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Honda adds new Swindon shift for Civic and 700 new jobs

Employment at Honda’s Swindon car plant is to increase by 700 to 4,900 as a further shift is added to meet European demand for the new Civic; output will increase to 250,000 cars per year during 2007, and the all new Honda CR-V, which makes its world debut this week at the Paris Motor Show, will be built in Swindon and will go on sale from January 2007.

Honda will produce 190,000 cars in the UK in 2006. In the first eight months of this year, Honda Motor Europe sold more Civics than in the whole of 2005, a 30% increase.

Dave Hodgetts, Director of Planning and Administration at Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd commented: “This next phase of development for Honda is a massive vote of confidence in all our Associates working at the Swindon Plant and clearly demonstrates Honda’s long-term commitment to the region and to British manufacturing.”

Recruitment will start immediately and while the majority of jobs are in production, there are also employment opportunities for purchasing specialists and maintenance engineers.

Honda celebrated 20 years of its Swindon operation earlier this year, and is funding this next phase of development through increased efficiency without the need for any further investment in plant infrastructure to the £1.33 billion already invested.

Honda’s expansion was welcomed yesterday by David Malpass, operations director of Accelerate, the DTI-sponsored initiative which supports automotive suppliers in the Midlands.

He told the Birmingham Post: "Because of Honda's links to Rover in the past, many companies in the Midlands already supply Swindon. (Honda has about 100 UK-based suppliers.) The increase in production is extremely welcome and will lead to significant amounts of work for them.

"It shows Honda is investing here and is committed to UK manufacturing. Toyota is the same. We've got a lot of tier 1 suppliers into Toyota. I know they are asking for companies to supply the whole of their European production. This fits with the message we have been saying; firms need to think European. Our firms will be able to go after the increased production in the rest of Europe."

- Vehicle production in Japan jumped 15.7% to 811,944 units in August from 701,990 units recorded for the same month last year, reported Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. Passenger car production rose 15.8% to 678,706 units, number of trucks manufactured increased 14% to 126,445 units and production of buses surged 33% to 6,793 units from a year ago.

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Honda adds new Swindon shift for Civic and 700 new jobs
Japanese Import Car, New & Used Car, 2007