Honda set to close Swindon car plant

 Honda Civic Image copyright
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Japanese carmaker Honda is set to announce the closure of its Swindon plant in 2022, putting 3,500 jobs at risk, sources say.

The Japanese carmaker will shut down the plant in 2022 but retain its European headquarters in Bracknell, Berkshire.

Sources say Honda will make an announcement on the future of the company on Tuesday morning.

Honda declined to comment on the claims, first reported by Sky News. The government also declined to comment.

Honda produces more than 1[ads1]00,000 Civic cars in Swindon for the global market. It is the firm's only factory in the EU

Brexit fears

According to Sky, Honda was likely to relocate the facility to its home market of Japan.

Brexit is understood to be a factor in the decision, with the carmaker concerned about the imposition of new tariffs after the UK leaves the EU.

Rival Japanese carmaker Nissan also cited Brexit as one reason for cancelling plans to build its X-Trail SUV in Sunderland earlier this month.

Ford and Jaguar Land Rover have also expressed concern about the risk of a potential no-deal Brexit

Last month, Honda said it would shut down the factory for six days in April as part of its preparations for any disruption caused by post-Brexit.

The company said the move was to ensure it could adjust to "all possible outcomes caused by logistics and border issues."

Last year, the senior vice president of Honda Europe warned

He said that the UK left the EU without a deal, it would cost his company of millions of pounds.

Ian Howells told the BBC that it was blocking the agreement without affecting the carmaker's competitiveness in Europe. the Japanese firm wa s preparing for a no-deal outcome, but not discussed relocating its Swindon plant.

A history of Honda Swindon

Honda UK is situated on a former airfield spanning 370 acres to the north east of Swindon.

The carmaker bought the site in 1985 and established Honda of the UK to inspect vehicles pre-delivery.

In 1989, the operations expanded to produce engines. Three years later, a car plant was added, which started producing the Honda Accord.

Since then, the site has gone on to produce the Jazz, CR-V, Civic and Type R.

A second Honda car plant opened in Swindon in 2001, raising production capacity to 250,000 a year.

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