Spokesmen for Honda manufacturing units in the United States and England seem to be singing from different song sheets when it comes to whether or not some of the redesigned CR-V small SUVs now being launched in the US will come from the automaker’s British plant in Swindon, Wiltshire.

In January 2005, when the previous Swindon-built versions were slightly updated and a diesel engine option added for European markets, just-auto reported that, come the switchover to the fully redesigned 2007 model, production in the UK of a proportion of the models sold in the US – the rest being sent from a plant in Japan – would end. Swindon CR-V production from that point would be largely for Europe.

Quite right, Honda UK spokesman Steve Kirk confirmed by phone today (2 October). A few run-out old US-spec models are yet to be shipped but then the Swindon plant will focus on European models, adding a new shift of 700 workers to meet burgeoning demand for the Civic hatchback, including the new three-door models just going into production.

Kirk would not rule out more CR-V production for the US at some point but stressed it was not part of the plan for Swindon right now.

Meanwhile, Honda of America Manufacturing’s East Liberty, Ohio, plant last week built the first 60 (all black) CR-V units to be made in North America. And mentioned in their press release that US supplies would be supplemented by vehicles from both Japan – and Swindon.

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Cue Honda of America manufacturing spokesman Ed Miller responding to just-auto’s query by email today: “Our plans changed,” he said.

“The redesign of the Civic for the 2006 model year here in the States and Canada set off a buying frenzy, and we barely can keep up with customer demands for the new vehicle.

“Civics for North America are built in East Liberty and Alliston, Ontario, and much overtime has been devoted to production.

“Because of this development, East Liberty has been asked to build far more Civics than originally planned — and the Element also is selling well. Both are built on the same line as the CR-V. Therefore, we must depend upon Swindon for vehicles for the indefinite future.”

Another query has whistled through cyberspace to Miller. And Kirk has been sent copies of the US position.

We’ll keep you posted.

Graeme Roberts