- Closure could cost UK car industry 3,500 jobs
- Factory accounts for over 10% of total British car output
- Britain’s biggest trade union Unite blames Brexit
Japanese carmaker Honda is expected to announce the closure of the only plant the company has in the UK, according to a UK Member of Parliament. The move could cost the industry 3,500 jobs when it takes place in 2022.
A Conservative MP who represents the area that will be affected, Justin Tomlinson, told the Reuters news agency that he attended a meeting with the business minister and that the plans had been confirmed by representatives from Honda.
More than 160,000 vehicles were built at the Swindon factory last year, accounting for just over 10% of the total output of 1.52 million cars from Britain. Honda’s Civic and CV-R models are produced at the plant.
Tomlinson said: “They were due to make a statement tomorrow morning; it’s obviously broken early.”
“This is not Brexit-related. It is a reflection of the global market. They are seeking to consolidate production in Japan,” he added.
Honda said that it would not be making any comment yet, but the company has been enduring some highly publicized struggles in Europe in recent years.
The anticipated announcement would come hot on the heels of Honda’s Japanese carmaker rival Nissan canceling its plans to build the X-Trail sport utility vehicle in Britain.
Des Quinn, a national officer for the automotive sector at Britain’s biggest trade union, Unite, is blaming Brexit for the development. He commented: “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.”