Japanese car giant Honda has announced it is to cut 800 jobs after a slump in demand across Europe. Workers at the firm's plant in Swindon, which employs 3,500 people, were told the news this morning.
Honda, which has been making cars in the UK since 1992, has never had job losses before in this country, but it said demand for cars in Europe, including Spain, Italy and Greece, had fallen by a million in the past year.
The company gave the statutory 90-day notice of consultation and said it would seek to avoid compulsory redundancies.
Japanese car giant Honda is investing £267 million in it's plant in Swindon. It's the biggest investment at the site for more than a decade.
500 new workers have been hired to build the new products and there are plans to double production by the end of the year.
Business Secretary Vince Cable is visiting the plant to see the Civic and CR-V models roll off the production line.
Our Wiltshire reporter Robert Murphy is at the plant as the new models start rolling off the production line:
The Business Secretary Vince Cable is in Swindon today as Honda introduce its latest car.
500 new staff have already been recruited at the plant to produce a range of new models and engines. It's part of a 267 million pound investment programme.
The Honda car factory in Swindon is cutting back production because of falling sales in Europe.
A third of the company's 3,500 staff working on the Civic and Jazz models will go onto a four day week in September.
But a system of flexible hours means their pay won't be affected.
500 staff are starting work at Honda in Swindon today. The Japanese car giant is introducing a second shift in response to growing demand. The company predicts the move will double production at the plant, with 180,000 cars coming off the production line by the end of the year.
It brings the total of workers at Swindon to 3,500. Last year, staff were on reduced hours after the Japanese earthquake and floods in Thailand affected the supply of parts.
Honda, which has a factory in Swindon, has announced a 61 percent rise in profits in its first quarter results.
More than 3,000 workers at the Swindon plant had to work reduced hours last year after the Japanese tsunami and floods in Thailand affected the supply of parts.