Honda closing Swindon, UK, plant by 2021

Honda Factory stock

"As Honda have said, this is a commercial decision based on unprecedented changes in the global market".

"Given our efforts to optimize production allocation and production capacity on a global scale, we have concluded that we will produce the Civic for North America in North America", Hachigo said.

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". The U.K.'s decision to leave the bloc could create further uncertainty for Japanese companies in Britain.

The expected European Union trade efficiencies may only boost Japanese brands such as Toyota and Nissan, but for all vehicle giants, "the Chinese auto market is critical", said Victor Hill, strategist at Master Investor. "Working with Honda, the Government, led by the Business Secretary, staff and unions, there will be a taskforce set up to provide support for all staff, as we did when jobs were lost previously at Honda", he said.

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. Although it was reported to be business-based decision by Honda, online commentators linked the expected shut-down to Brexit uncertainty.

Honda said this was not part of the decision-making process but its boss said it would benefit from the EU-Japan deal. Margaret Thatcher championed Britain as the place to build cars and enticed the likes of Nissan, Peugeot and Honda to open plants in the UK.

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The Japanese carmaker announced it would shut the factory, its only European production site, in 2021, when the current model's production lifecycle ends. "Were the United Kingdom to stay in the EU, Honda would undoubtedly continue to make cars in the UK".

UK-built products also risk being disadvantaged by a new treaty that will gradually eliminate tariffs on Japanese imports to the EU.

The Swindon plant produces more than 10% of all the cars made in Britain, and now employs some 3,500 workers.

Last month, Britain's biggest automaker Jaguar Land Rover, and Ford separately announced sweeping job cuts in Europe.

Greg Clark said even while Honda said Brexit was not to blame for this decision a no deal Brexit would be a "hammer blow" to the industry. 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.

"The EU-Japan trade deal would ensure that", said Anthony Glees, a professor of politics at the University of Buckingham. It will be focused on serving the needs of our European customers. "The restructure comes as Honda its commitment to electrified cars".

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