Honda has announced a £267m ($430m) investment programme at its Swindon plant, the biggest spend the carmaker has made in the UK in more than 10 years.
The investment was announced at the same time Honda launched its latest CR-V model and centres around the installation of a new 1.6 diesel engine line, spending on new Civic robotics and tooling, and improvements in test and development resources around the new model.
By the end of this year production at the Swindon plant is forecast to double on last year's figure, up to 183,000 units. Honda also makes the Civic and Jazz at the plant.
“The plant itself is doubling production but from a low base of 90,000 last year due to the effects of the tsunami in Japan,” said a spokesperson for Honda UK.
The Swindon plant capacity is 250,000 but output is yet to top the 240,000 it saw in 2007. Honda said it aims to full capacity within three years.
Talking about the logistics infrastructure and support functions to cope with maximum capacity Honda’s spokesperson said that company has had them in place for a number of years, both from a road and rail delivery viewpoint.
Honda’s Swindon plant opened a railhead onsite in 2008 and ships cars direct to the continent via its European Vehicle Logistics Operations in Gent, Belgium. Honda uses French rail provider STVA to take the cars there.
Meanwhile, Ceva Logistics provides inbound services to the Swindon plant, following a three-year extension to its contract with Honda.
Five hundred new members of staff have been recruited and trained this year to build the new products, taking the total workforce to 3,500.