TOKYO: Honda Motor Corp started building a second production line at its Malacca plant in Malaysia on Thursday where it will build hybrid and small-sized vehicles as local demand grows for green cars, the Japanese automaker said.
The new line, which will start operating by end of 2013, will produce small cars such as the Jazz, known as the Fit in Japan, as well as hybrid vehicles, Honda said.
The capacity at the plant will be doubled to 100,000 vehicles. Honda, which will invest a total of about $110 million for the line, said it plans to hire about 700 people once it is running.
Last year, Honda sold 4,600 hybrid vehicles in Malaysia, its largest market for hybrid cars in Southeast Asia. The automaker plans to more than double sales to about 10,000 vehicles this year.
To meet growing demand, it will start producing the Jazz hybrid locally at the end of this year using the Malacca plant's existing line until the new line is set up.
Honda currently manufactures vehicles including the Civic compact cars and flagship Accord at the Malacca plant.