Honda Vietnam Co. Ltd. (HVN) begins automotive operations in Vietnam with the launch of the new Civic.

Civic output began Aug. 25 at Honda’s new plant located in the suburbs of Hanoi in Vinh Phuc Province.

The plant has annual capacity for 10,000 units, Honda says, adding it is capable of fully producing an automobile from welding to final assembly. Engines also will be produced at the plant, a first for an auto plant in Vietnam, Honda says.

HVN initially will offer the Civic 4-door sedan with two engine options – a 1.8L or 2.0L. Both will feature i-VTEC variable-valve-timing technology.

HVN forecasts monthly sales of 300 units.

By 2010, Honda says it will have invested $60 million in the plant and in a new sales network.

The operation is expected to create 250 new jobs at HVN and indirectly result in 700 more at dealerships and parts suppliers.