New concept in exterior and interior styling

KHALID BUTT, Bureau Chief, Lahore
Aug 07 - 13, 2006

Honda Atlas Cars (Pakistan) Limited launched the long awaited 8th generation CIVIC in a glittering and elegantly set up press conference and display of the new car in Lahore. The car can genuinely be called the future made available today. Very rightly nicked as CIVIC - Reborn due to its completely new concept, styling and technology. Speaking at the largely attended function Mr. M Takedagawa, Operating officer of Honda Motor Company said Honda aims to gain competitive advantage by being the first to meet the evolving needs of the customers. By remaining proactive in approach, Honda invests heavily in Research & Development. He said operating in 29 countries, Honda and its affiliated companies operate 130 plants employing 150,000 people. Talking about Civic he said, to most Civic defines Honda and has been purchased by 16 million customers in 160 countries of the world. He highlighted the great success the 8th generation civic has had world over winning many awards. He expressed his confidence that the CIVIC Reborn will match the passion that the car users have for Honda in Pakistan. In the end he reiterated Honda's commitment to Pakistan market. Mr Yousuf H. Shirazi Chairman Honda Atlas Cars (Pakistan) Limited during his wide ranging speech gave an over view of operations in Pakistan terming quality and merit as the anchor of all aspects of business. He shared that the company grew from 308 associates in 1994 with total annual wages of RS. 28.3 million to 1197 associates now with annual wages of RS. 284 Million selling 115 thousand cars. He highlighted that Honda Atlas Cars has contributed RS. 31.1 billion to government exchequer since its inception, has paid 1257 million as dividends and is investing 3.5 billion on capacity expansion. Talking of the industry Mr. Shirazi said the industry is investing in capacity expansion. Plans under execution are of Rs.11 billion from OEMs in addition to investment of RS 5 billion by the vendors. He regretted the government's relaxation afforded to new entrants to import 100% CKD at 35% customs duty for three years in addition to liberalizing import of used cars which resulted in influx of 45,479 units this year against 11,877 the last year. He termed it as a negation of governments own policy of value addition through manufacturing and technology transfer. He also said that reduction of customs duty on import of CBU-cars through several schemes at the time when automobile industry is involved in heavy investment in capacity building bring in a negative message and should not happen in whatsoever circumstances. He said there are some miss conceptions about WTO and SAFTA, neither are against protection to local industry as is obvious in the USA, Europe and India. A suitable protection must be ensured to encourage local investment, production and employment in national interest as elsewhere in the world. Mr. M. Suwama the President and CEO of the company, in his speech gave the history of the phenomenal success that Civic has had in Pakistan, the image that Honda enjoys for its quality and substance. He highlighted Honda's dedication to giving the best to its customers through its dealer network and gave details of dealer network expansion plan at hand. He shared that very shortly the plant expansion with a capacity to produce 50,000 cars per annum will be completed. Talking of the 8th generation Civic he said this is a car that will reverse the thinking of the car buyers by offering everything new and of its own class. Mr. Ayaz Hafeez G.M Marketing & Planning Division, earlier in his brief gave out the salient characteristics of the new car detailing the new concept in exterior and interior styling, totally new engine and other important aspects of the car.