TWO new models of car will be built in Swindon by Honda in the next 12 months, preserving 3,000 jobs.

The ageing Honda Civic is to be replaced by a new model, which will be on show for the first time at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Yesterday the company announced it will also be replacing the CR-V 4x4 with a refreshed model, which will be on sale in America by the end of the year and Europe in 12 months time.

The American CR-V will be built in Ohio and it is more than likely that the European model will be built in Swindon, although Honda officials have declined to confirm or deny this.

Both the current Civic and CR-V models have been around for some years and the new Civic, which is a completely different model to the American one, is being kept under wraps until the Frankfurt launch. Honda has released an image of the new CR-V Concept, providing the first official glimpse of styling direction. The all-new, fourth-generation CR-V is set to go on sale in the United States by the end of 2011.

The South Marston plant is running at 50 per cent of capacity, with 122,000 vehicles likely to be produced by the end of March 2012. As well as the Civic and the CR-V, the factory produces the Jazz.

Paul Briggs, chief executive of the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce group, said: “I certainly hope that Honda will build their new CR-V in Swindon. It is good news that we’ve got the Civic coming but to have the new CR-V as well would be a great bonus for the town.”

The new American CR-V Concept embraces a distinctive and bold styling direction and compared to the previous generation, the concept model takes on a more aggressive stance with deeper sculpting of the body lines and a bolder front fascia.

There is little difference between the American and European models but, equipped with more efficient engines than before, the CR-V is expected to deliver improved fuel economy.

The CR-V is one of the top-selling SUVs, sold in more than 160 countries throughout Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Africa.

The new CR-V Concept will be on first public display at the Orange County International Auto Show, in Anaheim, California, in September, around the same time as the new Civic is shown to an European audience in Frankfurt.