Honda is expected to announce the closure of their only British car plant based in Swindon by 2020, according to media reports. This move will lead to a loss of 3,500 jobs.
Local MP Justin Tomlinson who voted for Brexit in 2016, said job losses were not to be expected until 2021, as per his conversations with Honda leaders.
The Swindon plant alone employees about 3,500 employees and 160,000 Honda Civics are manufactured annually at the plant. About 90 percent of the vehicles produced in Swindon are exported to the EU and US. The Japanese car giant began its industrial operations in the region in 1989.
In light of the looming Brexit, Japanese companies have continued to be wary of their investments in Britain. A favorable trade deal during the time of Brexit will keep Japanese enterprises in the region, otherwise, they will begin to find pathways into the EU market by striking trade deals with the other EU nations.
In January, Honda announced that it would close the Swindon factory for six days in April in order to gear up for any disruptions created in the post-Brexit era. The company said this temporary closure was a preemptive step to ease into “all possible outcomes caused by logistics and border issues.”
Rival carmakers’ movement
Nissan has also announced that they canceled their original plans of building the X-Trail sports utility vehicle in Britain. Moreover, Britain’s largest automaker, Jaguar Land Rover announced that they would cut 10 percent of its workforce because of a slow sales season in China and a dip in the European diesel market.
In 2017, Honda announced that they would stop manufacturing vehicles at its Sayama plant in Japan by 2022 because of lower demands within their home country. With rising diesel costs and a changing automotive sector, many global car companies are investing in electric vehicles and self-driving cars. Honda also wants to move towards becoming a “mobility company” from its current image as a “car manufacturing company.”
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