Honda announced on Tuesday that it will restructure its global manufacturing networkin response to the "unprecedented" changes experienced by the automotive industry and with the aim of accelerating its commitment to the production of electrified cars.
The Japanese firm will thus concentrate its activityonly in regions with "high production volumes"and, as a result of this measure, it has transferred to the employees of the factory that the company has in Swindon (United Kingdom) its intention to close the plant by 2021, at the end of the production life cycle of the current Civic (in its versions saloon and Type R), according to a statement.
The plant located in the south west of Englandassembles 150,000 cars per year and employs approximately 3,500 people. Honda, which has not alluded to the 'Brexit', will begin the consultation this Tuesday with the employees "potentially" affected.
In addition, the Asian manufacturer has reported thatthe global restructuring of its production will also involve the brand's operations in Turkey, where it assembles 38,000 vehicles per year and employs around 1,100 people, and in which it will stop making the sedan version of the Civic also from 2021.
"Given the unprecedented changes that are affecting our industry, it is vital that we accelerate our electrification strategy and restructure our global operations." As a result, we had to make this difficult decision to consult our workforce about how we could prepare our manufacturing network for the future, "said the director of operations of the company in Europe, Jatsushi Inoue.
Inoue stressed that Honda has not made that decision "lightly" and thatthe Japanese brand regrets "deeply" the "disturbing" that will result in the announcement for its employees.
The car 'leaves' United Kingdom
Other brands such as Nissan have also announced contingency measures before the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU). The Asian brand will finally manufacture the next generation of the X-Trail for the European market at its plant in Hyushu (Japan), and not in Sunderland (United Kingdom) as announced in 2016.
For its part, the British automakerJaguar Land Rover plans to cut 4,500 jobs, mainly in the United Kingdom, with the next phase of its 'Charge and Accelerate' plan, which will be added to the 1,500 workers who left the company in 2018. In addition, it will hold a week of additional work stoppage (from April 8 to 12) this year at its plants of the country as a result of Brexit.
The BMW group has also announced that it will reinforce its logistics to include air transport options as part of thecontingency plans of the company after the 'rupture', although it expects the United Kingdom to remain part of the common market.
The plant of Mini (of the BMW group) in Oxford will also move its traditional summer break of maintenance to the month of April in case an agreement is not reached with the objective of minimizing the risk of a possible interruption of the supply of parts in the short term .