LAHORE - The production of Atlas Honda Limited’s upgraded motorcycles plant will be introduced in the market by the beginning of October this year under the company’s expansion project.

“The expansion would lead to the generation of 1,800 direct jobs and a further 5,000 jobs at its associate companies and part manufacturing partners. The company has already announced an investment plan of $100 million for the expansion of its motorcycle operations in Pakistan. A three-year expansion plan has already been implemented to double the installed capacity of its Sheikhupura factory, near Lahore, from the existing 0.6 million to over 1.2 million units per annum,’ said company’s officials on the sidelines of Pakistan Auto Show 2016.

‘In this regard, an investment of around $50 million would be made directly by Atlas Honda, whereas $30 million would be invested by Atlas Honda’s associated companies and a further $20 million by the company’s parts suppliers to expand their own respective facilities,’ said spokesman of the company.

The company’s mother plant is based in Karachi, spread over 5 acres. ‘Atlas Group signed technical agreement with Honda in 1963 and plant started commercial production subsequently. In 1964, production began with 7 motorcycles per day. Now plant production has reached to 525 units a day,’ he said.

Besides manufacturing Honda CD 70, officials added, the plant produces various value added auto parts for in-house consumption as well as catering the demand of after sale market. ‘The larger of the two plants is situated in Sheikhupura city, Punjab. This plant has the country’s largest in-house manufacturing facility,’ they said.

They said the plant was built in 1981 and spread over an area of 27 acres with the establishment of modern and synchronized 500K plant in 2006. ‘Presently, the plant is equipped for producing 850k units per annum. The plant manufactures all six models i.e. CD 70, CD Dream 70cc, Pridor 100cc, CG 125, CG Dream 125cc and CG 125 Deluxe,’ they said.

Meanwhile, Chief Operating Officer of Indus Motors Company Ali Asghar Jamali said that the company remains committed to uphold the spirit of continuous localization as cornerstone of its strategy. “We are proud of the localization achieved in 25 years since formation. Through the efforts of local vendors and suppliers, we were able to achieve over 65% localization in ‘Corolla’, he added. He said that IMC is showcasing the locally manufactured New Fortuner TRD and VIGO GX PLUS and a special cut body of Corolla has also been put on displayed in the auto exhibition held in Lahore to highlight the localized parts. Cut body will facilitate the visitors to analyze the quality and efficacy of localized components used in cars which are at par with international standards. On the issue of development of local vendor industry Jamali said, “We are continuously working with the local suppliers and vendors to implement supplier improvement initiatives aimed to achieve quality alignment with the outside world so that Pakistan’s automotive industry becomes globally competitive”.