3500 employees at risk as Honda announces closure of United Kingdom plant

Honda is set to announce the closure of its Swindon car plant putting 3,500 jobs at risk reports say today

Katsushi Inoue, Chief Officer for European Regional Operations, Honda Motor Co., Ltd., 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".

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

Honda has been said to prepare an announcement, revealing plans to close its Swindon factory in 2022, which is now producing over 150,000 units per year.

Honda has blamed a rapidly changing auto industry with plunging demand for diesel cars and a new focus on electric vehicles. Instead he said: "We're seeing unprecedented change in the industry on a global scale".

Staff in the Wiltshire town - which voted 55% in favour of Brexit in the 2016 referendum - said they were angry about the development.

"We've always seen Brexit as something we'll get through, but these changes globally are something we will have to respond to".

The Japanese automaker has announced it will close the Swindon, England, factory that directly employs about 3,500 people by 2021. Previous tariffs that applied to cars made in Japan for the EU will be scrapped by the end of this year; with the United Kingdom set to have left by then, the financial benefit for European sales to having a factory here is reduced.

Nissan, Honda and a third Japanese vehicle maker, Toyota Motor Corp, together account for roughly half of the cars built in Britain.

Honda said last month that it would shut its British operations for six days in April to help counter any border disruption from Britain's planned departure from the European Union.

He wrote: "Honda to leave United Kingdom with a potential loss of 3,500 jobs in 2022".

"This is not Brexit-related. They are seeking to consolidate production in Japan".

The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, in force since February 1, ensures that the bloc's 10% tariff on Japanese vehicle imports will be reduced to zero over the next 10 years.

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 decision is still a blow to the United Kingdom industry that's battling a Brexit-related slowdown, potential tariffs and supply bottlenecks after leaving the trade bloc on Mar 29.

Motor Authority reached out to Honda for more information and to ask if the move has anything to do with Brexit. It was also preparing to front-load some production at its plant to ship overseas or build up inventories.

Nissan, Honda and a third Japanese car-maker, Toyota, together account for roughly half of the cars built in Britain.

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