Monday, July 23, 2012

Honda expands Malaysia assembly plant (TOVA coverage)

On July 19th 2012, Honda made the announcement that they are expanding their Malaysia assembly plant located in Pegoh, Melaka. While this expansion have been talked about for many years now, it has been an 'off again/on again' affair AFAIK, due to the development of the automobile industry in Malaysia and how Honda perceives it. However unforeseen and uncontrollable situations last year clearly made Honda decide to expand and spread out their operations and this is one of the outcome.

The expansion of the plant includes three new additions: an assembly plant which Honda calls the "No. 2 Line", a new PDI or Post-Delivery-Inspection, and a new test track. The new "No. 2 Line" is slated for the assembly of 'entry level' models, which I believe is meant to be the City and Jazz. An intriguing thought would be the possibility of Honda Malaysia assembling the new Brio mini-car here as well.

The PDI is where cars rolling off the assembly lines are sent for preparation for delivery to customers. It is here where the accessories, including things like the wheels and alarm system, are added to the car. This two stage process is necessary to manage the cost of duties which Honda has to pay for each car assembled and sold. Finally, the new test track is 2.1km long and is meant to allow Honda a more comprehensive testing to ensure the QA of their cars. This track is located right at the back of the plant grounds and includes a very long straight section and has a 'speed limit' of 140kph (around 80mph).

The photo above is of a model of the plant including the new 'No. 2 line'. The new buildings are at the back, greyish in colour while those in white colour are the existing buildings for the 'No. 1 line'. For those who have visited the factory before, the main entrance which is flanked by the visitors carpark on the left and the football field on the right is at the bottom middle of the photo. The PDI (post delivery inspection) area is on the far right. The 'main straight' of the 2.1km test track can just be seen right at the edge of the model in the back.

Work is actually already in progress for this expansion and at the grounds laying ceremony, I can see heavy vehicles working on the expansion grounds. At the moment, construction is mostly complete for the PDI and for the No. 2 Line, around 18% of the piling works has been completed. The PDI will be opened for operations soon while the new No. 2 Line is scheduled to be completed in a year's time, around July 2013, in time for a two-months trial run and then full production planned for October 2013.

Honda says the new line should allow annual production of the plant to reach 100,000 units or 800 units a day which is double the current output. This is timely and very important as Honda's annual sales target have now begun to exceed the 50,000 units mark and they have to depend on the not entirely certain availability of CBU (full imported) models to make up the sales target.

The photos below are wall charts that accompanied the model display above which provides more details of the plant expansion. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read the test speed up to 140kph for the test track and I LOL. I remember reading some complaints about some of Honda's cars problem where there was a windsheld air pressure leak which only happens above 140++.. I guess most Malaysians like to take their cars to extreme speeds on highways, and Honda had to take into account for the local 'autobahn' effect....

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