Honda Supply-Chain Jobs Fear

Tue 19th Feb 2019

On the day that Japanese car manufacturer Honda announced that it was closing its Swindon factory, there are further fears on the knock-on effects that decision may have.

Though the factory employs 3,500 workers in Swindon, the company works with a number of other UK-based component providers, such as Merthyr Tydfil based Kasai, which produces interior parts for both Honda and Nissan from South Wales. Kasai employs 200 people.

The blow for Swindon workers was immediate, with staff at the factory allowed to leave early for the day in anticipation of the shutdown at the end of the current model’s production lifecycle in 2021.

The move to electrification and not the impending Brexit is said by senior Honda execs as the reason for the move out of the UK. It’s a decision that leaked to the press earlier in the week and was confirmed by a brief statement on Tuesday, an announcement which has brought reaction from all quarters, including the Business Secretary Greg Clarke, Union bosses and also the Federation of Small Business who will be hard hit according to Chairman Mike Cherry: “The planned closure of the Honda plant is not only devastating for the skilled workforce employed there, but a very worrying time for all the small businesses throughout Honda’s supply chain, and especially local firms in the surrounding area.

“Across the region there’s a huge network of businesses throughout the supply chain that will be impacted by the closure and will now be very concerned about their futures.

“From caterers and cleaners, to nearby cafes, thousands of small businesses will also rely heavily on the Swindon plant and this announcement will be incredibly unsettling for them.”