Honda announces £267-million investment program for UK plant

Article by Anita Panait, on September 7, 2012

Honda is investing around £267 million at its Swindon plant in the United Kingdom to produce new models and engines, the carmaker announced during the unveiling of its new CR-V model. The £267 million investment is the biggest one that it has poured into a UK production base in over a decade. Honda expects to double last year’s production at the Swindon plant to 183,000 units by the end of 2012.

Honda is aiming to increase that figure to 250,000 units per year, within three years. Honda’s investment plan benefits the UK balance of trade, as 60 per cent of the production is marked for export. The carmaker’s Swindon plant builds vehicles and engines for over 60 countries around the world, including Europe, Middle East, Africa and Australia.

According to Business Secretary Vince Cable, the planned £267 million investment in the UK is “great news” not just for the Honda’s Swindon plant, but also for the automotive sector.

Honda’s latest investment in the UK supports the Government’s goal to promote new investment and exports as a means to achieve renewed growth and a more balanced economy.

Dave Hodgetts, Managing Director of Honda UK, remarked that the £267 million investment programme underscores Honda’s commitment to manufacturing in Britain and to its workforce in the country. The investment also reaffirms Swindon plant’s position as the keystone of Honda’s operations in Europe.

The latest generation of the Honda CR-V – coming for the 2012 model year – will be hitting the auto market with its new modern styling direction, while employing a wide array of pioneering technologies and improving the fuel economy figures of all versions. Honda has designed the fourth generation of the SUV to become another benchmark that surpasses expectations of customer for entry-level sports utility vehicles. In addition, all new Honda CR-V models boast of enhanced cabin comfort and convenience as well as smoother and more relaxed ride.

For the 2012 model year, the new Honda CR-V features a body and a chassis developed to reduce the noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels. For instance, Honda increased the rigidity of the CR-V’s body and installed lighter suspension components.

In addition, Honda added noise insulation and installed aerodynamic elements like a rear spoiler and underbody covers. All these modifications meant that the new Honda CR-V offers higher levels of interior quietness and ride quality than its predecessor.

In terms of dimensions, the new 2012 Honda CR-V is shorter (minus 0.8 inches) and lower (depending on drive version) than its predecessor, but is just as wide. The latest generation of the Honda CR-V measures 178.3 inches in length, 71.6 inches in width and 65.1 inches in height, with a wheelbase of 103.1 inches.

The next-gen all-wheel drive CR-V is 1.0-inch lower than its comparable predecessor, while the front-wheel drive version is 1.4 inches lower than the previous FWD model. However, the tracks of the 2012 CR-V (61.6 inches on the front and 61.6 inches at the rear) are as wide as its predecessor.

Topics: honda, investment, uk

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