Saturday, February 11, 2012 5:45 PM
Boon Siew Honda to shift bike production to Batu Kawan
SEBERANG PERAI: Honda motorcycle distributor Boon Siew Honda Sdn Bhd will build a one-stop motorcycle production facility in Batu Kawan here to replace the existing Mak Mandin plant in Butterworth.
Contruction of the new facility on a 23.3ha site began at the end of last year and is scheduled for completion in the first half of 2013.
Company managing director and chief executive officer Satoshi Okada said the new plant will be five times larger than the existing plant with an annual production capacity of 350,000 units.
"We will build our new plant under the concept of an environmentally-responsible and people-friendly plant.
"It will deploy various advanced technologies such as a solar photovoltaic system, high coating efficiency technologies and a highly efficient electrodeposition coating line for volatile organic compounds (VOCs)," he said after the ground-breaking ceremony here today.
Also present were Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA) director Zabidah Daud, Honda Motor Co. Ltd managing officer Hiroshi Kobayashi, and Oriental Holdings and Boon Siew Honda chairman Datuk Loh Cheng Yean.
The current plant makes six motorcycle models - the EX5 Dream, Wave 100, Wave Dash, Wave 110, Wave 125 and the Icon - for the local market.
Production of the six models will continue at the new RM200 million facility and there are plans to produce models with medium-sized engines as well as high-value-added models to meet the needs of more customers.
"Several operations such as head office, parts centre, safety riding centre and motorsports department, located in different locations in Penang, will be transferred to this new facility," he said.
He said Malaysia is among the top Asean nations in terms of gross domestic product, with one out of every three people owning a motorcycle.
"Industry-wide motorcycle sales have been steady at a level of around 500,000 units a year. We strongly believe that we can improve our performance effectiveness and operational efficiency and thus provide higher level products and services all under one roof," he said.
Boon Siew Honda, a joint venture between Oriental Holdings Bhd and Honda Motor Co Ltd, is the market leader for motorcycles with a 45 per cent share. It sold some 220,000 units in 2010.
Since local production of Honda motorcycles started in 1969, a total of 4.23 million units have been manufactured.