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October 16, 2016

Atlas Honda kick-starts test production from Sheikhupura plant


October 16, 2016

SHEIKHUPURA: Atlas Honda Limited (AHL), Pakistan’s leading motorcycle manufacturer, on Saturday kick-started the test production from its new plant in the Punjab’s industrial city, which the company said can produce 1.2 million units per year.

Atlas Honda – a joint venture between Atlas Group and Japanese Honda Motor Co. Ltd – had earlier unveiled $100 million investment plan for the expansion of the production capacity of its factory in Sheikhupura, 40 kilometre northwest of Lahore. 

“We announced our investment sometime back for the expansion of our motorcycle operations in Pakistan. And, today we have achieved this,” Raziur Rahman, a company’s spokesman told journalists during their visit to the site.

The new production line started test production, while regular production will begin from 20 October.

Established in 1963, AHL is engaged in manufacturing and marketing of Honda motorcycle and parts in the country. It has an annual output capacity of 900,000 units from its two plants in Sheikhupura and Karachi.

Atlas Group’s first plant in Karachi, spreading over five acres, started commercial production after signing of an agreement with Honda in 1963.

The next year the production began with seven motorcycles per day. Now, the plant production has reached to 550 units a day.

The Sheikhupura’s factory was already the biggest. This plant has also the country’s largest in-house manufacturing facility. The plant was built in 1981 and spreading over 27 acres.

Rahman said the upgraded plant holds a capacity to manufacture 3,000 units per day. All the six brands, CD 70, CD Dream 70cc, Pridor 100cc, CG 125, CG Dream 125cc and CG 125 Deluxe can be produced.

“The five-year expansion plan has already been implemented to double the installed capacity of our Sheikhupura factory from the existing 0.6 million to over 1.2 million units per annum,” he added.

In Pakistan, motorcycle production has already crossed two million units mark a year. There are more than 60 motorcycle makers operating in the country.

He said the expansion will generate 5,650 direct and indirect jobs in the company, its associated companies and vending industry.

He said the company will continue to invest in new model development and machinery, dies molds, fittings and fixtures that are needed for an array of new models and variants that the company is planning to launch.

“AHL is widely recognised as the impetus behind the larger and growing two-wheeler industry of Pakistan as it brought about technology transfers and laid the ground for a huge and technically capable vendor base to train human resource in the area,” Rahman said.

In addition to $100 million, AHL’s associated companies and parts suppliers will also invest $60 million to expand their facilities and to develop capacities needed for new models to be introduced over the next five years.

Atlas Honda produces various value-added auto parts for in-house consumption as well as catering to the demand of after-sale market.

The company also exports bikes to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Currently, it is exporting between 4,000 and 5,000 motorcycles a year.

Atlas Honda contributed Rs11 billion in taxes to the national exchequer in the fiscal year 2015/16.

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