CONGRATULATIONS to Honda on deciding to make Swindon a global production hub, investing £200m and adding 500 jobs to the roster.

The company is demonstrating once more that the astuteness which brought it here in the first place shows no sign of fading.

When Honda arrived, Swindon’s reputation for engineering prowess and a dynamic work ethic had already been established for more than a century and a half.

Such was the success of the models made by the Swindon workforce that the company invested more and more resources during subsequent years.

It was surely the quality of the work done here that accounted for much of Honda’s ability to weather the economic catastrophe of 2008 and its aftermath. The impact of that disaster was felt only too heavily in Swindon in the form of redundancies, recruitment freezes and temporary lay-offs.

To give Honda credit, it did its best to minimise the hardship, and thereby retained plenty of local loyalty and faith.

It is taking the best possible advantage of that loyalty and faith, both from a business point of view and as an acknowledgement of its dues to those who have done so much for the company.

We are certain that the planned new investment in Swindon will see the company go from strength to strength as the second quarter of the century begins to come into view.

Whatever technological and commercial demands the future throws at the car industry in general and Honda in particular, the Swindon operation and the people who make it possible will never fail.