Production at Honda to start again on Monday
5:30am Saturday 11th January 2014 in By Elizabeth Mackley
Swindon’s Honda factory has confirmed that normal production will resume on Monday after essential parts finally docked in Southampton on Thursday night.
The car giant’s factory near South Marston halted its production lines on Wednesday after container ships delivering manufacturing parts were caught out at sea in the severe weather conditions.
The bad weather over the past few weeks delayed many shipments through Europe, including to Southampton where the parts had to dock before coming on to Swindon.
Richard Day, a senior manager at Honda, reassured customers the temporary shutdown would not affect delivery of their purchases.
He said: “I can confirm we will be back to production on Monday morning.
“We halted production purely for weather-related issues causing delays coming into UK waters.
“Our customers are our first priority and will not be affected by the delays.”
The shutdown was a big blow to the factory, which is one of the biggest producing the Japanese vehicles in the UK.
Mr Day said: “Everyone would rather be at work and our associates would rather keep on going, but we set aside time during the year so if things like this happen we can catch up.
“I’m very happy this arrangement was put in place a few years ago because it means our customers are not affected.
“We’re happy to be back in full production on Monday.”
The closure will not affect Honda’s profit margins since contingency plans are rountinely in place to account for any hiccups and any outstanding work will be completed in the next few weeks.
Many workers on Honda’s factory lines were sent home when the plant closed, but this should not affect their pay packets thanks to an agreement between the car manufacturing company and workers’ union, Unite.
It is not the first time the Honda factory has closed in similar circumstance. In 2011 a tsunami and earthquake in Japan disrupted the production of electronic items for the vehicles, and floods in Thailand disrupted shipping of electronic chips to the UK.
Violent protests in China in 2012 did not affect production in South Marston, although the crisis did see shares in the company drop by 2.5 per cent.