Car manufacturer Honda announced that it has already made 500,000 automobiles in Brazil since September 1997, when it started producing passenger vehicles in the country. At the factory in Sumaré, interior of the state of São Paulo, in Southeast Brazil, the New Civic and Fit models are manufactured.
Civic was the first auto manufactured in the country by the Japanese brand. Fit, in turn, started being produced in April 2003. In addition to supplying the Brazilian market, Honda Brazil exports vehicles to Argentina, Peru, Chile, Mexico and other Latin American countries.
Similar to other assembly companies installed in the country, Honda makes flex-fuel automobiles, which run on gasoline, ethanol, or any mix of the two. According to the press office at the company, the introduction of the New Civic and Fit models with flex-fuel engines, in 2006, impacted positively on sales, which grew 27% in 2007.
The factory currently has capacity to produce 137,600 vehicles a year, working three shifts. Early on, production capacity totaled 15,000 units per year. In August, according to the company, the plant will start manufacturing 650 automobiles per day, as against the current 550.
This increase in production will be made possible by the inauguration, which took place in May, of a new unit named Power Train, responsible for manufacturing engines and gearboxes. According to the company, the plant has an area of 13,500 square meters (145,313 square feet) and has a production capacity of 12,500 units per month in three shifts.
A second production line will start operating in the second half of 2009, as premises will be expanded to 17,000 square meters (182,986 sq feet), and production capacity to 16,300 units per month. The Power Train plant received investment of 130 million reais (US$ 80.9 million), according to the company.