Honda has announced it expects to cut 800 of the 3,500 workers at its Swindon plant.
It blames sustained conditions of low demand in the European car market, and has entered into a formal consultation with its workers on a proposal to cut workforce at Swindon by 800 posts by spring 2013.
Honda Swindon, which builds Civic, CR-V and Jazz, has a maximum annual production capacity of 250,000 vehicles, but has not come anywhere close to this figure since 2008, when it made 230,423 cars.
Ken Keir, executive vice president of Honda Motor Europe, said: "Honda remains fully committed for the long-term to its UK and European manufacturing operations. However, these conditions of sustained low industry demand require us to take difficult decisions. We are setting the business constitution at the right level to ensure long term stability and security.”
Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said: “This is very disappointing news for Honda staff and their families. The decline in European new car markets and uncertain growth prospects has forced a number of vehicle manufacturers to restructure their operations.
“Despite challenges brought by weak European demand, the longer-term prospects for the UK automotive sector remain good. The industry has seen £6billion of new investment from a wide-range of global vehicle manufacturers during the last two years and there is demand for skilled workers in the automotive industry and other high value manufacturing sectors.
"We hope that those affected will be able to take advantage of the opportunities we know exist throughout the UK sector and its supply chain.”
Jaguar Land Rover has recently announced it is creating 800 jobs at its Solihull plant in the West Midlands, following record global sales last year. Click here to read more.