By Daniel Hunter

Weak European demand has forced Honda to announce plans that will see 800 jobs at their Swindon plant cut.

It is the first time the Japanese carmaker has had to cut jobs in the UK since it began manufacturing there in 1992.

The Swindon plant, which produces the Civic, Jazz and CR-V models, employs 3,500 people, having added 500 to the workforce a year ago.

Honda has begun a 90-day consultation period on the job cuts and says it hopes to avoid compulsory redundancies.

"Sustained conditions of low demand in European markets make it necessary to realign Honda's business structure," the company said in a statement.

In a statement, industry group the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said it was very disappointing news.

"Despite challenges brought by weak European demand, the longer-term prospects for the UK automotive sector remain good," SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said.

"We hope that those affected will be able to take advantage of the opportunities we know exist throughout the UK sector and its supply chain."

Join us on
Follow @freshbusiness