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CR-V exports boost profits for Honda

Honda UK boss Ken Keir believes exporting the next generation CR-V (compact sports utility vehicle) to the US will bolster the profitability of its Swindon plant. Mr Keir said: “Swindon is now in an even stronger global position in manufacturing terms,” he said.

Honda is to export the new Civic 3dr to Japan when production starts next year but has dropped plans for Swindon to build its B-sector replacement for the Logo.

The Swindon plant is undergoing a major £400m expansion to raise annual production capacity to 250,000 units, including the 4dr and 5dr Accord, 3dr Civic and CR-V. “This decision will also allow us to reach full capacity at the new plant far earlier than we had previously envisaged,” said Mr Keir.

He has masterminded a 5.1% increase in Honda's UK registrations in the first nine months of this year, rising to a market share of 3.2%. “North America, our single biggest market, already imports the CR-V from Japan but we can't satisfy demand,” said Mr Keir.

When production of the new CR-V begins in early 2002, Swindon will export around 90,000 units annually with 70,000 going to the US.

In the UK, 65% of Honda sales are accounted for by cars built at Swindon.



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