CAR giant Honda has been forced to suspend production because it cannot get vital parts into Southampton port.

The company has shut down its factory in Swindon after bad weather delayed parts.

The factory halted production yesterday when container ships delivering components used to build the cars struggled to cross oceans churned up in the bad weather.

The hostile conditions delayed many shipments through Europe, including to Southampton where the parts will need to be delivered before coming on to Swindon.

Despite the delays, normal production is expected to resume on Monday.

A Honda spokesman said: “The parts are on a container ship which has been delayed due to bad weather along its route in the UK.”

The closure is also not expected to severely impact on Honda profit margins, with workers recovering the lost time – and pay – over the next few weeks.

The spokesman added: “The interruption will not affect customer orders as the factory will recover the lost production over the course of the next few weeks.”

 Many of the workers on the factory’s production lines were sent home as a result of the hiccup but it will not have a huge impact on Honda’s 3,000 workers thanks to an agreement between the car manufacturing company and workers’ union, Unite.