Japan quake forces Honda to cut production in UK

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A drop in the supply of parts from Japan has forced Honda to halve production levels at its UK plant in Swindon.

A statement said that although the vast majority of parts were sourced from Europe, there are a number of crucial components that continue to be supplied from Japan.

The plant's 3,000 workers will still be paid at their standard rate during the period of lower productivity, which is hoped won't last beyond the end of next month. Honda's decision is a reflection of the fears expressed by manufacturers to Autoblog last week.

"It is an ongoing assessment, we are looking at being back up to 100 percent at the end of May, but hopefully sooner if possible," said a company spokeswoman.

The company's flexitime working policy will allow them to 'bank' hours with the workers and then make up the lost time when production returns to full capacity.

Ken Keir, executive vice president, Honda Motor Europe said: "We've taken the decision to reduce our production volumes at Honda UK as it enables us to continue with our manufacturing activities, thus minimising the impact on Honda customers, dealers and Associates. We appreciate everyone's understanding, customers and dealers, during these challenging times."

Swindon's plant turned out 139,085 cars in the year from March 2010 to last month, and it is currently responsible for making the Honda CRV, Civic and Jazz.