Earlier today, Honda Malaysia announced that its local assembly operations had reached a historical milestone with the production of its 600,000th unit at its Pegoh plant in Alor Gajah, Malacca.

The milestone was celebrated at an event in the plant, which began operations in January 2003 with the assembly of CR-V, City, Civic and Accord models on its No.1 Line. Production capacity of the plant was 50,000 units a year, and in the first 11 years of operation, production at Pegoh amounted to 300,000 units.

The introduction of a second line in Oct 2013 – which was officially commissioned in January 2014 – doubled output, and the move to a two-shift production later that year further spurred the jump in the build numbers, according to Honda Malaysia MD and CEO Katsuto Hayashi.

“We achieved 300,000 production units in just three years as compared to 11 years taken earlier to reach the first 300,000 units,” he said. The 600,000th vehicle that rolled out of the No.2 Line was a facelifted City model.

Today, both assembly lines have a combined production capacity of 100,000 units per annum, and produce seven models (Accord, City, Civic, CR-V, Jazz, HR-V and BR-V) for the local market. Line one builds the new Civic, Accord and CR-V as well as the City, which is also assembled at the second line alongside the Jazz, HR-V and BR-V.

The automaker said that the Pegoh complex – which sits on 748,668 sq ft of land area and has a built-up area of 128,837 sq ft – has a flexible production capacity that can produce multiple models at the same time, enabling the company to meet market demands and limit the waiting period for customers when there is a surge in bookings for certain models.

For example, it said the waiting period for the BR-V is only one to two months long despite there being nearly close to 10,000 bookings so far for the SUV, which is 12 times of its monthly sales target. It added that the waiting period for all Honda models is now just one to two months on average.

Some of the latest technologies applied at Pegoh – which has a staff count of 3,262 personnel as of January 2017 – include an automated smart general welding machine for improved body frame production as well as an international standard painting facility comprising wall-mounted spray robots, which help ensure better spray pattern control, a more precise coating thickness and inproved paint consumption.

The facility also has a custom-built 2.1 km-long test course that puts every vehicle that comes out of the production line through a road test to ensure they meet the necessary quality and defined standards.

Built over six months in 2012 at a cost of RM7.1 milion, the small test track benchmarks Malaysian roads and features seven types of surfaces (hump, wavy, up/down, cobble stone, Belgian, pothole and slippery roads) and trials acceleration, braking and transmission-related aspects during vehicle testing. Every dynamic verification takes around seven minutes to complete.

Aside from the production facilities, Pegoh has three pre-delivery inspection yards, which handles inspection and car preparation as well as storage and delivery aspectes. The first, completed in June 2012, has a 2,500 unit capacity, while the second, completed in Nov 2013, is able to accomodate 1,350 units. The newest, Yard 3, which came into service in August 2015, is also the biggest, and can handle 8,690 units.

Also present at the event today were Seiji Kuraishi, the executive vice president, executive officer and representative director of Honda Motor and Noriaki Abe, COO of regional operations (Asia & Oceania), Honda Motor. Abe also holds the office of president and CEO of Asian Honda Motor.