Honda closure: Japanese car maker closes Swindon factory but vows it’s NOT due to Brexit

Honda closure: Japanese car maker closes Swindon factory but vows it’s NOT due to Brexit

The Japanese car giant said the announcement has come as the company concentrates on electrified cars as the industry moves away from diesel vehicles, and not because of Brexit.The move is likely to affect more than 12,500 jobs in the supply chain of car production. The company said under the restructure, the current role of its UK manufacturing business as a global manufacturing hub is not viable. In a statement they said: “The significant challenges of electrification will see Honda revise its global manufacturing operations, and focus activity in regions where it expects to have high production volumes.” 

Speaking on BBC Radio Four, Ian Howells, Vice President of Honda said: “This is not a Brexit-related issue for us, this decision has been made on the basis of global changes.

“We have always seen Brexit as something we will get through. Nevertheless these other changes that are coming at us globally we have to now respond to and as I said it is a really sad day for our people in Swindon and we regret the impact this is going to have on this and their community.”

Katsushi Inoue, Honda’s chief officer for European Regional Operations and President, Honda Motor Europe said: “In light of the unprecedented changes that are affecting our industry, it is vital that we accelerate our electrification strategy and restructure our global operations accordingly.

“As a result, we have had to take this difficult decision to consult our workforce on how we might prepare our manufacturing network for the future. This has not been taken lightly and we deeply regret how unsettling today’s announcement will be for our people.”

HUM director, Jason Smith, said; “We understand the impact this proposal will have on our associates, wider supplier base and the local community. We are committed to supporting associates to help them through this difficult time.”

Swindon North MP Justin Tomlinson said Honda’s decision to consolidate European market production in Japan was not as a result of Brexit.

He wrote on Twitter: “Honda: @RobertBuckland & I have already spoken to the Business Secretary & Honda. They are clear this is based on global trends and not Brexit as all European market production will consolidate in Japan in 2021.

“Working with Honda, Gov (led by the Business Secretary), staff and Unions there will be a taskforce set up to provide support for all staff (as we did when jobs were lost previously at Honda).

“Honda will be consulting with all staff and there is not expected to be any job losses, or changes in production until 2021.”

Honda produces more than 100,000 Civic cars a year at Swindon and it is their only factory in the EU.

This comes as two weeks ago Japanese car company Nissan announced it would not be building it new x-trail sports car in the UK.

 

Published at Tue, 19 Feb 2019 07:39:00 +0000