MALACCA: Honda Malaysia reached a historical milestone with the production of the 600,000th vehicle unit in its plant in Pegoh, Malacca today.
In the same event, Honda Malaysia also took delight in its 100,000 sales units achievement for the current financial year ( April 1, 2016 – March 31, 2017) despite the challenging market situation over the past year.
These achievements mark a successful and strong first quarter of 2017 for the company which is renowned for industry-setting benchmarks.
The 600,000th unit production was achieved within a span of 14 years since Honda Malaysia started local assembly in its plant in Pegoh, Malacca.
The 600,000th vehicle was the new City, the B-segment car leader for two years in a row.
The new City was launched on March 2 and recorded close to 3,000 units booked within a month of its launch, 50% more than the monthly target of 2,000 units.
Honda Malaysia has two production lines in the Malacca plant - the No.1 Line which started operations in 2003 and the No.2 Line that began operations in 2014.
Honda Malaysia managing director and chief executive officer Katsuto Hayashi said the addition of the No.2 Line in 2014 had enabled Honda Malaysia to grow at an accelerated rate.
“We achieved 300,000 production units in just three years as compared to 11 years taken earlier to reach the first 300,000 units.
“I believe this was achieved through good strategy and strong challenging spirit from the Honda family.
“With this readily-available facility in Malacca Plant, Honda Malaysia has the spare capacity to fulfill bookings from customers as well as produce the best products for Malaysians,” said Hayashi who delivered his speech in Bahasa Malaysia.
Both No.1 and No.2 Lines produce seven models to cater to wider customer needs as compared to when the plant first started with just four models, the CR-V, City, Civic and Accord. The seven current models assembled at the plant are the Accord, City, Civic, CR-V, Jazz, HR-V and BR-V.
Equipped with advanced technologies, the Malacca plant was built with flexible production capacity that can produce multiple models at the same time in order to meet market demand.
These specially designed production lines and strategic planning have enabled Honda Malaysia to shorten the waiting period for customers when there is a surge in the bookings for certain models.
The waiting period for the BR-V is only one to two months despite the bookings being close to 10,000 units, which is 12 times of its monthly sales target.
The waiting period for other Honda models is also similar with the BR-V’s.
Some of the latest technologies applied in the plant include the automated Smart Welding Machine to produce high rigidity body frame utilising high quality material as well as the international standard painting facility comprising Spray Robots and Under Body Coating which improve the quality of body paint and ensure precise coating thickness.
Meanwhile, the custom-built 2.1km Test Course puts every vehicle that comes out of the production line through rigorous testing to check that it passes the quality and standard, benchmarking the Malaysian roads.
Honda Malaysia spares no effort to ensure that only vehicles that are of the highest global quality standard bear the Honda logo.
These achievements and hard work of its 100% local associates are indeed the pride of Honda Malaysia.
Honda Malaysia attributed their good market acceptance and accelerated growth to the support and cooperation received from numerous parties, especially the Government, members of the media, Honda Assembly, Honda dealers, suppliers, partners and all Honda associates.
In thanking all their stakeholders, Hayashi said, “We thank each and every one for their continuous support. Honda Malaysia will continue to serve our Malaysian customers with quality products as well as excellent after sales service that exceed customers’ expectations.”
Also present at event were Honda Motor Co Ltd executive vice-president, executive officer and representative director Seiji Kuraishi, and Honda Motor regional operations (Asia and Oceania) chief operating officer and Asian Honda Motor president and CEO Noriaki Abe.
Kuraishi, who was the second Honda Malaysia managing director and chief executive officer in 2002 to 2005, was appreciative of Honda Malaysia’s contribution.
He said Honda Malaysia’s growth is due to the efforts and understanding of Honda’s philosophy, vision and way of thinking by the local associates.
Kuraishi said some of the young associates whom he hired over 10 years ago are now managing the company by playing important roles with passion.
He commended Honda Malaysia for attaining No.1 in Non-National segment and No.2 in overall total industry volume (TIV) and expressed gratitude to all Honda dealers and sales associates.
He praised Honda Malaysia for taking top spot as the country that achieved the highest market share among Honda automobile operations globally for the first two months of 2017.
In the meantime, Abe who has been keeping track of Honda Malaysia’s rapid growth over the years commended the internal and external “Team Honda” for the accomplishments and expressed gratitude to all involved.
He congratulated Honda Malaysia on the success of the all-new BR-V which took the No.1 position in the MPV and utility segment in February 2017, outselling the national MPVs. Abe said, “I am glad to see Honda cars being well accepted by Malaysians. This is part of Honda’s strategy in Asia to continue to bring the Joy of Buying to the people in this region.”
Earlier this year, Honda Malaysia introduced the BR-V, a model that was developed in Asia exclusively for Asian countries.
Since its introduction in January, Honda Malaysia has achieved almost 10,000 booking units and more than 5,200 registrations.