Honda to refocus UK comms

Honda is planning to ramp up its corporate PR in the UK, as the firm restarts production following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The Japanese car maker has called in TLG to conduct a review of its 'leadership credentials' as part of a new wide-ranging retained corporate PR brief.

Honda, which employs more than 3,000 workers at its flagship Swindon plant, is boosting its PR capacity after the launch of a campaign to celebrate British design and manufacturing.

The firm is understood to have a number of new products in the pipeline, following a tough economic period for much of the car industry. In particular, Honda is reported to be using green technology to add more hybrids to its current model range.

TLG will report to Honda UK comms director Paul Ormond on the newly created brief. TLG director of media relations Jonathan Oliver said: 'We are very excited to be working with Honda. It is a brand with a great leadership potential and an important position in the UK plc.'

During the tsunami crisis, Honda UK adopted a proactive media stance, with comms chief Ormond emerging as an authoritative spokesman for the Japanese car industry, making appearances on Radio 4's Today programme and Sky News.

However, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami forced some of the country's leading producers, including Honda, to close all of their plants in the country. This was largely due to disruption to the supply chain, which caused a shortage of parts. As PRWeek went to press, Honda was finally preparing to restart production.

Manufacturers of Japanese cars in other countries have not been so severely affected by the shortage of parts.

Ormond said the firm's site in Swindon was not running at full production at present and therefore did not need so many components.

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