HONDA is set to announce the closure of its factory in Swindon, putting 3,500 jobs at risk, according to sources.
The car maker produces more than 100,000 Civic cars at Swindon, which is the company’s only factory in the EU.
A Honda spokesperson did not return calls seeking comment by The Sun on Monday, but the plans could be announced as early as tomorrow morning, according to Sky News.
A source close to Honda told Sky News the company is expecting to close its plant in Swindon in 2022, although the company will keep its European headquarters in Bracknell, Berkshire, as well as its Formula One racing team operations in the UK.
While factors other than Brexit are said to have contributed to Honda’s decision, the timing of its announcement could be viewed as a development due to Brexit uncertainty.
Honda has manufactured vehicles in Swindon for more than 30 years, and said last year that it was committed to UK-based production regardless of the outcome of Brexit negotiations.
“The UK forms part of our global network of manufacturing plants, so the only place we produce the vehicle we produce at Swindon is in Swindon itself,” Ian Howells, Honda Europe’s senior vice-president, told the BBC in September.
“The logistics of moving a factory the size of Swindon would be huge and as far as we’re concerned, we’re right behind supporting continued production at Swindon.”
As the reports spread, Martin Lane, managing editor of comparison website money.co.uk, said:
“It’s distressing news for Honda employees and their families, especially as Honda’s leaving staff in limbo over their fate by not commenting on the matter.
“This will have a huge impact on individuals, but also the local area as a whole. Those who fear they could lose their jobs should hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
“Sadly this is a hard blow to Britain’s car industry, and I doubt it will be the end of the redundancies this year. With the uncertainty of Brexit lingering over us many more companies could follow suit.”
Earlier this year, Jaguar Land Rover and Ford announced plans to cut thousands of jobs, blaming uncertainty surrounding Brexit and a lack of demand for diesel vehicles.
Energy supplier also plans to axe 900 jobs this year due to the energy price cap.
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