The Japanese News Digest reports that Honda Motor Co will double the annual production capacity of its joint venture in Pakistan to 50,000 cars by the end of 2006 from the current 25,000 units.

In order to increase capacity, the joint venture in Pakistan, Honda Atlas Cars (Pakistan), will expand its factory in Pakistan. The groundbreaking ceremony for a major expansion project was held on September 5, 2005. The total project costs are expected at 2.9 bln Japanese yen ($26.5 mln/21.1 mln euro). The workforce of the joint venture is expected to increase to 1,450 by the end of 2006 from the current 1,140.

Overall sales of cars in Pakistan doubled to 133,000 units in 2004 compared to 2001. Honda sold a total of 18,000 cars in the country for the period from January to July 2005, a three-fold increase from the same period of 2004.