Production of the new generation Honda Civic began today at the Japanese car maker’s UK plant in Swindon.
Honda is anticipating a significant increase in sales in 2012, and therefore added new shifts at the Swindon plant, creating 500 new jobs. They say it is a clear demonstration of Honda’s continued commitment to the UK.
Next year Honda will also add the European version of the new CR-V crossover to the Swindon plant’s production lines and it’ll join the Civic and the Jazz. Also a small diesel engine will be produced at Swindon. Production volume of cars for 2012 is forecast to double to 180,000 units.
The UK-built Civic will go on sale across Europe. It’s priced from £16,495 in Britain.
During his speech to Honda Associates, Honda Motor Europe President Mr Nishimae acknowledged the workforces’ resilience, “The last three years have been extremely difficult for all of Honda’s European operations. We have faced many challenges beginning with the economic downturn through to the two natural disasters in Japan and Thailand. Throughout this period Associates have remained committed and I am extremely proud of how they have responded to these challenges. We will build upon our new found strength and remain confident of our ability to achieve and succeed in the future.”
Commenting on Honda’s announcement, Prime Minister David Cameron said, “This is great news and a tremendous boost to the workforce, the car industry and UK manufacturing. Honda is contributing to a real renaissance in the UK automotive industry, we have a highly skilled workforce and we continue to be at the forefront of new technology and development. Its success is of great importance to our economy and we are committed to do all that we can to see this vital industry grow and thrive.”