This week Honda's Swindon car plant celebrates its first decade of car manufacturing – it is now 10 years since the first British-built Honda Accord rolled off the production line.
With the newly complete No 2 Plant fully operational, Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) Ltd is achieving its biggest year of growth since car production began at the plant. By the end of September, this calendar year to date production total had exceeded 128,000 cars.
This makes 2002 already a record year, with production comfortably ahead of the 1999 total of 114,479. It elevates Honda from eighth to fourth in the UK car production rankings, placing it for the first time ahead of its former partner Rover, as well as Land Rover, BMW (MINI), and Jaguar.
Exports from the plant too are up, with more than 60% of this year's production destined for other markets, including North America and Japan.
The past decade has seen many changes at Swindon. Honda’s commitment to the region now totals £1.15 billion in investment in Swindon with 4500 jobs being created as well as its suppliers also now committing to investing and setting up their operations in the South West. Highlights include a capacity increase from 100,000 to 150,000 units pa in 1994, the opening of a parts pressing facility in 1995 and a bumper paint facility in 1997 and the completion of a completely separate car production plant in September last year. Combined production capacity of the two plants is 250,000 units pa – and Swindon is now a major contributor to Honda's Global Supply Network, and indeed the only Honda plant building the Civic 3 door.
Since car production began the Swindon facility has built two generations of Civic, two generations of Accord and – since December 2001 – two generations of CR-V. Furthermore, it has built almost all of the petrol engines fitted to the above models, as well as supplying some engines to the Rover Group between 1989 and 1999.
In total, more than 917,000 cars have been built, with the one million landmark likely to be reached during February 2003.
1985 Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd (HUM) is established on a 1,480,000 sq.m. former airfield at South Marston, Swindon.
1986 HUM commences operation as a Pre-Delivery Inspection Centre for Honda models produced by Rover and CBUs from Japan and later from the USA.
1989 Engine Plant is established, producing units for Honda Concerto (produced under licence agreement by Rover at Longbridge) and Rover 200/400 Series.
1992 Full scale car production commences in the new car plant, together with the second engine line, to produce the European Honda Accord.
Honda Motor Co. announces its long range automobile strategy for Europe, resulting in an additional £330m investment in HUM in order to increase capacity from 100,000 units per year to 150,000.
Production of a second model, the Civic 5 door commences.
1995 Parts Pressing Facility opens, producing Honda unique body panels.
1996 The 250,000th Swindon built car rolls off the production line.
1998 Production of a third model, the Civic Aero deck, commences.
Bumper Paint facility opens.
Additional £450m investment and the creation of over 1,000 additional jobs announced.
The one millionth Swindon built engine is manufactured and the 250,000th Swindon built Civic rolls off the production line.
Production of the sixth generation Accord, a four door saloon commences.
1999 The 500,000th Swindon built car rolls off the production line.
Production of the Accord 5-door commences.
Last engines produced for Rover Group by Honda.
10th Anniversary of Engine Plant.
2000 Production of 4WD CR-V commences.
First announcement of the new global Civic range for 2001.
Honda Motor Co. Ltd announces its new global product supply strategy.
2001 Civic 5 door, 2001 Civic 3 door, Next Generation CR-V, Accord 4 & 5 door
In addition to supplying the European region, it was confirmed that from autumn 2001 the HUM-built Civic 3 door would be exported to Japan, and from early 2002 the CR-V would be exported to North America.
The previously announced decision to build a B-segment car at HUM was postponed.
Production of the 2001 Civic 5 door commences.
2001 June HUM achieves OHSAS 18001 – the first car manufacturer to achieve this internationally recognised standard that can be used by organisations to set up a formal Occupational Health and Safety Management system.
July Official start of production in Car Plant 2 with Civic 5 door.
Honda's second British Car Plant is completed on schedule underlining Honda's commitment to car manufacturing in the UK and is the first 'green field' car plant to be built in Britain in the last eight years. It marks a significant milestone in the company's growth plans for Europe. The plant will initially produce the Civic 5 door but the flexibility of Honda's New Manufacturing System allows it to build other models according to market demand.
September Official Opening of Honda's second British car plant, increasing annual production capacity at Swindon by 100,000 units, taking the total annual capacity to 250,000.
October First shipment of Civic Type-Rs exported to Japan representing first phase of new export business.
December Production of the first all-new CR-V commences for the European market.
2002 January First export of 3 door Civic Si's to North American market representing second phase of new export business.
First mass production of Swindon-built Civic 5 door and 3 door diesel models using 1.7 litre turbo diesel engines.
April Start of mass production of first CR-Vs for North American market.
First shipment of CR-Vs exported to the US.
May HUM awarded the new EMAS II (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) by the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA).
July The 500,000th Swindon-built Civic 5 door rolls off the production line.
September Last Accord produced at HUM.
Total Car Production Facts
|Financial Year to April||Total|
|2003 To date||86,576|