Honda Shuts Down British Plant for 4 Months

Profits drop 89%

Workers at Honda's British factory made the last cars on Jan. 30 before a four-month shutdown caused by a sharp fall in worldwide sales. Production at the plant in Swindon, southwest England, will be halted until June 1, with 4,200 workers receiving full pay for the first two months, reduced to 60% for the rest of the shutdown.

Honda has insisted it intends to maintain its Swindon workforce until the Jazz model is due to go into production there later this year.

The shutdown came on a grim day of news for Honda as Japan's second-largest carmaker said its net profit plunged 89% in the fiscal third quarter and it slashed its annual earnings forecast by more than half.

It made a net profit of 20.24 billion yen (US$226 million) for the three months to December, down from 200 billion yen a year earlier.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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