Honda’s UK factory at Swindon has started a fourth shift which will take production capacity up to 240,000 vehicles by next October.

Managing director Ken Keir said that 700 new jobs had been created by the additional shift which was announced less than a year ago.

“The factory has done a marvellous job in getting everyone trained up and on the line in a very short space of time,” said Keir.

He added that there would be no more expansion at the Swindon site which uniquely makes the Civic hatchback models, as well as some CR-V SUVs.

“We have gone as far as we can go with this plant and Honda generally likes this sort of size as manageable capacity.”