Honda announces 500 jobs at Swindon plant

The Japanese car maker Honda is set to create 500 jobs in the New Year at its Swindon plant having overcome parts shortages caused by the Japanese earthquake in March and the September floods in Thailand.

The company's bid to increase production from 100,000 to around 180,000 vehicles in 2012 with the new jobs taking the workforce at the Wiltshire factory to 3,500.

Staff at the factory have returned to full time work on the ninth generation Honda Civic having worked reduced hours on three half-shifts a week since September when floods in Thailand cut parts supplies (see picture).

The company's European president Manabu Nishimae said the last three years had been extremely difficult for all of Honda's European operations. He went on: "We have faced many challenges beginning with the economic downturn through to the two natural disasters in Japan and Thailand."

Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the news as a "tremendous boost to the workforce, the car industry and UK manufacturing".

Ken Hurst

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