Honda has confirmed it plans to shut its manufacturing unit in Swindon in 2021 with the lack of three,500 jobs.
The Japanese automotive big stated the choice – first reported a day earlier by Sky Information – was in response to “unprecedented adjustments within the world automotive trade”.
Enterprise secretary Greg Clark stated it was a “significantly bitter blow to the 1000’s of expert and devoted employees who work on the manufacturing unit” in addition to their households and plenty of others working for the manufacturing unit’s suppliers who will likely be affected.
Honda’s announcement made no point out of Brexit – however comes weeks forward of a doable no-deal departure from the European Union.
The corporate has beforehand stated such an end result would price it tens of hundreds of thousands of kilos.
Brexit has created main uncertainty for carmakers who depend on just-in-time provide chains, including to complications created by a China-led world financial slowdown and the sharp decline in reputation of diesel autos.
Honda final yr produced greater than 160,000 vehicles in Swindon, the place it first arrange a base in 1985.
The plant exports the majority of the autos, with the majority of them going to North America and 20% of these made being offered to Europe.
Nevertheless it stated it was revising its world manufacturing operations amid the “vital challenges” concerned within the transition to electrical autos and that it will “focus exercise in areas the place it expects to have excessive manufacturing volumes”.
It stated below this restructuring, Honda UK’s function as a world manufacturing hub “could not be viable”.
Katsushi Inoue, president of Honda Motor Europe, stated: “In mild of the unprecedented adjustments which are affecting our trade, it’s important that we speed up our electrification technique and restructure our world operations accordingly.
“Because of this, now we have needed to take this troublesome choice to seek the advice of our workforce on how we would put together our manufacturing community for the long run.
“This has not been taken flippantly and we deeply remorse how unsettling immediately’s announcement will likely be for our individuals.”
Honda stated its European headquarters, centered on serving clients, would proceed to be primarily based in Bracknell.