Honda to close British plant, affecting at least 3,500 jobs

Honda to close British plant, affecting at least 3,500 jobs

Honda to close British plant, affecting at least 3,500 jobs

An official announcement on the future of the Swindon auto plant is expected to be made to the media tomorrow (Tuesday 19 February).

"To ensure Honda is well placed to adjust to all possible outcomes, we are planning six non-production days in April".

Rival Japanese carmaker Nissan announced earlier this month that it was cancelling plans to build its X-Trail SUV in northeast England, citing uncertainty surrounding Brexit as a factor. The plant now produces 150,000 cars per year, and employs approximately 3,500 people.

Honda confirmed the planned closure on Tuesday.

Surprisingly, the closure isn't a result of Brexit but instead due to "unprecedented changes in the global automotive industry" which has caused Honda to restructure its global manufacturing network, according to an official statement.

He said that China, the US and Japan were where the firm would focus its investments.

The Japanese automaker announced the decision at a news conference in Tokyo, where Honda's president and CEO, Takahiro Hachigo, told reporters the decision was based on what made most sense for its global competitiveness in light of the need to accelerate its production of electric vehicles. Honda operates the Alliston, Ontario, and Greensburg, Indiana, plants in Canada and the U.S. Both now build the Honda Civic sedan models.

Ford Motor, announcing thousands of job cuts in Europe this year, last week said a hard Brexit would be " catastrophic" for the United Kingdom auto industry and its own production facilities.

Dr Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, Phil Smith, chief executive of Business West and Paul Britton, chief executive of Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, said: "The automotive industry is a bellwether for United Kingdom manufacturing, and has a disproportionate impact on many of our business communities and on our export strength. Honda Turkiye A.Ş. will continue to hold constructive dialogue with Turkish stakeholders during this period", the Japanese carmaker said in a statement on February 19.

Honda has become the latest major company to consider its future within the United Kingdom as the Brexit deadline looms.

Honda said the move comes as it "accelerates its commitment to electrified cars, in response to the unprecedented changes in the global automotive industry".

The restructuring announcement also noted the automaker's plant in Turkey will close in 2021.

"I think Swindon's finished without Honda", she said.

"Honda seems to have been preparing for this for a long time".

Work began on its plant in Swindon in 1985.

The company is expected to relocate production to Japan, which can guarantee tariff-free exports to the European Union as the result of a trade deal signed between the two parties recently.

But Honda has provided us a statement that reveals the hatchback and Type R appear to be safe, where production may be moved to, and when we may be seeing a totally new Civic.

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