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Honda to close British plant, thousands expected to lose jobs

TOKYO —  Thousands of workers in Britain may lose their jobs as Honda prepares to close a manufacturing plant in western England.

On Tuesday, the company announced that it would close its factory in Swindon as part of a global restructuring effort.  Honda says the Swindon plant currently produces 150,000 cars per year, and employs about 3,500 people.  The facility will close in 2021 at the end of the current Honda Civic model’s production lifecycle.

“In light of the unprecedented changes that are affecting our industry, it is vital that we accelerate our electrification strategy and restructure our global operations accordingly,” said Katsushi Inoue, president of Honda Motor Europe.

“As a result, we have had to take this difficult decision to consult our workforce on how we might prepare our manufacturing network for the future.  This has not been taken lightly and we deeply regret how unsettling today’s announcement will be for our people.”

Honda’s announcement comes as Britain prepares to leave the European Union.  The United Kingdom has not approved the terms of the March 29 separation, and businesses are issuing warnings about potential damage to the economy.

Honda’s European headquarters will remain in the UK.  The company’s restructuring plan will also affect a manufacturing facility in Turkey.

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