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.