Honda brings Jazz to UK

Honda UK has announced that volume production of the Jazz model has officially begun at the company’s Swindon facility.


The first British-built Jazz was driven off the production line on 7 October.


The carmaker claims production of the vehicle was moved to the UK from Japan as a response to the success of the scrappage incentive schemes operating across Europe.



Honda stated that company policy dictates building the most popular cars in the markets in which they are sold. The Jazz has comprised 70 per cent of all Honda scrappage deals.



The carmaker said that the five-door family supermini has been successful because of consumer trends toward smaller, more fuel-efficient cars.



In the current financial year, the Swindon factory will build 20,000 units of Jazz, 75 per cent of which will be sold within the UK market. The other 25 per cent is planned for export to 55 countries across mainland Europe and other regions including South Africa.



The planned total production level for the Swindon plant in this financial year is 100,600 units, still well below the plant’s full capacity. Honda claims volumes will likely increase next year with three models including the Jazz on the production line-up.



David Hodgetts, director at Honda of the UK Manufacturing, said: ‘We see this third model as a wonderful opportunity in the current climate and we’re extremely proud to be building the Jazz here in Swindon.



‘The car is incredibly popular with customers, and it has won countless awards for quality and reliability. Shifting production to the UK is a real vote of confidence in all our associates here in Swindon, and recognition of the high standards we have been able to achieve at the plant.’



The beginning of volume production follows a four-month shutdown earlier this year at the Swindon plant. In June 3,400 employees returned to work at the plant, while approximately 1,300 employees accepted company-offered volunteer redundancies.



The four-month shutdown allowed Honda to rebuild assembly lines and bring in new robots and machinery for the Jazz.




The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) claims the impact of the UK scrappage scheme has been substantial for the entire UK automotive industry over the past few months.



The SMMT stated that as a direct result of the scheme, the market in July, August and September performed better than expected, providing three consecutive months of growth.



There are some indications it also helped car production in the UK. In August, one in three cars built in the UK were for the home market.