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Honda will Close Its British Car Plant

LONDON – Japanese automaker Honda is expected to announce the closure of its only British car plant in 2022 with the loss of 3,500 jobs, a lawmaker said in a recent attack on Britain’s auto industry.
The second plant will be closed in 2022 after the closure of the Swindon Honda plant in the south of England. The automaker announced the closure of one of its plants in Japan in 2022, with the aim of consolidating its production, focusing on new vehicle technologies.
Honda has built more than 160,000 vehicles in Swindon, where it manufactures the hatchback version of its popular Civic model, representing just over 10% of Britain’s total production of 1.52 million cars.
But it has struggled in Europe in recent years and the industry faces many challenges, including declining demand for diesel vehicles and tougher regulations, as well as the uncertainty surrounding Britain’s departure from the the European Union next month.
Justin Tomlinson, a conservative lawmaker from Swindon who voted for Brexit in 2016, said he had met with the Minister of Business and Honda representatives who had confirmed the plans.
“They had to make a statement tomorrow morning, it’s obviously broken early,” said Tomlinson, lawmaker for North Swindon.
“It’s not related to Brexit, it’s a reflection of the global market, they’re looking to consolidate production in Japan.”
Honda said it would not provide any comment on “speculation”.
“We take our responsibilities to our associates very seriously and will always give them first and foremost important news,” the firm said.
Honda announced in October 2017 that it would stop making vehicles at its Sayama plant in Japan by 2022 as it struggled with a shrinking domestic market.
Like many of its global rivals, Honda is trying to streamline its operations, investing heavily in the development of electric vehicles and autonomous cars, from a mere car manufacturer to a mobility company.
Japan has repeatedly warned that it could attract investment to Britain, which it saw as a gateway to Europe, if London did not sign a trade-friendly Brexit deal.
The EU-Japan trade deal means Japan’s tariffs on cars to the mainland will be abolished, while Britain strives to advance negotiations on trade relations with Tokyo after Brexit.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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