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Friday, February 22, 2008

Honda's Swindon factory celebrates 2 millionth car

The British motor industry was once the envy of the developed world. The first three quarters of the 20th century was a hugely exciting period in the industry. British manufacturers such as Austin and Morris produced bread and butter transport for the masses, while marques such as Rolls Royce, Bentley and Jaguar were building motor cars for the worlds rich and famous.

That era has long passed, the Germans own Rolls Royce and Bentley and Jaguar is being sold off to the Indians. Much of the development and engineering is still conducted in the UK but the Brit’s just don’t own any off it anymore. But alas, there is still something to be very proud of if you are a patriotic British car enthusiast. Britain has a burgeoning car manufacturing industry. Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Jaguar and Landrover all build cars in the UK, to name but a few. In fact some of the most efficient manufacturing facilities in Europe are on British terra firma.

So it should come as no surprise to learn that Honda will build its two millionth car at its Swindon based UK manufacturing facility on the 21st of February। The plant, which has been building cars since 1992 is in for a substantial upgrade as Honda have committed around £80 million for improvements. This will ensure that the Brit’s will be making Japanese cars for many years to come. Read on for more details.

Press Release


£80m investment tops day of achievement

This week marks Honda's celebration of the 2 millionth car from its Swindon car production facility. The silver CR-V is scheduled for production tomorrow evening (21st February, 2008) nearly 16 years after car manufacturing began in October 1992. Today the company announced substantial new investment, showing further commitment to its UK manufacturing operations.

Building on its 22 year history, Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd. (HUM) is investing a further £80 million to upgrade and improve manufacturing processes. This includes:

• £20 million into Plastic Operations which started mass production in January 2008
- capable of moulding and painting 1300 sets of bumpers for Civic and CR-V each day
• £16 million into a new casting facility employing the Honda patented process of ASCT (advanced semi-solid casting technology). This unique new process will enable HUM to independently cast diesel blocks, a process which, until now, has only been carried out at Honda in Japan
• A further £50 million being invested in welding and paint production technology, increasing efficiency and production flexibility.

Honda's Swindon plant has shown a 25% increase in production volume over the last 18 months, with the company's UK sales operation breaking through the 100,000 sales barrier for the first time in 2007. Currently just under 30% of Swindon production goes to the UK market. In 2007, HUM produced 237,783 cars.

David Hodgetts, Director at HUM, stated that "We are extremely proud of our workforce here in Swindon. This major milestone demonstrates the scale of our achievement since our operations began nearly 22 years ago. This fresh investment will enable Honda to improve overall competitiveness and increase the level of localised manufacture in Swindon. "

Ken Keir, Senior Vice President of Honda Motor Europe, said "The fact that there are over two million happy customers driving Swindon built Honda cars is testament to our Associates' commitment and is a great accomplishment."


Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd. (HUM) : Key Facts

1) HUM Vehicle Production History

• Accord 4 Door (1992~2002 ) 280,432
• Accord 5 Door (1999~2002) 46,418
• Civic Aerodeck (1998~2000) 48,064
• Civic 3 Door (2001~Present) 213,810
• Civic 5 Door (1994~Present) 777,850
• CR-V (2000~Present) 633,426

Total 2,000,000

2) HUM Profile

• Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd (HUM) is a fully integrated car manufacturing facility, producing the total car (Casting, Engine, Pressing, Painting and Assembly) on one site in Swindon, Wiltshire.
• 370 acre site (1.5million m2)
• Honda has invested £1.38 billion in its manufacturing operation in Swindon
• Total 5,000 Associates
• HUM built CR-V and Civic models exported to 60 Countries Worldwide

3) HUM Production Milestones

1985 HUM established
1986 Pre-Delivery Inspection begins
1989 Engine Plant production begins
1992 Car manufacturing begins in Car Plant 1 - Accord Model
Second Engine Line installed
1994 Civic production begins
1995 Press Facility established
1996 10th Anniversary of Operation
1998 1 Million Engines
¼ Million Civics
1999 ½ Million cars
10th anniversary of Engine production
¼ Million Accords
2000 CR-V production begins
2001 Car Plant 2 begins production
Civic 3-Door production begins
Civic Type-R exported to Japan
2002 10th anniversary of Car production
Press Facility expansion
End of Accord production
CR-V exported to North America
2003 1 Million Cars
1½ Million Engines
2004 ¼ Million CR-Vs
15th Anniversary of Engine Production
Plastic Operations established
2005 2 Million Engines produced
¾ Million Civics
Diesel engine assembly begins
1.5 millionth car produced
2006 20th Anniversary of Operation
½ Million CR-Vs
2007 ‘07 Civic Type-R Production begins
Plant-2 Two Shift Operation begins
Civic Type-R export to Australia
1 Million Civics
CR-V export to South Africa
2008 Plastic Operations expansion
2 Million Cars
Source: Honda

Related entries:
Honda present Accord Tourer Concept
Honda Civic Type S
Honda Civic Type-R Modulo Concept
New 2008 Honda Accord Revealed In Depth
Honda Accord Coupe HF-S Concept


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