Honda confirms Swindon plant closure; 3,500 jobs at risk
Honda has confirmed that it will close its factory in Swindon in 2021, putting around 3,500 jobs at risk.
The company said on Monday that this will coincide with the end of the current Civic model's production life-cycle.
Honda director Jason Smith said: "It is with a heavy heart that today we confirm the closure of Honda’s factory in Swindon. We understand the impact this decision has on our associates, suppliers and the wider community. We are committed to continuing to support them throughout the next phases of the consultation process."
The Japanese car manufacturer said the decision - which follows a "robust" consultation process which included the UK government and external consultants engaged by union Unite - was reached after no viable alternatives to the proposed closure were identified.
"The decision to close the plant is part of Honda’s broader global strategy in response to changes to the automotive industry," it said. "As previously communicated in February, Honda is accelerating its electrification plans, and as a result resources, capabilities and production systems for electrified vehicles will be focused in regions with a high volume of customer demand."
With the first phase of the consultation now over, the second phase, which includes agreeing associate redundancy packages and identifying the impact on individual roles up until production ceases, will begin immediately.
Unite national officer Des Quinn said: "We await the detailed reasons from Honda, but Unite believes that our alternative case to keep Honda Swindon open added up and was likely to be backed by the government with public money.
"It would have made Honda a global leader in emerging battery technology and in a strong position to exploit the growing global market for electric vehicles in the coming years.
"Instead we have this body blow which is nothing short of a betrayal of the workforce, customers and the wider supply chain which relies on Honda Swindon for work.
"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 president Trump’s tariff threat on cars made in Europe."