Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) in Swindon on Monday (30 April) introduced the second shift in Car Plant 2, as announced last December.

The shift adds 500 new workers – called associates by Honda – and takes the total workforce to 3,500 with production forecast to double to 180,000 units in 2012.

It’s a long way from the four months of closure and voluntary layoffs in 2009 soon after the global financial crisis but still short of the factory’s peak of 5,000 workers and 240,000 units before then.

Speaking in December, Honda Motor Europe president Manabu Nishimae said Honda remained committed to building cars and engines in Europe at Swindon.

Honda began building the redesigned Civic in December, The plant also builds the Jazz [Fit] and will start on the redesigned CR-V a new 1.6-litre diesel engine later this year.