Honda Closure In Swindon
So we now know officially that 3500 jobs will go at the Honda Swindon plant in 2021. This is terrible news for the workers and locals where this employment in the factory has supported families and businesses since the 1980s.
Not Brexit Says Honda
The official line for the closure is to do with the changing demand of the automotive industry states Honda and nothing to do with Brexit. The shift to electric cars and away from the devil diesel is a large contributor. All work will be moved to their plant in Japan.
Of course those Brexiteers, are keen to point out the official word. This is nothing to do with Brexit, but those on the remain side argue, even with a shift in demand, why could that demand not have been achieved in Swindon?
You can help feeling with Nissan also no longer going to build the new the X Trail in Sunderland that Japan is deserting British shores in favour of its own. The fact that the EU and Japan have just signed a free trade deal may have a factor in this. It is very possible that on the 30th March, it will be easier to export cars from Japan to the EU, than Britain to the EU only 21 miles away.
Michael Heseltine has no problem, stating that the Japanese are polite people and would never get involved in British politics and that Brexit was a firm reason for leaving the UK.
Ford has stated their position also, that it may be forced to use alternatives to the UK if no deal is reached. Even though they only make engines in the UK now and not complete cars a no deal scenario could cost them 1 billion dollars. Of course the Brexiteers still see this as Project Fear and those companies leaving would have done anyway.
The stated 3500 jobs is just at the South Marston plant itself, when you factor in the supply chain, this could be up to 10,000 jobs.
The car industry was always forefront of the Brexit argument as it is the main manufacturing industry left in the UK, even though none of the large brands are British owned.
The secondary issue is new cars becoming more expensive to buy, which may not be a bad thing for some sectors, but bad for others. The UK market demands more add ons and accessories as standard than other countries in the EU and if reports are true, a German car in the UK is cheaper to buy than in its homeland. If more cars have to be imported due to not building them in the UK, prices will go up. For the breaker yard industry, this will mean salvage is more expensive, whether the consumer will pay more for the parts remains to be seen.