Current workers at the Swindon plant, Honda's largest production facility Europe, will return to work on a full-time basis for the first time in three months.

The news comes at the end of what has been a trying year for Honda's production efforts.

Since September, the workforce had been undertaking reduced hours of three half-shifts per week since September after floods in Thailand disrupted Honda's supply of parts.

The manufacturer was inflicted with a parts shortage earlier in 2011 as well, due to the March earthquake in Japan.

However, Honda is confident it's past the worst. The manufacturer's goal for 2012 is to double its vehicle output at Swindon compared to 2011, from 90,000 to 180,000.

The Japanese automaker still has some way to return to the level of production it was managing just before the financial crisis struck in 2008. Back then the Swindon plant employed 5,000 workers and was producing 240,000 vehicles in a year.

The president of Honda Motor Europe, Manabu Nishimae, described today's announcement as "the next major milestone" for the Swindon plant, after three difficult years.

Meanwhile the head of the new model centre at Swindon, Kim Ballamy, revealed the dedicated Civic team were originally meant to work in Japan but couldn't because facilities there had been destroyed by the March earthquake.

Honda has announced that it will recruit 500 more workers at its Swindon production plant, where production for the all-new Civic hatchback has just commenced.

The latest recruitment process will increase the workforce at the Honda Swindon plant to 3,500 employees.

The workers will start work producing the new European Honda Civic, which goes on sale in UK dealerships in January 2012. The plant will continue to produce two other models, the CR-V 4x4 and Jazz hatchback.

Prices for the current Honda Civicstart from £12,995.