Honda closure 'disastrous' for Merthyr's Kasai plant

A mechanic works on a Honda engine

Sources say Honda is set to announce the closure of its factory in Swindon, UK.

Honda is to close its Swindon factory, putting an estimated 3,500 jobs at risk.

Sky News said that the announcement by Honda could come on Tuesday, and that the plant was scheduled to close in 2022.

After the latest development, Swindon North MP Mr Tomlinson said Honda had told him the move was based on global trends and not on UK's nearing Brexit departure.

The U.K. has always been a Japanese hub for European auto production, with Honda, Nissan Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Co. owning three of the country's six largest carmaking factories.

Ford is also seeking up to 400 voluntary redundancies at its Bridgend engine plant and Land Rover is to shrink its workforce by 4,500, with most of those cuts in the UK.

The Japanese vehicle giant hasn't confirmed the claims, but the local Conservative MP said he had spoken to Honda, which was clear the decision was "based on global trends, and not Brexit".

Nissan said it had made the decision "for business reasons", but added that "the continued uncertainty around the U.K.'s future relationship with the European Union is not helping companies like ours to plan for the future".

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He also said a no-deal Brexit would hurt its competitiveness at the plant.

"They are clear this is based on global trends and not Brexit", Tomlinson said.

"Honda will be consulting with all staff and there is not expected to be any job losses, or changes in production until 2021".

Honda, for its part, declined to comment on the closure.

Many will be quick to pin the blame for Honda's decision to close its Swindon plant exclusively on Brexit, but there are other forces at work. It ceased building the CR-V crossover there previous year.

The news comes as British businesses are issuing increasingly urgent warnings about the damage being done by the uncertainty around Britain's looming exit from the European Union.

"Sadly this is a hard blow to Britain's vehicle industry, and I doubt it will be the end of the redundancies this year".

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