Honda Swindon Plant

Honda to scale back car production in the UK

Honda Swindon PlantHonda is cutting back its vehicle production operations in the UK and will move from a three-shift to a two-shift working pattern.

This will result in the potential loss of up to 340 permanent Honda jobs.

The firm will also consolidate vehicle manufacturing at the Swindon facility onto one line, resulting in the closure of the plant two facility at the 22 year old operation.

“Over the last 12 months, we haven’t seen the growth we’d anticipated,” said Honda Motor Europe senior vice president Ian Howells.

“With no increase forecasted for the next couple of years, we must scale our manufacturing activity accordingly.

“However with the restructuring we’re taking today, and our new model plans, we remain confident in the long-term future of our Swindon plant… (it) continues to be the hub for our European car manufacturing activity.”

Swindon builds the Honda Civic, Civic Tourer, CR-V and Jazz for European markets: the Civic Tourer is new and the Civic hatch has recently been facelifted (and an impressive upgrade it is too), but although the CR-V is also relatively new, the Jazz supermini is ageing. As this is the volume car at the plant, its increasing weakness appears to be hitting Honda hard.

A new Jazz isn’t forecast to go on sale until later in 2015, and it’s not yet clear if the new model will be built at Swindon (although we’d be surprised if it wasn’t).

The news of a potential 340 permanent jobs being lost (and up to 160 temporary positions, reports the BBC), comes after Honda last year made over 550 voluntary redundancies at Swindon.

It currently employs around 3,000 workers.

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