NewsHonda to Close U.K. Factory That Builds Civic Type R
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Honda announced it will close its Swindon, U.K., manufacturing plant in 2021 when production ends on the current-generation Civic. All Civic hatchbacks in the U.S., including the Civic Type R, are made at the Swindon factory.
The decision comes as Honda evolves its EV strategy. "The significant challenges of electrification will see Honda revise its global manufacturing operations, and focus activity in regions where it expects to have high production volumes," Honda said in a statement.
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Honda chief executive Takahiro Hachigo said the move was not related to Brexit. "We had to consider the rise of electrified vehicles, and the different speeds at which electric vehicles will be taken up in North America and Europe," he told Reuters. "This decision was not informed by Brexit."
As you may recall, Honda has big plans for electrification. Honda created an EV platform first seen on the Urban EV concept from 2017. Globally, two-thirds of the cars Honda sells will have electrified technology by 2030. That target is 2025 for Europe, Honda announced at the time.
The Swindon factory produces 150,000 cars per year and employs around 3,500 people. Honda made the announcement just a few weeks after Nissan reversed a decision to build the new X-Trail at its Sunderland, U.K., plant. Nissan said, "While we have taken this decision for business reasons, the continued uncertainty around the U.K. 's future relationship with the EU is not helping companies like ours to plan for the future." Meanwhile, Panasonic and Sony have decided to move their headquarters from Britain into the EU.
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The closing of the Swindon plant is part of a larger restructuring for Honda's manufacturing network. The automaker said it will stop building Civic sedans in Turkey from 2021. The plant in Turkey currently makes 38,000 units per year.
Honda says its European headquarters will remain in the U.K.
Source: Honda, Reuters
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