Honda (HMC), a Japanese automaker, will close its Swindon factory on Friday, affecting more than 4,000 jobs. According to the BBC, only 200 of the factory’s 3,000 employees will remain to help decommission it. According to the report, the move will result in the loss of 1,800 employment at two local firms that supply the factory.
The factory, which was built on the site of an abandoned RAF airport, opened in 1985. Since then, the facility has produced around 3.7 million automobiles. In recent years, it has been producing around 680 automobiles each day. The Honda Accord, Jazz, and CR-V were among them. However, it has only produced the Honda Civic since 2018, which has been sold throughout Europe.
The decision to shut the plant was first announced in 2019. At the time, Katsushi Inoue, the chief officer for European regional operations and president of 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.”
Honda’s decision to close its Swindon facility was denounced by trade group Unite as a “body blow of betrayal” at the time.
“Unite can only conclude that Honda is taking a strategic decision to retreat out of Europe in favour of protecting its North American operations and avoiding former US President Donald Trump’s tariff threat on cars made in Europe,” the union said at the time.
Professor Andrew Graves of the University of Bath told the BBC that “Brexit was the straw that broke the camel’s back“.
“The Swindon factory was world-class, but because we chose to pull out of Europe, which was the most important market to Honda, they chose to stick with America and Japan.”
Source: Yahoo Finance UK