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May 2018

11

Fuelling the Power of Dreams
Date: 11.05.2018
Category: HUM news
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Honda believes that great ideas can come from anyone. It’s part of the Honda Philosophy, written in the 1950s by our founder, Soichiro Honda.

His passion for automotive engineering continues to power Honda, helping it to be progressive, forward-thinking and above all, innovative.

Everyone at Honda wears the same uniform: Honda whites, a pair of safety shoes and a name badge. The same clothes are issued to everyone on their first day, from line-side production operatives to senior management.

It isn’t because Honda wants everyone to be the same - far from it. Rather, years of following the Honda Philosophy has shown that it helps break down barriers and ensure that everyone is treated with respect, creating better team relationships. It also helps to ensure that people’s ideas are listened to on their own merits, rather than being judged on job titles.

Why white uniforms?
You might think that in a company with such a passion for automotive engineering, traditionally a dirty environment, white clothes would be the worst possible choice.

In fact, it’s for this exact reason that white was chosen - an important part of the Honda Philosophy holds that “good products come from clean workplaces”. If the uniforms stay clean, it means the workplaces are clean.

Taking the initiative
Honda’s single status philosophy doesn’t stop at clothing. Honda has never had employees, they’ve always been associates, long before it was fashionable. Everyone has the same opportunity to progress - and enjoy the same facilities, such as car parks and canteens.

John Humphries, who works in Engineering Staff within the Engine Plant, says: “You could sit down for lunch next to department managers or even directors, but not know it. This allows open communication across the business. Everyone feels empowered and valued for the part they play."

All associates enjoy great benefits, including 25 days basic holiday, life assurance, pension and private health care. But the Power of Dreams isn’t just about benefits and salary.

Honda nurtures an enterprising spirit and values your creativity - and your career aspirations. The Honda Philosophy gives every associate the chance to go beyond their own disciplines and push forward new ideas that benefit everyone in the company, and help individuals succeed both personally and in their careers.

Becki Robertson, Head of Human Resources, says: “We’re incredibly proud to still cultivate the principles on which Honda was founded. At Honda of the UK Manufacturing we’re delighted to have been able to adapt to modern-day global markets, whilst staying true to Soichiro Honda’s vision.”

The Swindon recruitment team has recently added a couple of hot jobs to the list of vacancies. If you’re interested in hearing more about Honda’s career opportunities, click here.

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May 2018

11

Honda’s core values outshine stereotypes of the car industry
Date: 11.05.2018
Category: HUM news
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Women play a bigger role in the automotive industry than ever before. Not only are they often cited to be safer drivers than men, but in many parts of the world, women own cars in the same numbers as men and they are often the ones who make the final decision when it comes to purchasing a new car.

Car manufacturers recognise these trends and are increasingly taking the female buyer into consideration when designing new cars. But the trends are not yet being reflected across the board in the automotive industry’s workforce.

In business terms alone, it makes sense for the workforce of an industry to reflect its customer base. But with only 11% of the workforce in the automotive industry being female, the brakes have been on gender equality in the car industry for decades.

Bucking the trend at Honda
There are chinks of light, however, and Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd in Swindon is operating above the industry average. With 290 women in line-side/production based roles at the plant, and around 450 female associates in total, this equates to 12% of the workforce.

If you would like to join the team at Honda Swindon, look at our current vacancies here

This above-average trend has been led by a change in ethos. In 2014, Hideko Kunii became Honda’s first female to be appointed to the Board. It was a high-profile move, one which marked a significant line in the sand for a company wanting to distance itself from its reputation of only hiring Japanese men. Kunii joined the Board from Ricoh and the University of Tokyo, where she was in charge of promoting gender equality.

Closer to home, Becki Robertson, Head of HR at Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd, says: “We’re incredibly proud to employ a higher percentage of female associates than the national average for the industry. Our workforce is as diverse as our customer base. We embrace being able to challenge outdated preconceptions about females in manufacturing and consistently see the benefits within our business operations.”

Feeling respected and valued
We caught up with Aly Lyons, an associate at Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd in Swindon to ask her how she finds working in a male-dominated environment.

Q/ When did you join Honda of the UK Manufacturing?
A/ December 5th 2016

Q/ Where did you work before?
A/ Sainsbury’s

Q/ What do you do here at Honda of the UK Manufacturing?
A/ I work in payroll.

Q/ What attracted you to working at Honda of the UK Manufacturing?
A/ I wanted a new challenge and to progress further with my career in Payroll. I found dealing with the complexity of operating a payroll system with varying shift patterns an appealing challenge.

Q/ How can Honda attract more women into its workforce?
A/ I think Honda is already very fair for both females and males. In my area, I work with more women than men, so I feel Honda is already doing well at attracting females to the workplace.

Q/ How do you feel about working in a male-dominated industry?
A/ It doesn’t phase me. I predominately deal with male associates who have pay queries. But I feel they treat me with the same respect they would if I was male. I do not feel that I am treated differently because I am female and I see Honda being very fair and accommodating to both genders.Honda’s core values appear to outshine any stereotypical behaviour that may be seen within this sector and this makes me feel as valued and respected as any male would.

 

If you would like to join the team at Honda Swindon, look at our current vacancies here

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May 2018

11

Building cars on a global scale
Date: 11.05.2018
Category: HUM news
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It’s just over three years since Honda made a decision which has revitalised not only the UK’s automotive sector but also job opportunities in the West Country for people interested in car innovation, design and production.

The Japanese company’s European flagship factory in Swindon is now the global production hub for the 10th generation Civic, after an announcement in 2015 of a £200m investment in the facility. The manufacturing hub is a place where a passion for automotive engineering drives everything Honda does.

In Swindon, Honda produces the total car, from casting, engine assembly and pressing through to welding, painting and final assembly. It is Honda’s centre of excellence for car manufacturing in Europe.

An energised workforce
The recent big financial injection has definitely moved things up a gear or two for associates in Swindon, resulting in new and advanced production technologies and processes, and putting it firmly on the UK car production map.

Ian Bowden, a member of the Engineering Staff within the Engine Plant, has been with Honda for 27 years. He feels positive about the new plans: “Honda’s core values have remained the same. The investment allowed for some of our processes to be updated and in doing so it made our operations feel more sophisticated and modern. This demonstrates Honda’s dedication to keep up with the rapidly changing global market.”

The team in Swindon is proud that the new, and incredibly popular, Civic hatchback is being exported to more than 70 countries worldwide including Europe, North America and Japan.

At the time of the announcement, Katsushi Inoue, President and Chief Operating Officer of Honda Motor Europe, made the long-term vision for Swindon clear: “As we reveal this new Civic, we look forward with confidence as we expand the role of our Swindon manufacturing plant. Honda has made significant investments in this facility and this next step is an important endorsement of the skills and expertise of our workforce. We’re also setting out a clear and sustainable future role for HUM, broadening our export markets beyond Europe.”

The combination of automotive excellence, innovative technology, vibrant culture, future growth and job security make Swindon’s Honda Manufacturing hub a great place to work.

Julie-Ann Keeble, Associate and Organisational Development Manager, has been with Honda for just over a year. She says: “There are always interesting projects and activities to get involved in. My personal experience is that colleagues are passionate about what they do and are focused. People always give time to support each other. I feel proud to work in the global production hub for the Civic.”

The Swindon recruitment team has recently added a couple of hot jobs to the list of vacancies. If you’d like to hear more about Honda’s career opportunities, click here.

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May 2018

11

Honda smashes speed record at Nurburgring
Date: 11.05.2018
Category: HUM news
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Yes, it’s a hatchback, and yes, it’s a front-wheel drive. But it’s about as far from an everyday, family car as you can get. The Honda Civic Type R – which began production in Swindon last summer – is a first-class performance car which, in April 2017, had its calibre tested and proven at the world’s premier race track, the Nurburgring in Germany.

On 3 April 2017, the development car completed one circuit of the track in a mind-bending 7min 43.8secs, almost seven seconds quicker than its predecessor’s time – and five seconds quicker than previous champion, the VW Golf GTI Clubsport S. The quest to be crowned the supreme hot hatch is not to be sniffed at. In fact, the competition tops the to-do list of many of the world’s biggest car manufacturers, including Leon, Seat, VW and Renault.

Jason Smith, Swindon’s Director of Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd, said: “We’re incredibly proud to have built the Type R that went to the Nürburgring. This record demonstrates the build quality and is a testament to the skills of our associates at our factory.”

 If you would like to join the team at Honda Swindon, look at our current vacancies on LinkedIn

Going the extra mile
So what was it in the build of this super car that enabled it to put in such a blistering time? Ryuichi Kijima is the lead chassis engineer for the Honda Civic Type R. “The cornering speed achieved in the new Type R is higher because the car features a wider track and tyres, a longer wheelbase, new multi-link suspension in the rear and optimised aerodynamics that improves stability.”

The car’s enhanced stability meant a 10km/h uplift on the speed at which the driver could take some of the corners on the track, resulting in seconds saved on the clock.

From Swindon to… the world!
With a world record under its belt, the 10th generation Civic Type R was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in April. Built in Swindon for global distribution, the hot hatch has an optimised and refined 2.0-litre VTEC TURBO engine with an output of 320 PS and 400Nm of torque. The development car that achieved the record-breaking lap time in Germany was technically representative of the production model specification (apart from the roll cage installed on the development car for safety reasons).

The Type R is built in Swindon and exported across Europe and to other markets around the world, including Japan and the US. Its arrival in North America will mark the first time that any Honda-badged Type R has been officially sold there.

Type R for Rewarding
Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd in Swindon, the home of Type R production, is a great place to work, offering employees the opportunity to work on world-beating cars. Sarah has been an employee for just over four years. She says: “Everyone here strives to build a quality product for our customers. There are challenges in building a complex quality product and this creates interesting work every day.”

Mike, a long-serving Swindon engineering employee, says: “I love the varied and different challenges that keep it interesting. During my 27 years of service, I have had first-hand experience of the opportunities Honda provides its associates to progress through the company. It is extremely reassuring to feel your company’s support throughout your career.”

If you would like to be part of the Honda journey, take a look at our current vacancies in Swindon and find out more about working for Honda here.

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May 2018

11

Honda Civic – built in Swindon, sold globally
Date: 11.05.2018
Category: HUM news
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This last year has been a big one for Honda in Europe. Not only has the company unveiled its 10th generation Honda Civic and smashed speed records with its hot hatch development car, it has built over 160,000 cars at its flagship production facility in Swindon and exported over 90 percent of them to Europe and the United States.

It’s a formidable achievement and one which solidifies the importance of Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd as a global production hub in Swindon.

As Katsushi Inoue, President and Chief Operating Officer of Honda Motor Europe, said at the launch of the Civic in Spring 2017: “As we reveal this new Civic, we look forward with confidence as we expand the role of our Swindon manufacturing plant. Honda has made significant investments in this facility and this next step is an important endorsement of the skills and expertise of our workforce. We’re also setting out a clear and sustainable future role for HUM, broadening our export markets beyond Europe.”

If you would like to join the team at Honda Swindon, look at our current vacancies on LinkedIn

Having an international view is nothing new for the Japanese carmaker. According to Jeffert Rothfeder, who wrote the 2014 book Driving Honda: Inside The World’s Most Innovative Car Company, Honda looked outward from its home shores well before other manufacturers considered making or even selling products overseas. Its founder Soichiro Honda always believed in global expansion and in the early 1950s, when the company was only a few years old, he declared that it must “maintain an international footprint” and perceive the rest of the world as its potential customer base.”*

Performing a Civic duty
Soichiro’s belief in “building products in the market where they are sold” continues today, with about half of the Civics built at Swindon’s production hub in 2017 sold in Europe. Honda’s figures show that up to 790 cars can be made each day in Swindon – that’s one every sixty-nine seconds! The other half of Civic sales are spread between other global markets.

Facts about Honda’s global production hub in Swindon
• The first car plant was opened here on 10th October 1992
• It has a production capacity of over 160,000 cars per year
• Car Plant One currently produces the Civic hatchback, and the all new Civic Type R

Ian Bowden, who works in the Engineering Plant in Swindon, reflects on the changes since the recent cash investment made it Honda’s global Civic production hub: “The investment allowed for some of our processes to be updated and in doing so it made our operations feel sophisticated, modern and state of the art. This demonstrates Honda’s dedication to keep up with the rapidly changing global market.”

John Humphries, another engineer and associate at Honda Swindon, compares his current role with previous jobs: “With Honda, I have found the tasks to be varied, interesting and challenging. Other places I have worked feel very stagnant or monotonous compared to Honda of the UK Manufacturing . No two days are the same here, which constantly allows you to develop as a person.”

If you would like to join the team at Honda Swindon, look at our current vacancies on LinkedIn

*Source: www.globalmanufacturing.com

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May 2018

11

Waste not want not
Date: 11.05.2018
Category: HUM news
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Honda cares about the environment, whether it’s designing the next evolution of its product range to maximise efficiency and minimise fossil fuel use, or challenging its sites to minimise their environmental impact. This kind of dedication to the environment makes Honda a very attractive place to work for people who also care about the future of the planet.

As Matt Cooper, EU HS&E Sustainability Manager at Honda of the UK Manufacturing, says: “Each Honda site is encouraged to develop local environmental improvement themes from not only a business-led, major-project perspective but also associate-driven innovation.”

This intention is certainly borne out at Swindon’s Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd’s plant. Not only does the plant work with the local Council on its zero-waste-to-landfill policy, its associates are passionate about the environment too.

One man’s trash…
The zero-waste-to-landfill policy, which has been in place since 2010, sees Swindon County Council taking the discarded sand used during the engine die casting process for road repairs in the area and creating concrete with excess paint sludge.

Matt continues: “Over recent years Honda has engaged in water reduction projects working with GE Water and process technologies, established a miscanthus (biomass) crop within the site boundaries, worked with a local developer to establish a private wire PV solar array electricity supply to our site, and committed to purchasing 100% renewable electricity for the remaining energy use. In support of the Hydrogen highway, the company worked with local partners to establish the region’s first commercial and publicly accessible Hydrogen refuelling station which produces the fuel from 100% renewable electricity.”

If you would like to work for an environmentally responsible and proactive employer, look at Honda Swindon’s current vacancies on LinkedIn

The power to influence
This kind of commitment is a great source of pride and inspiration to those who work at Honda in Swindon.

Steve Cox, Energy Management Coordinator, says: “It matters deeply to me that the company I work for cares about the environment. Large companies, such as Honda, have big influence and can positively affect how we use resources and look after the environment. Over the last four years, I have also had the privilege of seeing how Honda has been investing in new technologies to reduce energy consumption, and the positive effects this is having.”

Another employee in Swindon who is doing his bit, is General Associate in Assembly Frame (and resident beekeeper) Michael Carter. “We have six hives this year at Honda. I’ve been doing it for three years now and the benefits for the environment are wide-ranging – from pollination of food crops and flowers to the harvesting of the honey itself

Honda is a company that is always looking to the future, says Steve: “I have never worked at a company which has made the same amount of effort that Honda does towards looking after the environment. I think that Honda is very progressive in this area, and the company is always looking in to the next ways to improve what we do.”

Indeed – and the target for 2018 is to ensure that 100% of the waste sent to incineration is subsequently converted to energy.

If you would like to work for an environmentally responsible and proactive employer, look at Honda Swindon’s current vacancies here.

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News from Honda
 
Waste not want not
11 May 2018
Honda cares about the environment, whether it’s designing the ne... Read more open news link
 
Honda Civic – built in Swindon, sold globally
11 May 2018
This last year has been a big one for Honda in Europe. Not only has th... Read more open news link
 
Honda smashes speed record at Nurburgring
11 May 2018
Yes, it’s a hatchback, and yes, it’s a front-wheel drive. ... Read more open news link
 
Building cars on a global scale
11 May 2018
It’s just over three years since Honda made a decision which has... Read more open news link
 
Honda’s core values outshine stereotypes of the car industry
11 May 2018
Women play a bigger role in the automotive industry than ever before. ... Read more open news link
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