Honda To Close Swindon Car Plant in 2021
Published 21 February 2019
Due to global changes Honda announced earlier in the week that they will be closing down their Honda Plant located in Swindon. This is a bitter blow to all who are connected to the plant whether they are direct employee’s or part of the economy chain associated with the manufacturing plant.
How many people work for Honda in Swindon?
Honda currently employs 3,500 people at its Swindon plant.
How many cars does Honda manufacture out of Swindon?
Honda currently manufacture 150,000 Honda Civics a year, 90% of these are exported to the EU and US.
Honda’s History with the UK
First Came the Honda Motorbikes
The UK began their love of Honda during the 1960’s when Honda introduced the country to motorcycles such as the CB92 Benly Super Sport, CB77 Super Hawk, CA100 Super Club and CT200 Trail 90 to name but a few. These high performance bikes set the standard for Honda bikes for the future and our love of the Honda began.
Honda Cars Began To Appear On Our Shores
It was not until 1972 that we saw the first Honda cars (internal link -example cars and prices) arrive in the UK in the way off the original Honda Civic. Imports of Honda continued, and in 1980 Honda entered into a venture with British Leyland to begin manufacturing Honda based designs within the British Leyland plant. The venture between Honda and British Leyland saw such models of cars as the Triumph Acclaim, the Rover 200 Series and later the Rover 800 Series.
Honda and Swindon
It wasn’t until 1985 that Honda brought South Marsden a 370 acre site on the outskirts of Swindon. Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd of HUM as it is unofficially know was established in 1985 and production at the plant began in 1989.
Production of the Honda Accord started in 1994, along with a second engine line installed at the plant. A bench mark for Swindon would be when the HUM would begin to export cars to Japan for the first time, in the same year 2000 the plant began its production of the CR-V SUV which had already been on sale in the UK since 1997. In 2001 HUM opened a second car assembly plant creating a further 200 jobs on site.
The Ripples Began At Honda’s Swindon Plant
The Honda Accord stopped being manufactured by HUM and started being imported from Japan in 2002. It was in the same year that Managing Director Ken Keir stated that Honda would still maintain vehicle production, irrespective of whether or not the UK joined the EuroZone.
Despite further investment by Honda of £80 million to start manufacturing plastic car parts and metal castings for engines, and increasing production of the cars by 32% between the years of 2006 and 2008, 2009 began to unravel a different story. In January 2009 Honda announced that due to the recession direct workers would be laid off for 4 months, and indirect workers would have a pay cut and remain at work.
HUM began production of the Honda Jazz in October 2009 however this was fairly short lived and by 2014 the Honda jazz was once again being imported from Japan. HUM saw a big injection of investment in 2012 to support the manufacturing of the Honda Civic and the Honda CR-V, this investment would see the plants overall investment to the Swindon plant of £1.5 Billion, and bring the work force up to 3,500.
The News from Honda on Tuesday (19/02/2019) that the plant will close in 2021 is a terrible blow to all that work there along with many who’s work is reliant on the work force at Honda.
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