Four-month lay-off comes to an end
1 June 2009

The Honda car factory in Swindon is reopening today, after a four-month shutdown due to a collapse in demand for new cars.

During the shutdown more than 1300 Honda workers have taken redundancy through a voluntary scheme, leaving a workforce of 3400 at the plant.

The remaining factory workers have also agreed to take a three per cent drop in salary for ten months, while management wages will fall by five per cent.

Later this year, the Swindon plant will take on production of Honda's best-selling small car, the Jazz, which has previously only been made in Japan and China.

The shutdown period has been used to prepare for the car, which is vitally important for the Swindon operation.

Dave Hodgetts, director of Honda UK Manufacturing, said, "This all shows that we are totally committed to our base in Swindon.

"We have production of the Jazz coming soon and we are doing everything we can to maintain our skilled and loyal workforce. The four months have been well used to update, streamline and modernise our capabilities."

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Swindon has previously built 230,000 cars a year, but forecasts suggest it will make just 112,854 units this year.

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