BANGKOK, Nov. 12 (Kyodo) — Thailand's subsidiary of Honda Motor Co. on Monday began a new production line of mid-displacement motorcycles at its factory in the Thai capital.

Thai Honda Manufacturing Co. President Shunichi Eguchi said the new CBR500 motorcycle production is a "challenge" for Honda in Thailand, where only small-displacement motorcycles have been produced since 1967.

Most of the new Thai-made motorcycles will be exported to worldwide destinations including Japan, the United States and European countries, according to Eguchi.

Honda has manufactured more than 21.69 million units of motorcycles having smaller displacement of 100 to 250 cubic centimeters from the Thai plant since 1967. Among them, nearly 1 million units have been exported to 57 countries since 1988.

Currently, the Thai Honda plant has a capacity of producing 1.65 million units a year.