Honda has today announced that its Swindon plant will move from a three-shift to a two-shift pattern - with the loss of 500 jobs.

In addition, Honda Motor Europe said production will be consolidated on to one line, to improve production flexibility and efficiency, and will remain so while production volumes continue at the current level.

Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd will enter into consultation on a proposal to reduce the workforce by 340 permanent postitions and 160 temporary employees.

Ian Howells, senior vice president at Honda Europe, said: "Over the last 12 months, we haven't seen the growth we'd anticipated. With no increase forecasted for the next couple of years, we must scale our manufacturing activity accordingly."

"However, with the restructuring we're taking today, and our new model plans, we remain confident in the long-term future of our Swindon plant."