Honda’s long term commitment to the UK has been reinforced with the announcement that a further 700 new jobs are being created at its European Car Manufacturing Centre in Swindon, increasing annual production to a 250,000 units a year by the end of 2007.
The news is a massive boost to economy of Swindon and the surrounding region as the company draws nearly all its employees from a thirty mile radius of the town.
Honda will produce 190,000 cars in the UK in 2006. The extra production volume is required to meet the unprecedented European demand for the all new Civic 5 door and 3 door models, exclusively built in Swindon. In the first eight months of 2006, Honda Motor Europe has sold more Civics than in the whole of 2005, a 30 per cent uplift.
In addition, the all new Honda CR-V, which makes its world debut today at the Paris Motor Show, will be built in Swindon and will go on sale from January 2007.
Speaking to media at the Paris Motor Show, Takeo Fukui, President and CEO of Honda Motor Co. Ltd. said, “we plan to increase output of both the CR-V and the Civic in our Swindon, UK plant from next spring, taking Swindon up to its full capacity of 250,000 units on a yearly basis, within 2007”.
Announcing the increase at Honda Swindon, Dave Hodgetts, Director of Planning and Administration at Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd., pictured right, 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”.
The plant already employs 4,200 associates in Swindon. Bringing a further 700 new Associates to the operation and utilising the maximum capacity of the second car plant facility, which opened in 2001, will allow Honda to achieve its full production potential.
Recruitment will start immediately and whilst the majority of roles 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 able to achieve this next phase of development with increased efficiency and without the need for any further investment in plant infrastructure to the ?1.33 billion already invested by Honda.
Swindon Council is delighted with the news and are predicting it presages a business boom in the town as the benefits of the extra jobs ripple out into the local economy, in terms of growth by suppliers and consumer spending. Council leader Rod Bluh said, “Honda’s decision is a massive vote of confidence in Swindon. We believe it is a great for the way we are trying to develop Swindon as we move forward.”
He indicated that the council is in discussion with a number of other big companies about relocating to the town.
Swindon North MP Michael Wills was equally pleased. “Over many years we have seen Honda grow at a time when other car companies have found it increasingly difficult to survive in a very competitive market. It is a tribute to the engineering excellence behind Honda, their understanding of what the customer wants and the people in Swindon who build the vehicles.” For details of all job vacancies, go to: www.hondamanufacturing.co.uk
All photos by Richard Wintle www.calyxpix.com