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Honda To Invest £267m At Swindon Plant

Published: September 6, 2012 | 8:27 am
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Honda has announced that it is to invest £267m in its Swindon plant, where it plans to double production by the end of the year.
The Japanese car giant will now produce the new Civic and CR-V models, as well as a new 1.6 litre diesel engine at the UK site.

Over 500 new workers have been hired to build the new products, taking the total workforce at the Swindon plant to 3,500.

It is the biggest investment in the site by Honda in over a decade, with production expected to double by the end of 2012 to 183,000 cars – rising to 250,000 over the next three years.

Honda CR-V
Honda’s CR-V is described as a compact sports utility vehicle

The managing director of Honda UK, Dave Hodgetts, said: “This investment programme underpins Honda’s commitment to manufacturing in Britain and to our UK workforce.

“It also reaffirms the Swindon plant’s position as the cornerstone of Honda’s European operations, as it has been for over 20 years.”

But he added that the global economic downturn had affected the company.

“The European market is obviously in decline – you can’t argue with that,” he said.

“The only market in Europe that really is quite strong is the UK market.”

His comments come as new figures show that car registrations in Britain increased slightly year-on-year in August.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said that the market grew by 0.1% last month – but highlighted that August is typically a quiet month.

Between January and August this year, new car sales have increased by 3.3% compared to 2011.

Business Secretary Vince Cable welcomed Honda’s announcement as “great news”.

“This multi-million pound investment by Honda in its 20th year of car production in the UK is great news for Swindon and the automotive sector,” he said.

“Having created a host of new jobs, the investment supports the Government’s ambition to encourage new investment and exports as a route to renewed growth and a more balanced economy.”

Around 60% of the cars and engines built at the Swindon factory are exported to over 60 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Australia.

Meanwhile, Ford is preparing to unveil its new Mondeo, which it describes as a “game changer”.

The new family car, which will be revealed at an event in Amsterdam, will be fitted with the company’s one litre so-called Ecoboost petrol engine to make it more efficient.

Head of product development at Ford Of Europe, Barb Samardzich, said that the new car delivers “cutting-edge technology that delivers a very real and tangible customer benefit”.

news.sky.com

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