Honda’s Swindon plant is losing production of the Jazz model, but gaining two new Civic derivatives. Following the recent global debut in Paris of the Civic Type R and new Civic Wagon, Honda has confirmed plans to make the new variants at the UK plant. Swindon already builds the Civic five door. The Civic Wagon is expected to arrive in 2013 or 2014, with the Type R scheduled to launch on the market in 2015.
At the moment, the Jazz model sold in Europe is made at the Suzuka Factory in Japan, Honda Automobile Company China (CHAC) and the Swindon plant. The next generation, scheduled for 2014, will be made only outside of Europe, Honda says. The move is geared at “fully utilising Honda’s global production resources” and benefitting from production economies of scale.
Meanwhile, Swindon will continue to build the popular CR-V model for the European market. Honda is maintaining its Swindon production forecast for the current fiscal year (ending March 2013) at 182,000 vehicles – about double what it rolled out last year, when output was hit by the natural disasters in Japan.
The OEM is investing £267m (US$335m) in UK manufacturing for new models and engines. This includes the new European CR-V, which entered production in September this year, the introduction of the new Civic in December 2011, and the new 1.6-litre diesel engine for the Civic, due in December 2012. The OEM has recruited 500 new workers this year to support the investment, boosting the UK workforce to 3,500.