Falling European sales blamed for Honda's massive job cut
Honda is to slash its workforce by 25 per cent in Swindon and as a result 800 people will be losing their jobs at the factory at South Marston. At the moment there are more than 3,500 people employed there.
The company, which provides vehicles solely for the European market, has been hit by low demand in Greece, Spain and Italy and Honda has had difficulty in selling their vehicles on mainland Europe. Ironically the UK market is buoyant and sales are doing well for Honda and other manufacturers.
Honda is now entering formal consultation with its workforce and the 800 redundancies will come from right across the board from the production line to the offices.
The workforce will be reduced by the end of April.
The 800 redundancies come less than a year after Honda recruited 500 new jobs to help build their two new cars in Swindon - the refreshed Civics and 4x4 CR-Vs. Added to that they are building a new diesel engine for their fleet of models.
But Honda says even though it is losing a quarter of its workforce it will continue building cars in Swindon for the forseeable future.
“While this is not good news for the company at the moment the decision to cut the workforce is to ensure the long term stability of its future business,” said Sam Tipper, speaking on behalf of Honda.
“Last year we celebrated 25 years in Swindon and I feel sure we will still be here in Swindon for the next 25 years.
“To date Honda has invested more than £2bn in the Swindon operation and only last September £267m was spent on modernisation of the plant here.”
To help them with their redundancies Honda will be working alongside the union Unite.
The factory will revert to two single shifts for production purposes. The number of cars to be built at the end of this financial year in March will be 171,000. Next year that figure will be reduced to 150,000.
Honda will be building a new Civic station wagon later in the year and the sporty Civic Type R probably in 2015.