For the past 44 years, all of Boon Siew Honda Sdn Bhd's CKD motorcycles have been assembled at its factory located in the Mak Mandin Industrial zone in Seberang Perai. That older assembly plant has recently ceased operation, and all the manufacturing of Honda motorcycles are now handled at the newly-opened factory located at Batu Kawan in Simpang Ampat.
The new plant is about 5 times the size of the older factory, with about 44,000 square meters in building area, 237,000 square meters of site area and employing 1,100 associates.
In addition, the new factory is equipped with the most advanced technology - for its robotic painting process, Boon Siew Honda has utilised the world's first Twin-Gun, which is reputedly 3 times more efficient than previously. Using this co-friendly painting process, the amount of VOC emissions has also been reduced significantly.
Satoshi Okada, the managing director/CEO of Boon Siew Honda Sdn Bhd said: “The facility also deploys a highly-efficient production system with the use of advanced technologies such as solar photovoltaic, high-coating efficiency and an efficient electro-depositing coating line for volatile organic compounds.
“The new streamlined processes not only increase productivity but also contribute to greater energy savings and reduction of manpower and material wastage. The new factory has an annual capacity of 350,000 units. Previously, our CBU assembly process utilised different engine jigs for different models. However, the standardised jig from Japan can be applied to all models. This will definitely lead to a significant increase in the efficiency of the new factory.
"From 2012, the regulations of ECE will be implemented in Malaysia. As one of the many 2-wheel manufacturers in Malaysia, we are proud to be the only factory that fuly complies with the standards on our emission lab and test course. In the future, we want to further expand our business with this advanced technology," said Okada.
Also present at the opening ceremony were Oriental Holding Bhd chairman Datuk Seri Loh Cheng Yean, Honda Motor Co Ltd's president Takanobu Ito and its managing officer, Hiroshi Kobayahsi and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
"The sale of motorcycles had increased by 10.7% to 547,553 units in 2012 while production went up by 9% to 543,088 units from 498,076 units in 2011. Honda's share of the domestic market is a very impressive 46%,” said Mustapa during the official launch of the plant, which started operations last month.
“New technologies will be introduced to achieve greater production efficiencies, including energy savings, reduction in manpower requirements and improved control over waste,” added Mustapa.
He said the National Automotive Policy would promote the development of energy-efficient vehicles as a niche, and will attract investments in high value-added manufacturing using the latest technologies, particularly for the production of energy-efficient vehicles.