Honda says Swindon facility is safe

Honda has set up a team at its Swindon facility to handle any supply problems that may arise due to the production halt at its operations in earthquake-hit Japan.

The move follows the week-long shutting down of manufacturing at the motor company's five major factories in Japan while the impact of the earthquake is being assessed, creating disruption to component supply in Swindon.

Paul Ormond, Honda's general manager for corporate affairs in the UK, said that while dealing with the problem is "not going to be easy" for the firm's British operations, the Swindon plant is "safe".

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that operations were continuing at the Swindon plant in Wiltshire - which employs around 3,000 people.

Mr Ormond said: "We have closed all five of the major plants in Japan building cars and motorcycles for one week.

"The purpose of that is to look at safety checks, to look at the infrastructure around the plants and to get in touch with all our component suppliers."

The decision taken by Honda's emergency committee to halt production was prompted in part by the desire to ensure that energy supplies were available for people dealing with the immediate impact of the quake, he added.

Asked whether events in Japan may mean the company's UK operation running out of the components it needs to continue production, Mr Ormond said: "We have two teams - one here and one in Japan - looking at the future element of components to ensure we don't have that problem, looking at counter-measures and alternatives.

"It's not going to be easy but I'm sure we are going to overcome it. Swindon is safe."

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