800 jobs to go at Swindon's Honda plant
STAFF at Honda’s Swindon based plant have been told that 800 jobs are to go by Spring.
In a statement released today by Honda Motor Europe, low industry demand in Europe was blamed for the cuts.
Around 3,500 people are employed at the Japanese manufacturer’s plant just over the Wiltshire border in Swindon and last year 500 staff were added to the workforce.
But the company’s executive vice president Ken Keir said European demand for the Civic, CR-V and Jazz models which are made at the plant had slumped.
“These conditions of sustained low industry demand require us to take difficult decisions,” Mr Keir said. “We are setting the business constitution at the right level to ensure long term stability and security.”
The proposed job losses are likely to affect a number of residents in the Cirencester and Cricklade areas.
The Swindon plant has the capacity to produce 250,000 vehicles a year and in 2008 produced around 230,500 vehicles. But the following year numbers dropped to 75,583 and while production has increased since then, only 165,607 cars were produced in 2012.
Paul Everitt, chief executive of Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said poor European markets and uncertain prospects had forced a number of vehicle manufacturers to restructure their operations.
“This is very disappointing news for Honda staff and their families,” Mr Everitt said.
But he added that he remained optimistic and believed the longer-term prospects for the UK automotive sector remained good.
“The industry has seen £6 billion of new investment from a wide-range of global vehicle manufacturers during the last two years and there is demand for skilled workers in the automotive industry and other high value manufacturing sectors,” he said.
“We hope that those affected will be able to take advantage of the opportunities we know exist throughout the UK sector and its supply chain.”
Have you been affected by the job cuts in Swindon? Please get in touch with the Standard, by commenting below or by emailing reporter Laura Shack at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01285 627319.