Honda is drafting the decade’s biggest expansion plan in the UK by investing £267 million in its Swindon plant, showing its resilience despite the global slowdown.
Honda plans to invest most of the amount into the production of a new 1.6l small diesel engine for the Civic compact car, which is expected to be launched in December, as well as other Civic CR-V models.
Dave Hodgetts, Honda UK’s Managing Director said, “The investment underpins Honda’s commitment to manufacturing in Britain and to our UK workforce.”
Honda said it plans to hire 500 people in December at its UK factory, which is already the UK’s biggest and the company’s largest factory in Europe. With this employment, the total workers at the factory goes up to 3,500.
The additional workforce is said to double the production by the end of the year to 183,000 cars as compared to figures in 2011 and projected to rise to 250,000 within the next three years.
The Swindon factory manufactures cars and engines for export to more than 60 countries in Europe, the Midlle East, Africa and Australia.
The Japanese car maker was hit by lack of diesel option in the intensely competitive European small car segment. Honda’s business was badly hit by European recession and last year’s natural disasters in Japan and Thailand.
Business Secretary Vince Cable is scheduled to meet workers and apprentices this afternoon at Honda’s Swindon factory regarding the hiring announcement, while representing the government which looks to renew its focus on growth.