Swindon's best for Honda

Swindon Advertiser: The WTCC which is the base for the Type R The WTCC which is the base for the Type R

EXCELLENT people, outstanding infrastructure and first-rate communication links are what made Swindon the town of choice for Honda to build its two new models.

Honda announced on Monday that the factory, in South Marston, is the location of choice for the company to build its sporty Type R and Civic Estate.

The news was welcomed by Honda’s 3,500 employees as well as Unite regional officer Jim D’Avila and the Chamber of Commerce, and showed huge confidence in the local workforce from the Japanese HQ at Suzuka.

Sam Tipper, spokesman for Honda in Swindon, said he hoped the developments would ensure the South Marston plant becomes the central hub for the Civic series.

“The Honda Swindon plant is one of the most advanced and flexible in the market,” he said.

“Over the last 25 years, Honda Motor Company has invested approaching £2bn into the facility. This investment was underpinned by the recent announcement of a £267m investment to support the introduction of the new Civic, new CR-V and a 1.6 diesel engine.

“The decision to produce the Civic Type-R and the Civic Wagon models in Swindon was based on Honda’s global strategy to manufacture vehicles in the region where there is customer demand.

“The Civic five-door model is unique to Europe and is only built at the Honda Swindon plant. With this latest announcement, we will become Honda’s central hub for the Civic series, as well as the European version of the CR-V.

“But why Swindon? Excellent people to begin with. A workforce that made Swindon the manufacturing centre of the Great Western Railway – and set the standard for excellence in engineering. “There’s also an outstanding infrastructure and first-rate communication links, as well as the 376-acre site that was perfect for our use.

“As for our workforce, we employ 3,500 highly skillled associates, with 85 per cent of them living within a 15-mile radius of the plant.”

At the end of this financial year on March 31, Honda’s production in Swindon will be 182,000 – a figure which is unlikely to change for 2013-14, giving full-time work for the associates in Swindon.

The developments come on the back of Honda’s recent announcement of a £267m investment programme in the plant which supports the new Civic, CR-V and a 1.6 litre diesel engine.

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