By Marcus Leach

The Prime Minister has welcomed the announcement of 500 new jobs from Honda.

Honda starts the mass production of the New Civic at its Swindon car plant, creating 500 new jobs to meet a forecasted production increase in 2012.

“This is great news and a tremendous boost to the workforce, the car industry and UK manufacturing," Mr Cameron said.

"Honda is contributing to a real renaissance in the UK automotive industry, we have a highly skilled workforce and we continue to be at the forefront of new technology and development. Its success is of great importance to our economy and we are committed to do all that we can to see this vital industry grow and thrive.”

Business Minister Mark Prisk added the news was a sign of Honda's commitment to the UK.

“Today’s announcement of the creation of 500 new jobs on the day that production started on the next generation of the Civic hatchback is a clear demonstration of Honda’s continued commitment to the UK," he said.

“It is a huge vote of confidence in the skills of the Swindon workforce and the current strength of the automotive sector. The decision reinforces the message that the UK remains a great place to manufacture high quality products.”

Honda Motor Europe President Manabu Nishimae speaking at the ceremony said Honda remained totally committed to building cars and engines in Europe with Swindon at the heart of Honda’s European manufacturing activities. He added that Honda in Europe had turned a corner with a significant production increase expected in 2012.

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