LONDON (UPI) — Honda said that slow sales in Europe had forced it to cut 800 jobs at an assembly plant in Swindon, west of London
The cuts were announced just a year after Honda added 500 positions to the plant that makes the Civic, Jazz and CR-V models, the BBC reported Friday.
But the plant operated at 66 percent capacity in 2012, making 166,000 cars, while at peak production the plant is capable of making 250,000 vehicles per year.
“Despite challenges brought by weak European demand, the longer-term prospects for the UK automotive sector remain good,” said Paul Everitt, chief executive officer of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, a trade group.
“Sustained conditions of low demand in European markets make it necessary to realign Honda’s business structure,”Honda said in a statement.
Data shows Honda’s sales rose in Britain in 2012 but fell throughout the rest of Europe.
New car registrations rose by 5.3 percent in the year to 2,044,609 vehicles with 54,208 of those cars Hondas, which was a 7.2 percent gain from 2011 for the brand.
Across Europe, however, there were 131,346 Hondas registered January through November in 2012, a 6.2 percent decline from the first 11 months of 2011, the BBC said.