Honda proposes closing United Kingdom plant that builds Civic Hatchback, Type R

22 February, 2019, 06:44 | Author: Gerard Cortez
  • More than 3,500 people work at Honda's Swindon plant

Honda has said it plans to close its auto factory in western England in 2021, imperiling 3,500 jobs in a fresh blow to the British economy as it faces its March 29 exit from the European Union.

Honda has officially announced plans to close its Swindon factory in 2021, which puts 3,500 jobs in the firing line.

Honda Motor Chief Executive Takahiro Hachigo bows his head as he arrives at a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, February 19, 2019.

Mr Clark said: "As Honda have said, this is a commercial decision based on unprecedented changes in the global market".

The automotive sector in the United Kingdom is now facing several challenges, with major manufacturers including as Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, Toyota, Nissan and BMW warning about the impact of a no-deal Brexit. CNN reported this morning that the Japanese carmaker said it will shut down its only manufacturing plant in the English town of Swindon.

While Honda at Swindon hadn't been running at full capacity for a while, the emergence of rumours around its closure still came as a surprise.

The factory employs 3,500 workers, but at least as many work for companies across the country which supply Honda with parts and services.

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The Japanese giant is expected to announce today that the Swindon plant will be shut down by 2022.

Like many of its global rivals, Honda is trying to streamline its operations as it invests heavily to develop electric vehicles and self-driving cars, transforming itself from simply a manufacturer of cars into a mobility company. It's understood that now, with no financial penalties for making cars in Japan and exporting them to Europe, the last business case in favour of maintaining HUM has been removed.

Despite Honda's insistence that the closure is not as a result of Brexit, many have seen the continued uncertainty around it as a key reason for it. "They are seeking to consolidate production in Japan".

But with a possible no-deal departure from the European Union just weeks away, the decision was still seized on by those increasingly concerned about the prospects for business and the economy as 29 March approaches. Consultation with potentially affected employees will begin today, Honda says. The factory now makes the Honda Civic and is capable of producing as many as 150,000 of the cars a year, CNN reported.

Nissan Motor Co. said it will cancel plans to produce its next-generation SUV at its Sunderland plant in northeastern England, saying it needed to optimize its regional investment strategy, while indicating Brexit obscurity also played a role.

UK-made products also risk being disadvantaged by a new treaty that will gradually eliminate tariffs on Japanese imports to the European Union, though Tomlinson, a pro-Brexit Tory, said the divorce was not a factor in Honda's move.

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