Honda confirm Swindon factory closure
Tuesday 19th February 2019 17:10:50
Honda announce Swindon plant closure
The sad news has been confirmed that Honda will close it’s manufacturing plant at Swindon in 2021. It is expected that around 3,500 jobs will be lost. .
The Japanese manufacturer confirmed the decision was not driven by Brexit. Honda confirmed the move was in response to global automotive trends and the desire to move to producing electric vehicles.
The facility in Wiltshire produces around 160,000 Civic models each year. Many of these use diesel power units that the manufacturer is moving away from.
The Civic model has been one of Honda’s most popular models since it was first built in 1972. Around 90% of the Civic’s built at Swindon are exported to the EU and the United States.
The Swindon factory opened for operations in 1989. Beyond the 3,500 people it employs, there is a further network of supply chain jobs in the area.
Honda have also confirmed that it will stop production of the Civic model at it’s factory in Turkey in 2021. The car maker will keep it’s european headquarters in the UK.
The move follows the recent news that Nissan had backtracked over building it’s new X-Trail model. Instead of producing the new SUV in Sunderland, it will be made in Japan.
Why is Honda ending car production in the UK?
Whilst Honda have been quick to dispel rumours that the move is driven by Brexit. The BBC have recently reported a possible driver for the move. The EU have signed a trade deal with Japan that means zero tariffs for exported cars in either direction.
It has been suggested that with no tariffs in place, there are fewer reasons to manufacture cars in the EU for companies like Honda.
Whatever the reason, it is clear that the decision to close the Swindon plant is a huge blow for the area.