The cornerstones of a lasting business relationship: Friendship, Trust, Steadfastness and Collaboration.
The key pillar of Atlas Honda’s success is a partnership built on strong foundations. It was half a century ago in 1963 when Atlas Group and Honda Motor Company Limited, signed the technical collaboration agreement for motorcycle manufacturing in Pakistan. This agreement was the promise of a lasting partnership.
Over the years, Pakistan faced numerous economic and socio-political challenges. Each decade brought its own difficulties,ranging from military coups, import embargoes, the East Pakistan War, Nationalization, Afghan refugee crisis and the war on terror. However, the partnership proved to be inseparable. Ups and downs are part and parcel of any business environment. However, it is the willingness to stand by each other in difficult times that defines the strength of collaboration. An ideal bond of friendship and trust, the partnership between Atlas Group and Honda Motor stood tall in the face of adversity, survived the test of time and evolved into an exemplary association for all to appreciate.
Over the course of this journey, Honda Motor supported Atlas Honda Limited (the Company) in all aspects of business. It shared its technical expertise and allowed Company‘s engineers to be trained at its modernized facilities. It helped the Company in developing the vendor industry in Pakistan as well as in implementing vendors’ training programs. Honda Motor played a significant role in the localization process of imported parts and has been pivotal in the launch of each model. Needless to say, Honda Motor’s contribution in propelling the Company to the top of the Pakistan’s corporate ladder has been monumental.
Atlas Group and Honda Motor are closer than ever today, holding true to the promise made by Mr. Yusuf H. Shirazi and Mr.Soichiro Honda five decades ago. The management of Atlas Group is proud of its affiliation with Honda Motor and hopes that this partnership flourishes generation after generation in the years to come.
Like a responsible member of society, Atlas Honda parented the local vendor industry until it stood on its own feet, resulting in enhancement of engineering skills in Pakistan and creation of thousands of jobs.
While Atlas Honda Limited (the Company) embraced itself for being the torch bearer of the two wheeler market in the country, a challenge soon appeared: Affordability.Machineries, technology and most raw materials were initially imported from abroad. Motorcycles were not cheap to make due to devaluation of Pak Rupee. Also, the pocket of the consumer was limited on account of inflation. Rising costs were pushing the sales price upwards and reducing consumers’ purchasing power. Further, socio-political instability didn’t make life any easier and played its part in increasing cost of production.
Something needed to be done. A balanced response was required in order to keep motorcycles affordable for customers,keeping business profitable for shareholders and saving precious foreign reserves of the country. The solution was in localization; a step by step approach of developing local vendors and maintaining the same quality standards which were associated with foreign suppliers. This process not only changed the Company, but became the cornerstone of its business philosophy.
The idea was to develop engineering competences along with manufacturing capacities locally, in order to reduce reliance on imports. The Company realized the importance of localization very early in its journey and the process commenced in the late 1970s. Throughout the years, numerous parts and machineries were localized: frame body, fuel tank, hub & panel, CDI and regulators in the 1980s; crankcase, headlights and rims in the 1990s; counter shaft, main shaft, gear, ACG and crank shaft in the first decade of the new millennium are just a few of many components that were successfully localized.
Due to this emphasis on localization, the Company has played a major role in development of local vendor industry in Pakistan. It provided technological and financial assistance to vendors. Honda Motor Company Limited also played its part by providing the necessary training and monitoring of quality standards. In a country dominated by agriculture and textiles, developing intellectual knowledge of an industry previously unknown was not an easy task. Numerous obstacles came in the way. However, the steadfast dedication of the Company resulted in great achievements on account of localization. Like a responsible member of society, the Company parented the local vendor industry until it stood on its own feet, resulting in enhancement of engineering skills in Pakistan and creation of thousands of jobs. The Company continues to support the vendors in all ways possible and conducted various programs for improving quality and capacity of vendors.
Today, the Company is proud to claim that 93% of its motorcycle components have been successfully localized. Localization is a continuous process that is monitored against annual targets at a strategic level. One of the Company’s greatest achievements in its 50 years history is the creation and development of the local vendor industry. With rising inflation and increasing pressure on local currency, localization will continue to remain one of the key principles and an integral part of management’s long-term strategy. The ultimate objective is to achieve 100% localization and the Company is well on its way towards achieving that dream.
When it comes to precision and technology, Atlas Honda Limited has always been proactive in its research and development to produce a combination of quality and technologically advanced landmark products.
In a constantly evolving business environment, creating the right value proposition for the relevant customer is a key challenge. Technology plays an important role in the entire process. When it comes to precision and technology, Atlas Honda Limited (the Company) remains proactive in producing a combination of quality and technologically advanced products. Every Honda two-wheeler comes with a promise of delivering solid performance, high durability and amazing fuel efficiency. That is why in every era, the Company manufactured iconic models such as C 50, C 90, MB 100, CD 70 and CG 125 and created unforgettable memories in the hearts and minds of Honda lovers.
In a competitive market dominated by 2-stroke motorcycles, the Company introduced the 4-stroke technology and set the stage for a bright, economy-driven future. The Honda CD 70 and CG 125 continue to win the hearts of the customers, and are to date, the most successful models in the Company’s production lineup with the highest share in the motorcycle market.
Environment sustainability lies at the core of our manufacturing process and is a key hallmark of the Company. By aligning itself with international standards and adapting to the demands of the market, the Company was the first to manufacture Euro II emission controlled engines for a healthy and green environment.
The forward looking philosophy that nurtured Atlas Honda motorcycles, from concept to production, is also responsible for making the Company a flag bearer of environment friendly motorcycles in Pakistan. Recognizing sustainability as a platform for innovation, the Company has positioned the next generation environment friendly motorcycle as an area of continued business focus. Further, the strengthening of existing strategic alliances and creation of new frontiers of technological collaborations will create an unmatched value proposition for the targeted customer and provide the foundation to put this dream into motion.
A slogan that resonated with the target audience, boosting the sales to record highs.
In every era, Atlas Honda’s advertising has left its mark. Whether it was the grandeur of the MB 100 television commercial of the 70’s; the power of ‘Aik litre, Aik bhi bohat hae, Aik litre mein 70 kilometer’ of the 80’s; or the persuasiveness of ‘Cash Deposit 70’ of the 90’s, Atlas Honda Limited (the Company) has always set new standards of communication in the category.
The communication challenge identified at the start of this millennium was: to occupy a permanent place in the hearts and minds of the people of Pakistan. This complex communication task was turned into reality through an advertising campaign that became an instant hit. The retelling of how the famous slogan, ‘Mein Te Honda-i Le Saan’ came to pass and how it shaped the positioning of Honda motorcycles is not just a mere anecdote, but an account of the sheer power of words and the impact it had on the Company’s history.
Consumer connects and research done on the target audience revealed that the rural man demanded a fuel-efficient bike, combined with looks that made a statement. The overwhelming reality witnessed was that: given a choice, everyone’s wish was to get a Honda. Getting a Honda represented the fulfillment of their dreams, and that is exactly the sentiment captured by the five words ‘Mein Te Honda-i Le Saan’; a slogan that resonated with the target audience, boosting the sales to record highs.
It was the first time a major national brand had adopted a vernacular dialect in its slogan. Capitalizing on the exponential viewership growth of satellite channels, a series of television commercials were launched with imagery of lush green fields and a reflection of the hospitality and culture of the land, strengthened by the powerful musical score of ‘Mere dil pe Honda raj kare’. The campaign was an instant hit. The line ‘Mein Te Honda-i Le Saan’ achieved almost cult status and it became part of all subsequent advertising. The campaign also won numerous advertising awards.
With a focus on the aspiring urban youth, the latest set of television commercials are bolder, modern, reflecting a dynamism that does justice to the image of Honda motorcycles, as it looks ahead with The Power of Dreams.
Over the next several years, these high level commitments would be translated by aspiring to enrich customer experiences.
Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, Atlas Honda Limited’s (the Company) journey to the next fifty years is about to begin. The genesis and growth of the Company over the past fifty years is a great success story. A success based on entrepreneurial flair of Mr. Yusuf H. Shirazi, his commercial acumen and the spirit to push the boundaries and move beyond the horizon.
In the coming decades, “Atlas Way” will remain the guiding principle for the Company to inculcate a value system that helps the Company to excel. To excel in its drive for continuous improvement and to realize its passion to deliver sustainable solutions to customers is at the heart of Company’s mission… to fulfill the dreams for the future!
Over the next several years, these high level commitments would be translated by aspiring to enrich customer experiences through our planned foray into new motorcycle segments.
The new model line is set to offer distinct styling, handling, riding and overall build quality to an unprecedented degree and will strengthen the Company as the powerhouse of technology. Building on the momentum generated by recent successful product launches, the Company is also exploring a range of innovative concepts in other product segments. These game changing initiatives are set to put the Company two wheelers in driveways of a wider and more diverse range of customers, thus marking an entry into “the million club” of sales.
The path ahead is fundamentally different than the one the Company has travelled. In the decades ahead, the solutions needed for achievement of goals must be systematic, sustainable and futuristic. Weaving social and environmental approaches into innovative business strategy and operations, Atlas Honda is embarking on a new journey. The next 50 years will see Atlas Honda transform the evolving societies and changing resources – all with its iconic style, performance and value.