Honda to cut U.K. output; jobs safe

Kyodo

Honda Motor Co. announced Monday that it will reduce output at its British plant this year by 13 percent from the previous year to around 100,000 vehicles.

Production is being curbed at the auto plant in preparation for the assembly of new models, Honda said, adding that the move will not result in job cuts at the plant.

The automaker released the forecast after the Financial Times reported Saturday that Honda plans to cut production of Accord and Civic models at its plant in Swindon, western England, by more than 50 percent.

The economic daily said Honda wants to reduce production to cope with the strong sterling and weak sales in European markets.

Ford Motor Co. of the United States recently announced a restructuring plan for its largest plant in Britain, and BMW AG of Germany decided to sell off the Rover Group, triggering fears of job cuts at British automobile plants.

MMC rolling in China

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said Tuesday it has begun mass-producing engines and transmissions at its joint-venture plant in China.

The firm has set a production target of 25,000 engines and as many transmissions in the plant’s first year of operations, Mitsubishi said.

The joint-venture plant in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, was established in 1997 by Japanese and Chinese concerns, including trading house Mitsubishi Corp. While the plant is currently capable of producing 75,000 engines and an equal number of transmissions in one year, Mitsubishi plans to boost capacity to 150,000 for each by 2010.

The percentage of locally manufactured parts being used at the Shenyang plant was increased to 40 percent earlier this month.