“It is with a heavy heart that today we confirm the closure of Honda’s factory in Swindon,” said Jason Smith, boss of Honda UK, adding, “We understand the impact this decision has on our associates, suppliers and the wider community.”
The announcement comes three months after Honda said it had plans to close the Swindon factory, where 3,500 workers, mostly locals, depend on the operation for their living. The company said at the time that it will do its utmost to prevent the closure and will consult with the government to find a solution, Presstv Reported.
Some 12,500 more people working in Honda’s supply chain and other businesses in the UK will also be affected by the closure of the Swindon factory which is Honda’s only manufacturing plant in the European union.
More than a tenth of UK car production last year, around 160,000 units, came from the Honda factory in Swindon. The closure of the plant, which has been operating since 1985, is being seen as one of the consequences of Britain’s ongoing move to leave the EU.
However, both Honda and government officials have sought to deny there is a link to Brexit, saying the decision had been planned as part of the company’s move toward electrification of cars.
Britain’s Business Secretary Greg, who has chaired a taskforce to handle the case, said on Monday he was disappointed with Honda’s decision to permanently close the Swindon factory.
“Having chaired the initial Honda Swindon Taskforce meeting, I am clearly disappointed that the outcome of Honda’s consultation is to close the Swindon plant,” said Greg without elaborating why the government had failed to persuade Honda to continue its operations in the UK.