close

News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

Honda decision a 'bitter blow' to UK: Business minister

General view of the entrance to the Honda car plant in Swindon, Britain, February 18, 2019. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters London, UK Feb 19, 2019, 10.22 PM (IST)

Honda's decision on Tuesday to close its only British car plant in 2021 with the loss of up to 3,500 jobs was discussed in the British parliament, with British Business Minister Greg Clark describing it as a "bitter blow".

The closure of the plant marks a major departure of Japanese investment and was announced just over a month before the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union.

The automaker is Britain's fourth-biggest automaker, building more than a tenth of the 1.5 million cars made in the country.

Honda said the move was not related to Brexit and it needed to focus activities in regions where it expects to sell most cars, after struggling in Europe.

The loss of such a major employer in Swindon, which backed Brexit in the June 2016 referendum, risks a further 10,000 jobs in the supply chain, which could have knock-on effects for other carmakers due to the interconnected nature of the sector.

Story highlights

The closure of the plant marks a major departure of Japanese investment and was announced just over a month before the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union.