Page last updated at 12:15 GMT, Thursday, 7 May 2009 13:15 UK

Honda plant reopens despite sales

The Honda plant in Swindon will reopen on 1 June four months after closing, despite falling UK car sales for April.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed UK car sales fell by 24% last month compared with April 2008.

"Swindon production of the Civic is unlikely to be as high because of demand," said a Honda spokesman.

The production focus will instead be on the lower-cost Jazz model for the European market, he added.

The four-month sabbatical affected just over 2,500 of the Wiltshire plant's 3,700 employees.

Spokesman Steve Kirk said: "Moving production of the Honda Jazz to Swindon will secure the future of the plant. Honda is absolutely committed to Swindon."

He added that it "made sense" to move production of the Jazz cars closer to their European destinations in the current climate.

"Honda welcomes the car scrappage scheme announced in the last budget.

"Any help to the car industry is welcome. I hope people make orders now for transactions that happen after the scheme comes in.

"We will be doing everything we can to continue production in this plant. There are no plans for a future closure but its hard to say. We do not have a crystal ball."

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