Honda to shut plant in Brexit-shaken Britain

Honda CR-V

Honda CR-V

British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke to the president of Honda to express her disappointment after the vehicle manufacturer's decision to shut a plant in England, May's spokesman said Tuesday. Honda stopped building the Accord in Swindon in 2002, it ended Jazz production in 2014, and the last CR-V rolled off the assembly line in 2018.

Rival Japanese carmaker Nissan announced earlier this month that it was cancelling plans to build its X-Trail SUV in northeast England, citing uncertainty surrounding Brexit as a factor.

The manufacturer's decision to close its Swindon plant in 2021, which could cost up to 3,500 jobs, ensured the former Brexit campaign drew criticism for its optimism over the company remaining in Britain. The global automotive industry is facing fundamental changes: "technological, commercial and environmental, as well as escalating trade tensions, and all manufacturers are facing hard decisions", Hawes said.

The plant will be joined in closure by the firm's smaller facility in Turkey, which also makes the Civic, although Honda's European Union headquarters will still be based in the UK.

Surprisingly, the closure isn't a result of Brexit but instead due to "unprecedented changes in the global automotive industry" which has caused Honda to restructure its global manufacturing network, according to an official statement.

"The bosses in Japan have said it's nothing to do with Brexit".

Further details have suggested that the United Kingdom (and more broadly Europe) is not worth the investment from Honda; don't forget that 90 per cent of the Civics made each year in Swindon are exported, with a lot going to America.

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She described the situation as "horrific" and that her "heart goes out to the families involved here and the community". They added that Moore had a history of mental illness and was previously admitted to a mental health facility.

Sources say Honda is set to announce the closure of its factory in Swindon, UK.

Analysts say that while Brexit was nearly certainly a factor for Honda, other reasons were likely to have played a part, including a massive EU-Japan free-trade agreement recently signed and the wider struggles of the auto industry. "As Honda's European flagship factory, we employ over 3,500 associates to build and export the Civic and Civic Type R to over 70 countries worldwide".

"Workers at Honda must not pay the price for the Prime Minister playing to the hardliners in her party and we urge Honda to sit down urgently with Unite to discuss a way forward for the plant".

The restructuring announcement also noted the automaker's plant in Turkey will close in 2021.

There was no mention of Brexit in the statement. Once upon a time it was producing 230,000 cars a year, with Accords, Jazzes, CR-Vs and Civics all being built there.

And a new EU-Japan trade deal will see the EU reducing the 10% duties on Japanese vehicle imports to zero by 2027, meaning there is less need for Japanese manufacturers to have a base in the EU.

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