Thursday 13th July 1989
The Honda Motor Car Company Ltd announced plans to build a factory in Swindon, Wiltshire, England. Honda’s decision to invest in production facilities in Swindon came as a result of Honda’s collaboration with British Leyland (BL). (Note Much of the engine manufacturing equipment was shipped to Japan and has most recently been used in the production of the companies F1 power plant) (later the Rover Group), which started in 1979. Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd (HUM) was established in 1985 and production at the engine plant began in 1989. In 1992, production of the Honda Accord (which had the same design but different engines to the Rover 600 Series) began in Swindon, and a second engine line was installed. In 1994, production of the Honda Civic began in Swindon – the same year that the Rover-Honda venture ended due to Rover’s takeover by BMW. Despite this, the 1995 Rover 400 Series was based on the new Honda Civic. In August 2000, it was revealed that United Kingdom–manufactured Honda cars would be exported to Japan for the first time. In the same year, the plant also began production of CR-V SUV, which had been on sale in the UK since 1997.
In September 2001, HUM opened a second car assembly plant in Swindon, creating an additional 200 jobs at the site. In December 2001, workers at the Swindon plants voted to form a union, and be represented by the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union. In 2002, production of the Honda Accord ended at Swindon, with the new models being imported from Japan. In October 2002, Ken Keir, the then–managing director of HUM, stated that Honda would maintain vehicle production in the United Kingdom. This was irrespective of whether or not it joined the Eurozone.
In September 2006, it was announced that Honda would be recruiting an additional 700 workers for the Swindon plants, and raising production of vehicles at the site by 32% to 250,000. In February 2008 it was announced that Honda would be making an £80 million investment in new production facilities at the Swindon site for the manufacture of plastic car parts and metal castings for engines.
On 30 January 2009, due to the recession, which had sparked a fall in sales, it was announced that direct workers at the Swindon site would be laid off for four months until 1 June, with full-pay for the first two months of the period and about half-pay for the remainder. If the employee fell under the indirect staff or maintenance heading they, instead, would lose approximately £1,500 and be forced to remain at work. In October 2009, HUM began production of the Honda Jazz, which until then had been imported from Japan. Production of the Jazz at Swindon was halted in 2014, and once again it was imported from Japan only.
In September 2012, Honda announced a £267 million investment programme the Swindon site. This was to support the introduction of new models of the Civic and CR-V, and a new 1.6-litre diesel engine. The investment would take