Honda 'back to normal' in September

Full production at a major UK car plant hit by the effects of the Japanese earthquake will not resume until September, it was announced today.

Honda's plant in Swindon, Wiltshire, had to switch to a two-day week following a parts supply shortage following the devastating tsunami and earthquake in March.

The company said today that it intended to return to normal daily production "during September".

Honda makes the Civic, CR-V and Jazz models at Swindon and last year produced around 139,000 vehicles at the Wiltshire plant.

The plan is that production will be stepped up later in the year to try to approach the 2010 volume.

Honda said today that, due to the flexible working hours arrangements which exist at Swindon, pay for the 3,000 staff had been maintained.

"I am proud of all of our associates as they have shown great flexibility and commitment during this difficult time," said Andy Piatek, director of manufacturing at Swindon.

Ken Keir, executive vice president of Honda Motor Europe, said: "We are extremely pleased that our European manufacturing operations can now plan for production to return to normal."