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Swindon 'key to Honda's growth'

Honda's second car plant at Swindon was officially opened today by the company's President and CEO, Hiroyuki Yoshino. The opening underlines Honda's commitment and confidence in Britain as its manufacturing base in Europe.

Speaking at the new plant, Honda's president, Hiroyuki Yoshino said: "We are here today because we believe that the UK is a great place to build cars. We now produce over 2.56m cars a year, but we still need additional capacity – Swindon is a key element.

"With the opening of this plant, we put in place a vital piece of our global supply network. Swindon will become the only production facility in the world for new Civic 3-door, exporting this car to Japan and North America. And Swindon will become a major supplier of the all-new 2002 Honda CR-V for the North American market.

"Global growth prospects are strong, our products are in great demand. For Honda in Europe, we will boost production, begin exporting to other major markets, and set forth in Europe."

Honda's £130m investment in the plant brings the UK total to £1.15 billion. This accounts for two-thirds of Honda's total investment in Europe. It has provided 1,000 new jobs in the manufacturing sector.

The twin plants have a combined capacity of 250,000 units per annum – and will together account for 8% of Honda's global needs. Full rate of production in both plants will be achieved within 2002.

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