Honda to axe 800 jobs at Swindon plant

January 11, 2013

Japanese car giant Honda is to cut 800 jobs at its Swindon plant as a result of weak demand across Europe.
The Swindon plant, which produces the Civic, Jazz and CR-V models, employs 3,500 people. Some 500 jobs were created there less than a year ago.
Honda has begun a 90-day consultation period on the job cuts and says it hopes to avoid compulsory redundancies.
“Sustained conditions of low demand in European markets make it necessary to realign Honda’s business structure,” the company said in a statement.
It added that demand for cars in Europe had fallen by one million in the past year.
But Honda said it was still committed to manufacturing in the UK and Europe in the long term.
Executive Vice President, Honda Motor Europe Ken Keir said: “Honda remains fully committed for the long term to its UK and European manufacturing operations. However, these conditions of sustained low industry demand require us to take difficult decisions. We are setting the business constitution at the right level to ensure long term stability and security.”
He admitted it was “clearly a tough day for our people in Swindon”, adding it was one of the worst working days of his life.
The plant built 166,000 cars last year, which was well below the capacity of 250,000.
It was a big jump from 2011 when 97,000 were produced, but still significantly down from the 230,000 made in 2008.
The Unite union called the decision a ‘hammer blow’ for those affected and the Swindon economy, and pointed out that 325 temporary workers also left the company recently.
National officer Tony Murphy said: “It’s a tragedy for our members and their families.”
“There’s no doubt these cuts will have a significant knock-on impact on the supply chain, and on local shops and services.”
Swindon Council leader Rod Bluh said: “We are naturally disappointed the company has had to take this difficult decision. This announcement will affect many people and families throughout Swindon. We will be working with Honda and our partners to provide support to those employees who are affected by these job losses.”

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