Sky News is reporting that Honda is preparing announce as early as tomorrow the closure of its only EU manufacturing facility in Swindon UK. The plant currently produces over 100,000 Honda Civics and directly employs 3,500 workers. The plant has been in operation since 1985. If confirmed, the plant would close in 2022 and have drastic consequence for downstream suppliers.
This move would be a sudden change of direction for Honda which recently insisted that the UK was a key part of their automobile manufacturing plans. The possibility of a no-deal Brexit likely hastened the decision to close the plant. The Japanese government has negotiated a trade deal with the EU that went into effect on February 1, 2019 that would allow Honda to import vehicles from Japan to the EU tariff free.
The news comes just as Jaguar-Land Rover plans to cut 4,500 jobs and Nissan shelves plans to build new models in the UK.