Honda announce Swindon closure proposal
Honda have officially announced plans to close their Swindon factory
The hands of the automotive gods have struck another blow to the automotive industry in the UK.
This is due to Honda announcing this morning a 'proposal' to close their Swindon manufacturing branch in 2021, if this goes ahead it will result in some 3,500 employees having to find work elsewhere.
Before you jump the gun like we may have on Twitter (oops) this is nothing, absolutely nothing to do with Brexit. This is something Honda really want to be clear on and have assured most press outlets that the reasons for vacating the UK are part of a wider plan.
Honda currently produce around 160,000 cars per year at the plant in Swindon, however across the USA and Asia it's a case of millions for Honda. In the grand scheme of things, Europe is a relatively small market for Honda. This for them means that when turning to electrification that manufacturing in the UK isn't really an avenue they are looking to explore and thus they are shifting production.
They would prefer to build the cars and focus resources instead in places where Honda have said will have higher production volumes. Over half the Civics produced at Swindon are shipped to the USA, so it does make sense to produce those more locally.
Models currently produced at the branch are the Civic and Civic type R and their current production cycle is expected to end in 2021 hence the proposed date.
On the case of everyone thinking it is a very coincidental announcement, yes I can see that but I also think it is just that, a coincidence. Most manufacturers have set themselves goals for when they want to be fully electrified and 2021 isn't too far off for most of them.
Honda have also stated that consultation activity will begin today and that they will be working closely with their workforce and trade union to try and find the best outcome and help associates through this difficult time.
This will be Honda's first vehicle factory closure in their 71 year history. Honda will keep its European HQ in the UK.
Now, it would be interesting to see what would happen if suddenly electrification isn't the future, although I'm sure it'll never happen.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments and what you make of this continuing chaos for the British car industry.
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