RE: Honda confirms closure of Swindon plant

RE: Honda confirms closure of Swindon plant

Monday 13th May

Honda confirms closure of Swindon plant

After 35 years, Honda will pull production from the UK in 2021, cutting 3,500 jobs in the process



The UK car industry has received another body blow with confirmation that Honda will close its Swindon factory in two years time. The Japanese brand employs 3,500 workers at the 33-year-old site, but said that after consultation with the UK Government, "no viable alternatives to the proposed closure of the Swindon plant have been identified." The facility will shut when the current Civic's life cycle comes to an end.

That means of course that the UK-built Honda Civic Type R will be no more, closing a remarkable chapter that gave Swindon exclusive global rights to all Civic production from 2015. Prior to that, the sprawling facility was the producer of Type R models since 2001, having first built a Civic back in 1994. The site has grown to such significance these days that Honda employs fully two per cent of Swindon's population - and in many cases, two generations from the same family.


Honda says it is pulling production out of Britain - and indeed Europe as a whole - due to its wider global strategy which place increasing significance on the modular construction and electrification. The company said earlier this year that significant changes to its resources and production structure would be made, and that the workforce would be focused on regions where customer demand is highest.

It will be scant consolation to the employees of the Swindon factory that slowing demand in Europe has contributed much to the decision. The staff can justifiably point to 70 countries that received its produce, and wonder why nothing more could be done for a factory which has produced 3.5m cars in its lifetime. Naturally we'll mourn the loss of the British-built Type R - coincidentally among the best hot hatches ever made - but really our thoughts and commiserations lay with 3,500 families now effectively placed on two years notice. Semper fi, guys.

Author
Discussion

wab172uk

Original Poster:

1,298 posts

168 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
Awaits the "Blame Brexit" brigade

Feel sorry for those losing their jobs though

RacerMike

2,265 posts

152 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
wab172uk said:
Awaits the "Blame Brexit" brigade

Feel sorry for those losing their jobs though
And equally those denying Brexit had anything to do with it at all....

FourWheelDrift

76,803 posts

225 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
They are also closing their plant in Turkey in 2021.

Hot Knife

83 posts

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
Well if you actually read the article you will see that Brexit has nothing to do with it and they are pulling out of Europe as a whole because of slowing demand throughout Europe.


Edited by Hot Knife on Monday 13th May 17:52

mstrbkr

6,961 posts

139 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
I thought this had already been confirmed? Guess not. What was the earlier announcement then - was it a "maybe" at that stage?
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GTEYE

1,324 posts

151 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
Hot Knife said:
Well if you actually read the article you will see that Brexit has nothing to do with it and they are pulling out of Europe as a whole because of dwindling interest throughout Europe.
Or perhaps that the seem not to understand Europe...

Dale487

941 posts

64 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
mstrbkr said:
I thought this had already been confirmed? Guess not. What was the earlier announcement then - was it a "maybe" at that stage?
It's the end of the due process consultation period, which including looking at alternatives and counter proposals (eg everyone takes a pay cut instead of redundancies like I believe they did at JCB, but that wasn't wholesale closure) - its just confirming nothing deemed viable by Honda was put forward. The earlier announcement was the beginning of the consultation period.

Leggy

851 posts

163 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
GTEYE said:
Hot Knife said:
Well if you actually read the article you will see that Brexit has nothing to do with it and they are pulling out of Europe as a whole because of dwindling interest throughout Europe.
Or perhaps that the seem not to understand Europe...
But by then they will be tariff free to supply direct from Japan into Europe. The potential that the UK could end up having tariffs for supplying into Europe could have influenced the final decision? Although to be fare Honda’s cars have been crap for years now. Surprised they sell any.

Hot Knife

83 posts

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
For the amount they have spent on marketing, prime time TV advertising with big budget ads, high end event and sports etc. it's quite surprising to hear the demand has slowed. A few years ago you couldn't watch TV without seeing one of their very nice ads.

I looked at the Honda website a few weeks ago and was quite struck by how little they offer now. The nineties and early 2000's was a completely different story with some really popular models, Prelude, Integra, S2000, CR-X, CR-V etc. and such a big repertoire to choose from. Fast forward to now and it seems all that is left is the Civic, HRV and Jazz. How dull!

They still also have such a highly held regard for reliability too, some of the best in the business still. That means a lot to many people.

I was part interested in what they had to offer recently but was really surprised to find what they had was horrendously dull or ugly as sin or both. The civic type R looks ridiculous. I wouldn't want to drive any of their cars I'm sorry to say and it's strange to see such a Giant of the times slide like this.

FourWheelDrift

76,803 posts

225 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
Leggy said:
But by then they will be tariff free to supply direct from Japan into Europe. The potential that the UK could end up having tariffs for supplying into Europe could have influenced the final decision? Although to be fare Honda’s cars have been crap for years now. Surprised they sell any.
More jobs for the Japanese, more domestic exports to the EU and elsewhere. Useful I suppose when you have one of the worlds worst debt to GDP.

https://tradingeconomics.com/japan/government-debt...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/peterpham/2017/12/11/...

Hairymonster

426 posts

46 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
I have had Hondas in the past, but I shall never own one of their cars again.

Living in Swindon and knowing plenty of people employed there, and now hearing about their worries finding other jobs, I think it's very disappointing.

The big H can go whistle if they think they're going to do much business from hereon in this neck of the woods.

aaron_2000

2,943 posts

24 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
What are we blaming for this then?

Brexit
Climate Change
Trump
Men

P155flaps

329 posts

84 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
Build quality gone massively down hill in the last 10-15 years. I expect due to cost cutting measures and driving down parts costs etc but that factor alone has driven us away from Honda forever.

My last FK8 Type R and the FK2 will be our last Hondas purchased ever. Even if they do release another s2k.

My first EG VTI was bomb proof and the S2k had virtually 0 issues. The latest batch of Rs have their fair share of issues. The FN2 we had before that was just as bad but wanted to give them a 2nd chance 7 years later.

Sad loss of the jobs and impacts on the Swindon community as a whole but good riddance to the shoddy build quality / QC that seems to have crept in at Swindon over the years. Sadly others I know feel the same way, many have had Hondas none stop for years and been driven away from the brand over time. My Lotus has been much more reliable than our last 2 Swindon built cars (he says touching wood).

SarGara

309 posts

117 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
aaron_2000 said:
What are we blaming for this then?

Brexit
Climate Change
Trump
Men
Blame the EU in reality. Since they signed a trade agreement with Japan they can now ship their cars directly.

Welshbeef

36,309 posts

139 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
aaron_2000 said:
What are we blaming for this then?

Brexit
Climate Change
Trump
Men
It’s the fact that there is
1. a Japan EU free trade deal so no need to have footprints in the EU to sell into it.
2. Part of point 1 economies of scale one massive factory vs lots of small ones. /longer bath runs lower cost per unit.
3.the whole EV future is coming so quickly and car makers have to change or be left as an unviable company. I’d wager by 2030 or much sooner you’ll be hard pressed to be able to buy an ICE especially for run of the mill cars.

CDP

5,662 posts

195 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
Annoying that Swindon is fairly close to Dyson. This would have been a good place for them. With a well trained and until recently motivated workforce accustomed to building cars to a high standard.


robinessex

7,043 posts

122 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
Well, the usual governments reponce is to tell all the redundant workers to go shelf stacking in the local supermarkets. Except they're all in decline as well now.

SydneyBridge

4,288 posts

99 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
I read somewhere that Bmw could take the factory over as the mini plants in the Uk are at full capacity

Welshbeef

36,309 posts

139 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
CDP said:
Annoying that Swindon is fairly close to Dyson. This would have been a good place for them. With a well trained and until recently motivated workforce accustomed to building cars to a high standard.
Hopefully James Dyson will see the light or BMW who have been sniffing round too.

EVs are coming and coming fast - it’s going to decimate small garages and parts places there will be literally wiper blade servicing and that is all.
Sure there is the rump of existing ICE to keep running but unless niche in 30 years or maybe 20 years garages will be a distant memory.

Also think about garages - as in fuel stations. Once EV range is fine and people charge at home why would you ever use a full up station? It would be in extremely rare situations as such that business as it stands now is in decline only


Maybe a purpose for mechanics of now would be to modify ICE vehicles into EVs so you have what are classic cars today but with EV power. They will need to be more electrical biased than mechanical though

What will car dealerships do? Sell cars only - or will it simply move the whole market to leased (for the batteries)

MissChief

5,035 posts

109 months

Monday 13th May
quotequote all
RacerMike said:
wab172uk said:
Awaits the "Blame Brexit" brigade

Feel sorry for those losing their jobs though
And equally those denying Brexit had anything to do with it at all....
When you sign an agreement with the EU for tariff free access to the EU market for cars made in Japan you don't need to have plants in the EU anymore. Sure, Brexit probably made the decision easier, but Brexit itself wasn't the deciding factor here.