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No reprieve for Swindon as Honda reaffirms plant closure

Car factory production line

Honda will close its Swindon vehicle manufacturing plant at the end of the current model’s production lifecycle, in 2021.

The plant currently employs about 3,500 workers.

The manufacturer said that no viable alternatives to the proposed closure of the Swindon plant had been identified during a consultation process.

The decision to close the plant is part of Honda’s broader global strategy in response to changes to the automotive industry, it said.

As announced in February, Honda is accelerating its electrification plans, and as a result resources, capabilities and production systems for electrified vehicles will be focused in regions with a high volume of customer demand.

It said that the job of agreeing redundancy packages and identifying the impact on individual roles up until production ceases in 2021 will begin immediately.

Honda will also intensify its engagement with the Swindon Task Force set up by Secretary of State Greg Clark, in order to work with Government and a broad range of stakeholders to mitigate the impact of this decision on the wider community.

Honda UK Manufacturing director Jason Smith said: “It is with a heavy heart that today we confirm the closure of Honda’s factory in Swindon.

“We understand the impact this decision has on our associates, suppliers and the wider community. We are committed to continuing to support them throughout the next phases of the consultation process.”

Honda’s Swindon plant produced 150,000 vehicles per year and has made more than 3 million cars in the last 30 years.

The announcement comes after Nissan announced that it will not be producing the new X-Trail in the UK, and months after the EU signed a free trade deal with Japan.

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