|Birth of a Car Plant|
| Wiltshire, U.K., July 18, 2001 --- Honda of the U.K. Mfg., Ltd. (HUM, head office : Swindon, Wiltshire, U.K., President: Akira Takano),which is Honda's manufacturer of 4-wheel drive vehicles in U.K., announced that Honda's second British car plant based at Swindon in Wiltshire has been completed on schedule underlining the company's commitment to car manufacturing in the UK. This is the first "green field" Car Plant to be built in Britain in the last 8 years. Honda's Swindon facility now includes an Engine Plant built in 1989, the original Car Plant opened in 1992, and of course this new plant.
Preparations for the final recruitment stage is now under way leading to a total of 4000 people working at the Swindon Production Facility. Employees at the new £130m Plant have this week started low volume production with the new CIVIC 5 door model. The official opening will take place in September when the plant will reach full shift production rate . The Plant uses some of the world's most advanced production systems distilled from Honda's manufacturing know-how in Japan, North America, and the UK.
The new No.2 Car Plant will increase annual production capacity at Swindon by 100,000 units, making the total to 250,000 when combined with the 150,000-unit No.1 Car Plant. The Company plans to attain a full rate of production in both plants within 2002.
Groundbreaking exports to both Japan and North America are also planned for the first time from Honda's European manufacturing base in England.
The new plant using Honda's advanced New Manufacturing System (NMS), will have the flexibility to build a range of models.
Completion of the second plant brings Honda's total investment to date in its European car manufacturing facility to £1.15 billion, two thirds of its total investment in Europe and a sum which has been entirely funded by Honda.
"Honda's car manufacturing facility at Swindon, working in partnership with our suppliers and supported by local R&D operations in the UK and Germany, is meeting the specific demands of Global customers both in quality and design. The combined capacity from the two car plants enables Swindon to become part of Honda's Global Supply Network, exporting models to both North America and Japan as well as mainland Europe" said Honda's European President, Minoru Harada.
Swindon success story continues:
Honda of the U.K. Mfg., Ltd. (HUM) was established in 1985 at a former airfield site at South Marston, Swindon. One year later, in September 1986 operation began as a Pre-delivery Inspection centre. Engine production at Swindon commenced in July 1989 and this plant has built the majority of the petrol engines installed in Swindon built cars as well as exporting engines to Honda's Car Plant in Turkey. Car production began in October 1992, with the introduction of the European version of the fifth generation Accord.