Honda confirms Swindon plant will close in 2021

By Jamie Hill - 19 February 2019

CommunityBusinessMotoring

Japanese carmaker Honda will end production in Swindon in 2021 resulting in the loss of 3,500 jobs.

Honda at Steam - Job Fest February 2019

Honda has confirmed plans to close its South Marston factory in 2021.

The Japanese car manufacturer said 3,500 jobs will be lost when the plant shuts at the end of the current model's production lifecycle. The Swindon plant currently produces 150,000 cars a year.

A statement from Honda said: "This proposal comes as Honda accelerates its commitment to electrified cars, in response to the unprecedented changes in the global automotive industry.

"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.

"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."

It is not known yet what impact this will have on the thousands of jobs in the supply chain for the plant.

Speaking last night before Honda's official statement Ian Larrard, Director of Swindon & Wiltshire Initiative at Business West commented on the Swindon Honda closure:

“If it is confirmed, it is with great sadness to learn that Honda is set to close its Swindon operation as it ceases production of the Civic model in 2021.

“While at first reading, Brexit uncertainty probably hasn’t helped, it is only one of a number of negative external factors that have created a perfect storm, making this decision inevitable even if the timing has come as a shock.

“Trump’s tariffs on cars, the level of investment required right now to begin producing electric vehicles by 2022 and an EU/Japan trade deal that will make car production in Japan for the European market a more viable proposition.

“The priority now is to ensure all those who may be made redundant are helped to find work. Business West has provided support packages in the past and we’re ready to do so again when needed.

“On a positive note, the local economy remains robust and there is a strong jobs market, with the private sector looking to help employ not just engineers but the many skilled associates at Honda who may lose their jobs.”

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