Japanese car maker Honda said on Tuesday, that the closure of the Swindon car plant could see as many as 7,000 potential job losses, due to the supply chain of subsidiaries and partnering companies.
The car manufacturer announced on Tuesday morning the closure of the Swindon factory will see 3,500 job losses when the factory closes in 2021.
Greg Clark the business minister was due to provide a statement to the House of Commons, regarding the state of the British automotive industry, this has been delayed. Clark said that is a “devasting decision” for Swindon.
He added, “This news is a particularly bitter blow to the thousands of skilled and dedicated staff who work at the factory, their families and all of those employed in the supply chain.”
Katsushi Inoue, the chief officer for European regional operations and president of Honda Motor Europe said, “In light of the unprecedented changes that are affecting our industry, it is vital that we accelerate our electrification strategy and restructure our global operations accordingly.
“As a result, we have had to take this difficult decision to consult our workforce on how we might prepare our manufacturing network for the future. This has not been taken lightly and we deeply regret how unsettling today’s announcement will be for our people.”
Honda has said the shock decision was nothing to do with Brexit however, industry experts have blamed Brexit uncertainty over the UK’s future trading relationships.
Ian Henry, a market expert at AutoAnalysis, said: “I don’t buy that it [Brexit] isn’t at all a factor. I don’t think it’s the most important one, but it could be the factor that might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.”