Business Secretary warns the vehicle industry needs the Brexit deal

Honda: Japanese car manufacturer to SHUT Swindon factory | Daily Star

Honda is planning to close its plant in Swindon with the loss of more than 3,000 jobs.

The Business Secretary warned the auto industry needs MPs to vote for the Brexit deal today as he scrambled to respond to Honda planning to close its Swindon plant. 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.

Already this year, Jaguar Land Rover has announced 4500 job losses, Nissan has confirmed it will no longer build the X-Trail at its Sunderland plant and Ford has said there will be job losses. While Honda's Swindon closure heralds a grim future for manufacturing and other employment in the town and the supply chain beyond, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that the United Kingdom jobs machine was still running smoothly.

The rumor Honda refused to confirm was true after all. It said the conference will address a change in operational structure.

"If the government had delivered a strong and stable Brexit that protected the economy and jobs, we may well have been in a very different position today", Unite official Des Quinn said.

As many as 12 Welsh suppliers will be hit by the decision to close Honda's United Kingdom factory in Swindon, motor industry insiders have said. The company will also boost manufacturing of the Civic in North America, where 55% of the models made in the United Kingdom are now exported to.

The closure is part of Honda's plan to centralize production in Japan over the coming years.

Honda said the move comes as it "accelerates its commitment to electrified cars, in response to the unprecedented changes in the global automotive industry".

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The BBC story features a statement from Honda Europe Senior VP Ian Howells, who has maintained that the move is nothing to do with Britain's imminent departure from the EU.

The automaker said more than a year ago it will close one of its Japan plants in 2022, in an effort to consolidate production as it focuses on new vehicle technologies.

Des Quinn, for the Unite union, said a closure would represent "a shattering body blow at the heart of United Kingdom manufacturing".

Honda has spent £2.2 billion in Swindon since it opened its factory there in 1989.

A statement issued this afternoon said: "At this point, we are not able to make any comments regarding the speculation".

"This is a devastating decision for Swindon and the United Kingdom", he said.

That target is 2025 for Europe, Honda announced at the time.

The recently agreed EU-Japan trade agreement means tariffs on cars from Japan to the continent will be eliminated, while Britain is struggling to make progress on talks over post-Brexit trade relations with Tokyo.

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