help improve not only the technical skills of its vendors and dealers, but to improve management concepts and also focus on environment issues, like reduction in carbon imprint at their premises.

Atlas Foundation is in the process of building a Technical Skills Institute near Atlas Honda’s Sheikhupura facility, he said, adding that this philosophy is very much in line with the company’s vision to share its knowledge and learning with society.

Honda made 0.62 million bikes from April 2014 to April 2015. The company is eyeing to produce over 0.72 million units by April 2016 as its production capacity would be raised to 1.3 million units.

Published in Dawn, October 31st, 2015

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