Honda has confirmed it will make Swindon the global hub of manufacturing for its next-generation Civic – investing £200million to secure the medium-term future of the factory. This is welcomed news for the town after several years of unrest at the plant with job cuts and job losses.
The Japanese car giant’s announcement brings cumulative investment in the plant to more than £2.2billion and safeguards 3,000 jobs at the site as it upgrades the production line to build the new five-door model.
The design of the new car has yet to be revealed and the switch will take several years, with the production of a modified Civic Type R to start later this year.
Honda has made cars in Swindon since 1985, producing almost 120,000 cars in 2014 – almost half its 2008 peak when 5,000 employees worked at the South Marston site.
Toshiaki Mikoshiba, president of Honda Motor Europe, said: “This announcement sends a clear message to our associates and suppliers of the strategic importance that Honda Motor Company places on producing cars at our plant in Swindon.”
Ian Larrard, director of the Swindon and Wiltshire Initiative, part of Business West said: “Today’s announcement that Honda will invest a further £200 million is a huge boost for the local area and builds on the increase in business confidence we are seeing in Swindon. The new plans to develop the next generation of the Civic model that will be distributed globally will only improve our international profile and stimulate future growth. Honda has invested some £2.2bn in the Swindon plant over the last 20 years and its continued support is vital to our long term prosperity.”