Honda employee of 24 years sums up Brexit in four eloquent words

Swindon Honda plant

Swindon Honda plant

"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", said Katsushi Inoue, chief officer for European regional operations at Honda and president of Honda Motor Europe.

U.K. Business Secretary Greg Clark also expressed disappointment over the decision, saying: "The U.K.is one of the leaders in the development of these technologies and so it is deeply disappointing that this decision has been taken now". So we're thinking that we'll be seeing a new generation of Civic right around 2020 or 2021.

Nevertheless, Swindon members of parliament Justin Tomlinson and Robert Buckland, both of the pro-Brexit Conservative Party, said Monday that after speaking to Honda officials they'd learned that the "decision has been made because of global trends and is not related to Brexit".

In October 2017, Honda said it would take the rare step of shuttering a Japanese assembly plant as it shifts manufacturing know-how toward electrified cars.

"We are facing increasingly severe competition from Chinese and Indian manufacturers", he said. While Honda's Swindon closure heralds a grim future for manufacturing and other employment in the town and the supply chain beyond, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that the United Kingdom jobs machine was still running smoothly.

The BBC story features a statement from Honda Europe Senior VP Ian Howells, who has maintained that the move is nothing to do with Britain's imminent departure from the EU. Instead, the production will go to Japan.

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But the timing of the announcement about the Swindon plant, just 38 days before Brexit, comes after a series of warnings from Japan that it would pull investments if they are no longer economically viable after Britain leaves the bloc.

"The global restructure will also involve Honda's automobile operations in Turkey.

The EU-Japan trade deal would ensure that", said Anthony Glees, a professor of politics at the University of Buckingham.

Honda produced more than 160,000 cars in Swindon a year ago - around 845 of which were exported to the US. That has quickly unraveled, with Nissan this month reneging on plans to build the X-Trail SUV in Sunderland - partly due to the unresolved status of EU-UK trade after Brexit.

Last month, Britain's biggest automaker Jaguar Land Rover, and Ford Motor Co separately announced sweeping job cuts in Europe. "So, this would support our efforts to make optimal use of our global production network to meet the needs of our customers". The significant challenges of electrification will see Honda revise its global manufacturing operations, and focus activity in regions where it expects to have high production volumes. Honda is hurriedly trying to accelerate its electric auto programme and needs to free-up funds to do so.

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