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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 September 2006, 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK
Honda creates 700 jobs at Swindon
Employees from Honda's Swindon factory helping to unveil the new three door Honda Civic
The Civic is made at Honda's Swindon factory
Japanese car giant Honda is creating an extra 700 jobs at its Swindon plant, taking the workforce to 4,900.

Production will rise from 190,000 cars to 250,000 in 2007, as a result of "unprecedented" European demand for the Civic three and five door models.

A new Honda CR-V, being unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, will also be made at the site.

The news follows recent announcements by BMW and Nissan to boost production at Oxford and Sunderland respectively.

"We plan to increase output of both the CR-V and the Civic in our Swindon, UK plant from next spring, taking Swindon up to its full capacity of 250,000 units on a yearly basis, within 2007," said Honda's president and chief executive, Takeo Fukui.

'Vote of confidence'

David Hodgett
It clearly demonstrates Honda's long-term commitment to British manufacturing
Dave Hodgetts

An extra shift will be added at the Swindon plant, increasing efficiency, with most of the new jobs being in production.

Purchasing specialists and maintenance engineers will also be employed, with recruitment starting immediately.

Earlier this year Honda celebrated 20 years of its operations at Swindon, in which time it has invested 1.33bn.

Derek Simpson, general secretary of the union Amicus which represents many of the workers, said the expansion demonstrated "car companies don't have to move abroad to be profitable".

Dave Hodgetts, director of planning and administration at Honda, said the announcement was a "massive vote of confidence" in workers at Swindon.

"It clearly demonstrates Honda's long-term commitment to the region and to British manufacturing," he said.

Honda had already announced the launch of its new Civic Type R to be built alongside the Type S Sierra range at its Swindon plant.

In the first eight months of 2006, Honda Europe sold more of the Civic three and five door models than in the whole of 2005.

The plant's chief engineer, Mike Godfrey, said he thought the brand was thriving while other UK car manufacturers struggled because Honda excited people.

Of the Civic, he said: "It doesn't follow the normal trend, it has a sporty feel, well-equipped dashboard and high performance."

See inside Swindon's Honda plant

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