Honda closure 'disastrous' for Merthyr's Kasai plant

Honda closure 'disastrous' for Merthyr's Kasai plant

Robert Buckland and I have already spoken to the Business Secretary and Honda.

Honda built just over 160,000 vehicles at its Swindon factory in southern England past year, where it makes the Civic and CV-R models, accounting for a little more than 10 percent of Britain's total output of 1.52 million cars.

He said no job losses at the plant were expected until 2021. Des Quinn, the union's automotive-sector national officer, said the plant's closure "would be a shattering body blow at the heart of United Kingdom manufacturing".

"The vehicle industry in the United Kingdom over the last two decades has been the jewel in the crown for the manufacturing sector - and now it has been brought low by the chaotic Brexit uncertainty", said Des Quinn, national officer for the automotive sector at Britain's biggest trade union Unite.

He added: "We are seeking urgent clarification from Honda on the implications of these serious reports". Such a move would put 3,500 on-site jobs "at risk", plus thousands more in the factory's nationwide supply chain.

"We take our responsibilities to our associates very seriously and will always communicate any significant news with them first", the firm said. It's already announced a six-day shutdown in April 2019 to assess disruption in relation to Britain's impending exit from the European Union on March 29, but a decision to close the factory entirely would come as a shock move.

"To ensure Honda is well placed to adjust to all possible outcomes, we are planning six non-production days in April".

However, the job losses will not be felt instantly, and the Swindon factory will remain in operation until 2022.

Speaking in September, Ian Howells, the senior vice-president of Honda Europe, said the company remained "right behind" its production facility in Swindon and was not considering moving the plant out of the United Kingdom after Brexit.

"Certainly we are right behind our Swindon approach, and really it hasn't come up that we would have to look at putting Swindon somewhere else".

Swindon voted by 54.7% to Leave during the European Union referendum in June 2016.

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