Honda Motor Corp has announced that it will be producing hybrid vehicles in Malaysia, starting with the Jazz Hybrid.
The Japanese automaker held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction of its second automobile production line at the existing auto plant in Malacca, Malaysia. The new line, which will start operating by end of 2013, will produce small cars such as the Jazz, known as the Fit in Japan, as well as hybrid vehicles, Honda said.
This means that when the first Jazz Hybrid rolls out of the Melaka plant later this year, Honda will be the first manufacturer to produce hybrid cars in Malaysia. Currently, Honda hybrid vehicles are made only in Japan and the USA.
The capacity at the plant will be doubled to 100,000 vehicles. Honda, which will invest a total of about $110 million for the line, said it plans to hire about 700 people once it is running.
Honda Malaysia was the largest hybrid vehicle seller in Malaysia in 2011 with about 4,600 units sold and it plans to sell about 10,000 units in 2012.
Moreover, preceding the construction of the second production line, Honda Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (HMSB) has expanded its test course and Pre-delivery Inspection (PDI) site. In addition, a new automated welding facility was introduced to the existing line timed to the local production of the all-new Civic which went on sale on July 12, 2012.