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2013-01-11 13:01

GRIM DAYS AHEAD FOR WORKERS: To save costs, Honda will slash 800 jobs at a plant in southern England that assembles Civic variants for Europe.

LONDON, England - Japanese automaker Honda plans to cut around 800 jobs at its plant near Swindon in south west England due to poor demand for its vehicles in Europe.

The automaker, which builds its Civic hatch/sedan in Swindon, said it would enter into formal consultation with staff over the job cuts which will take place later in 2013.

Honda has 3500 people at the plant.

'LOW DEMAND'

Automakers are struggling to scrap under-used factories and cut surplus jobs that are fuelling losses in Europe as demand for cars in major markets such as France and Germany founder. Honda Europe's executive vice-president Ken Keir said: "Honda remains fully committed for the long-term to its UK and European manufacturing operations but 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."

Honda said sales in Britain remained strong and that it had confidence for the long term for both manufacturing and sales. The automaker would continue to build cars and engines in Britain with the Civic Estate and the Civic Type R build going through to 2014.

In 2012, Ford announced plans to cut 1400 jobs at plants in England and end vehicle manufacturing in Britain.

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

British new-car registrations rose 5.3% in 2012 to 2.04-million, the most since 2008.

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