Honda Civic moves into top gear

14 October 2005 #SMMT News

Honda is celebrating a double success in Britain this week. The 1.5 millionth Honda car came off the Swindon line, and Thursday marked the start of production of the new 8th generation Civic.

The new Civic comes just seven months after the concept version was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show and shows Honda’s long term commitment to UK motor manufacturing.

The new Civic is being built at Honda’s £1.33 billion production plant in Swindon, Wiltshire which began operations in 1992 and has fast become a global centre of excellence. Last year, the plant produced 870 cars and 1000 engine units every day.

This is the first time ever that volume production of a new model has started without a Honda being first produced in a Japanese parent plant; a testament to the engineering skills and expertise of Honda’s 4,000-strong Swindon workforce.

In addition to the new Civic, Honda is also to start producing diesel engines on the same Swindon line on which it currently produces petrol engines.

The new car will go on sale in January 2006, with Honda expecting to sell more than 35,000 Civics in 2006. This supports the Civic’s success throughout Europe where it accounts for over 30 per cent of Honda sales.

Mr Shigeru Takagi, president of Honda Motor Europe, commented, ‘The British-built Civic has a key role to play in our model line-up as we expect to be selling 120,000 Civics in 2007 – a 50 per cent increase on current sales. For Honda’s European operation, this is the most important launch in its history.’

Supporting Honda’s success was the Trade and Industry Minister, Ian Pearson MP who commented, ‘The launch of new technology in the UK is something we can all be proud of. We owe companies like Honda a huge vote of thanks as their investment and commitment to the UK has bought us new manufacturing technologies, innovation, skills and a commitment to quality.’

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