Honda, a Japanese car producer is ready to announce the closure of its only existing British car plant in the year 2022 with a loss of 3,500 jobs.
Honda has built about 160,000 vehicles at its factory in Southern England in 2018, where it manufactures the CV-R and Civic models.
This accounted for a little above10% of Britain’s total output of 1.52 million cars in that year.
But the industry has struggled in recent years in Europe and faces some challenges which include declination in diesel demand and tough regulations alongside the fickleness over Britain’s departure from the EU, due in the month of March.
A Conservative lawmaker for Swindon, Justin Tomlinson, who cast his vote for Brexit in 2016, said he had met with representatives and the business minister from Honda, who confirmed the plans.
“They were due to make a statement tomorrow, it’s obviously broken early,” Tomlinson said.
“This is not Brexit-related. It is a reflection of the global market. They are seeking to consolidate production in Japan.”
Honda has said it would not be giving any comment at this stage.
The recent agreement between EU-Japan means levies on cars from Japan to within the continent will be removed, while Britain is trying to make progress on discussions over post-Brexit trade relations with Tokyo.
Honda’s publicity would come in just over two weeks after it’s rival Japanese car producer Nissan canceled its plans to build its X-Trail sports utility car in Britain.
“The car industry in the UK over the last two decades has been the jewel in the crown for the manufacturing sector – and now it has been brought low by the chaotic Brexit uncertainty,” as stated by Des Quinn, National Officer for the Automotive Sector at Britain’s biggest Trade Union Unite.
In 2018 Honda said it would shut it’s operations in British for six days in the month of April to help counter border disruptions from Brexit.
Honda also prepared to front-load some production at its plant in order to ship overseas or build up inventories. Honda, Nissan, and Toyota (a third Japanese car manufacturer), together account for about half of the vehicles built in Britain.
Honda, which has been producing more cars outside of Europe in recent years, has said its volume of production at Swindon would be reduced to 570 cars produced per day and that it would lead to job cuts.
“This reduction in volume will not have any impact on our permanent resource levels, and is in line with our current production plans,” said Honda.