Honda Vietnam Co. (HVN), the largest motorcycle maker in Vietnam, has announced it will turn out 10,000 more Air Blade scooters in July, buoyed by increasingly strong local demand.
Koji Onishi, general director of the company, said at the launch of a new Air Blade FI model at the Bitexco Financial Tower in HCM City last week that it would increase its Air Blade production capacity to 40,000 units per month from the current 30,000.
The increase will help to meet the local demand which has been running high since the Air Blade’s debut in 2007. The scooter prompted an instant buying spree after it was put on the market.
Despite the strong demand, the company has been unable to scale up production as its factory in the northern province of Vinh Phuc is running at full capacity.
Honda Vietnam has been increasing the capacity of its second factory that mainly produces scooters including Air Blade, SH, Click, and Lead. The cost of the expansion plan is $70 million and when in place, the facility will be able to churn out 500,000 units per year.
With this new expansion, HVN’s total motorcycle and scooter production capacity will reach two million units a year, which is also the 2011 sales target. HVN’s market share reached 64 percent in 2010.
Sales of automatic transmission (AT) scooters are selling well in Vietnam. Since the introduction of Air Blade, Honda Vietnam has sold 950,000 units.
The new Air Blade FI is equipped with more conveniences such as a remote response key system, a centre console and a larger U-box.
The new scooter is officially available on April 12 at Honda Exclusively Authorised Dealers (HEAD) nationwide with a suggested retail price of nearly 36 million dong for the red, black and white types, and nearly 37 million dong for the sporty colors: black red, and white red (VAT included).