Honda de México is spending US$22 million dollars this year to increase production capacity in its passenger car parts business and to build a 12,500 square-metre parts warehouse at its complex in El Salto, Jalisco state, according to company president and managing director Jun Asano.

Autonewsmexico.com said he also confirmed earlier statements that Honda would invest a further $30 million in 2006 to augment vehicle and parts assembly at the site in western Mexico. Some of the money would be used to purchase a new injection machine used in the production of plastic bumpers.

Speaking at a ceremony marking the Mexican company's 20th anniversary and its 10th as a vehicle assembler, Asano said that over the past decade Honda had produced 153,000 passenger cars in El Salto (in addition to 265,000 motorbikes over the past 20 years).

In the past two decades Honda, he said, had invested US$150 million dollars in developing its two assembly plants, one for passenger cars and another for motorbikes.

The company employs 1,400 people in El Salto and assembled 19,682 vehicles in the year to end-October, 8.3% up on the same period in 2004. Of these, 12,348 were exported, 3.4% more than in the first 10 months of last year.

Honda Mexico exports vehicles and parts to North and South America and Japan, and retailed 28,367 new vehicles locally from January 1 to end-October, 25.5% up on the same period a year earlier.