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Honda to cut 800 UK jobs

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Honda to cut 800 UK jobs
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Soft car sales in Europe have claimed more victims.

Japan’s Honda is to cut around 800 jobs at its plant near Swindon in southwest England.

The company, which makes the Civic, Jazz and CR-V models there, is to start talks with workers over the cuts which it wants to bring in the next few months.

Honda’s sales in mainland Europe, especially Spain and Greece, fell by around one million in the past year.

Honda employs some 3,500 staff at Swindon, and produced around 150,000 vehicles there last year. It has the capacity to make 250,000 cars annually.

Last year Honda expected a surge in demand and hired 500 workers and invested the equivalent of 325 million euros in the Swindon plant.

However, the expected increase in demand failed to materialise.

Ken Keir, Honda Motor Europe’s executive vice president said the company needed to “realign the business” but was committed to Britain for the long-term.

“These conditions of sustained low industry demand require us to take difficult decisions. We are setting the business constitution at the right level to ensure long term stability and security,” said Keir.

Late last year US carmaker Ford announced plans to cut 1,400 jobs at plants in southern England and end vehicle manufacturing in Britain due to weak European sales.

Ford and Volvo are also planning to cut thousands of jobs in Belgium, while PSA Peugeot Citroen’s has plans to cut its workforce in France.