As expected, due to the strong possibility of a no-deal Brexit, there’s more bad news for the United Kingdom and its automotive industry as Honda has confirmed plans to close its Swindon plant in 2021.
Following yesterday’s reports, Honda has gone official with an announcement regarding the restructuring of its global manufacturing network. According to the press release, the move comes as the company “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,” reads the press release. Surprisingly, there’s no mention of Brexit whatsoever, but considering that automakers have from the first moment warned about the adverse impact on their local production, this does seem to be the most likely reason.
As a result, Honda has informed its UK employees that it intends to close the Swindon vehicle manufacturing plant in 2021 when the current models’ production lifecycle ends. The UK plant is the global production hub for the tenth-generation Civic, building both the Civic hatchback and the Civic Type R performance variant.
This will no doubt be a huge blow to the UK automotive industry, as Honda’s Swindon plant currently manufactures 150,000 cars per year and employs approximately 3,500 people. Honda said consultation activity with potentially affected employees will begin today. And while they won’t build cars in the UK from 2021, Honda’s European headquarters will still be based on the UK.
In addition to the closure of the Swindon plant, Honda’s global restructuring plans involve its operations in Turkey. The company said it would stop making the Civic Sedan at its Gebze plant in 2021. However, the release says that they intend to continue its business operations there, where they currently produce 38,000 vehicles per year.
According to the carmaker, “Honda Turkiye A.S. will continue to hold constructive dialogue with Turkish stakeholders during this period.”