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Swindon loses Accord but output to rise

Honda has confirmed plans to cease making the 5dr and 4dr Accord in the UK just weeks before its second £400m plant at Swindon is scheduled to begin production.

The move is a bid to reverse losses in Europe, projected to be around £284m this year.

A Honda spokesman said the decision would not threaten the long-term future of Swindon: “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

The Accord would be produced in the UK until the next generation arrives in 2003, he added.

“Over the next 18 months, production at Swindon will increase dramatically. The announcement to curtail Accord production is simply an economical one which will ensure the site operates at maximum efficiency.”

Last year 74,000 units, including 4dr and 5dr Accord, 3dr Civic and CR-V, were built at Swindon. It is understood that figure will more than double next year, possibly approaching 200,000.

The next generation Accord will be built solely at Honda's Sayama plant in Japan and exported to the UK in the carmaker's latest step towards a globally integrated production programme.

Honda president Hiroyuki Yoshino, said: “These strategies further demonstrate the flexibility of our manufacturing system.”

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