TEN thousand cars have been cut from Honda’s production schedule – just months after production had been scaled back.

Despite the setback the company has confirmed that jobs will not be cut and all 4,800 jobs are safe.

This time last year Honda was building 230,000 cars a year.

That was reduced to 206,000 in September and now the company is setting a target of 196,000 to be reached by the end of March.

To achieve that the company will be introducing 11 non production days between now and the end of March.

Just how that will be achieved is being worked out by the company and the Associate Representative Council.

Previously staff have been paid for non-production days but the days will be banked and the associates will owe them to the company – they will then be taken at a later late when demand is high.

“Unfortunately the global financial situation has continued to affect consumer confidence,” said Julie Cameron, head of communications at South Marston.

“We have taken the decision to reduce production volume at Swindon by a further 10,000 units within this financial year.

“The reduction is planned to take place between January and March. Full details will be finalised with the associate council over the next two weeks.”

The boss of Honda in the UK is Ken Keir, who said: “We are led by our customers, who know that we produce damn fine cars.

“But there is a difficult situation on the financial front.

“We have to fine tune the demand for our vehicles.

“We have not lost any staff and when the Jazz comes on stream in Swindon next autumn production at South Marston will be right back at the top.”

In the short term there has been a revised production plan.

From the start of December one of the two car plants will move onto a single shift day pattern while the other plant will remain at full production.

Some staff will lose money because they will not be eligible for the shift premium.

Staff will be redeployed across the South Marston operation and the factory will extend its Christmas shutdown by a week.