Honda 'to expand UK plant'

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The Japanese car giant Honda is expected to announce a major expansion of its Wiltshire plant, creating hundreds of jobs.

Production at its site in Swindon will rise from 190,000 to more than 250,000 cars a year, according to reports.

The move is expected to bring the total workforce to nearly 5,000.

It will allow the manufacturer to cope with demand for its latest Civic hatchback and a new CR-V off-roader being launched at the Paris Motor Show.

A Honda spokesman would not confirm the details but said: "An announcement will be made at 12 o'clock."

Earlier this month Honda announced the launch of its new Civic Type R to be built alongside the Type S range in Swindon.

Meanwhile in July, the Financial Times reported that Honda was considering adding an extra shift at Swindon in a move that could create more than 500 jobs, after sales of the new Civic hatchback beat forecasts.

Shigeru Takagi, president of Honda Motor Europe, told the newspaper at the time the company was examining how to add a shift.

"The matter is when and how," he said, adding that the number of jobs would be "in the hundreds", but details had not yet been finalised.